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Old Posted Oct 20, 2008, 11:13 PM
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Smile NEW YORK | South Street Seaport Redevelopment | FT | 50 FLOORS

http://www.thenewseaport.com/

South Street Seaport Redevelopment



Blending the character of Greenwich Village, the charm of Stone Street, the energy of Elizabeth Street, and the reprieve of Bryant Park with the iconic waterfront views that only the Seaport offers, the new Seaport plan reignites the spark of old Manhattan in the place where the port of New York began.

The master plan completely preserves the Seaport’s historic structures while proposing an array of storefront shops, two hotels, and new housing. It combines a city-sponsored initiative to rebuild the former fish market’s aging infrastructure with a new vision for the pier itself.

Local residents will benefit from more open space and community amenities, including a specialty food market, a three-acre addition to the East River Esplanade, and a 30,000-square-foot community space for performances, lectures, and children’s programs. Vibrant nightlife, specialty stores, restaurants, and public events will make the Seaport a place for every New Yorker.

From preservation work and innovative architecture to greater open space and new, practical retail, the plan unites old and new and imbues the neighborhood with spirit—helping the district achieve its full potential as one of New York’s most enduring communities.




One of New York’s most historic neighborhoods, the Seaport has been a place of energy and opportunity, a riverside hub where culture and commerce combine and thrive.

Working in cooperation with the broader New York community, GGP will celebrate the Seaport’s storied past with a plan that revitalizes the character of this unique New York neighborhood, weaving the Seaport into the fabric of the city around it.

GGP’s commitment to the community is paramount. It has and will continue to meet with neighbors, community members, and other stakeholders to ensure that the project reflects community input and meets residents’ needs.


A DESIGN MARVEL

Architectural innovation by SHoP Architects is the keystone of Pier 17’s redevelopment. It begins with the four freestanding retail structures on the pier’s west end. Positioned to create pedestrian-only “streets” that extend from the city grid, these new buildings will line open lanes that create view corridors to the harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge.

Each of the four retail buildings will be 40 feet tall and comprised of two stories. Two additional structures, also designed by SHoP, will be built above the retail buildings and home to a small boutique hotel. The first of these structures will stand three stories tall; the second will rise to six stories.

The construction of the boutique hotel creatively solves the problem inherent in building over water. The two structures that contain the hotel are designed to “hang” from steel rooftop girders. The girders themselves will be planted on columns set on new caissons drilled into the river floor. The boutique hotel buildings will appear as floating structures, suspended from steel cables hung from the girders—engineering similar to the steel suspenders that have supported the Brooklyn Bridge’s span for more than 135 years.

SHoP used the Seaport’s maritime heritage as inspiration for the hotel’s design features. Steel and other structural elements and materials will be treated but left exposed to evoke ship masts and utilitarian port equipment. Two sky bridges—a functional feature that often marked 20th-century New York architecture—will link the hotel buildings.

Entering from Beekman Street, guests will take elevators up to the hotel’s third-floor lobby. Guest room balconies will provide stunning harbor and city views, and a rooftop lounge and reflecting pool will create an exceptional gathering place on the waterfront.

Beautiful and architecturally unique, the boutique hotel will integrate into the overall design of the new Seaport’s master plan and honor the history of the neighborhood.





BEFITTING THE LOWER MANHATTAN SKYLINE

When the downtown FDR Drive opened in 1942, it immediately boosted circulation around Manhattan. However, at the South Street Seaport, the strictly utilitarian steel-and-concrete elevated highway imposed a boundary between the historic cobblestone district and the waterfront. Today, it stands as a partial barrier to light, views, and pedestrian circulation, obstructing sightlines to Pier 17 and discouraging foot traffic across South Street.

The hotel/residential building will rise above the FDR, acting as a beacon to indicate visually that more activity and architectural attractions lie east of the highway.

Rising 495 feet above the East River, the hotel/residential building will serve as a Seaport icon and an economic anchor within the site.

The lower portion of the new structure will house hotel rooms, while the upper stories will house one-, two-, and three-bedroom cooperative apartments. The base of the building will house a three-story specialty retailer.

The hotel/residential building will stand just outside the city-landmarked Seaport district, replacing the long-vacant New Market Building on Pier 17. Because of its slender structure and small footprint, the building will provide continued views of the Harbor and Brooklyn Bridge. Its narrow side (78 feet) will face the city, while its longer side (130 feet) will extend over the East River.

Construction of the hotel/residential building promises to be one of New York’s most innovative projects. Since it will be built above water, a standard below-grade foundation is impossible. Instead, the building’s height will be supported by caissons drilled approximately 230 feet down to bedrock, which will replace existing wood pilings. To install the caissons, contractors will use a modernized method that harkens back to the Brooklyn Bridge’s construction more than a century ago.

From that riverbed base, the SHoP team will erect a solid steel-and-concrete core, from which each floor will radiate. The exterior of the building will be reminiscent of the fishing nets and the ropes of ships that once docked at the Seaport.

Light will play a key role in the building. Energy-efficient interior lights will make the structure appear to glow by night, an effect that will be enhanced by exterior lighting illuminating the building’s unique façade. Soundproof, treated glass, meanwhile, will provide comfort and quiet to residents and hotel guests.

Construction equipment, recycled materials, energy conservation, and other factors will earn the hotel/residential building the U.S. Green Building Council's LEED Silver certification and ensure compliance with Local Law 86, the rigorous sustainability mandate the city has adopted for its own projects.

When it opens in 2014, the hotel/residential building will attract residents, visitors, and shoppers. It will drive traffic and revenue to the Seaport’s historic district, improve pedestrian circulation, and establish a new architectural identity for the pier.




REVITALIZING AND RECONNECTING

For more than two centuries, the South Street Seaport has been a place where innovation and history come together. GGP’s proposed redevelopment, in partnership with the City of New York, will continue this tradition of innovation, renewing the Seaport and Pier 17, and reconnecting them to Lower Manhattan, both physically and aesthetically.

With this plan, New Yorkers and visitors will have even more reasons to find themselves at the Seaport. New conveniences for local residents—including a collection of specialty food stalls, unique shops to suit a range of tastes, and improved community space—will enhance the neighborhood’s quality of life.

GGP’s plan for the new Seaport addresses the needs of residents and the area as a whole. It will bring more open space for walks and recreation along the waterfront; open sightlines of the harbor from Fulton and Beekman Streets; provide a new meeting space for live performances, lectures, and children’s programs; and offer venues that celebrate both the area’s rich history and its vibrant present.

But how do we make this happen?

How do we reconnect the Seaport with the energy of Lower Manhattan?

How do we create new amenities, such as shops and cultural venues, while actually increasing open space?

How do we preserve and restore beautiful historic buildings while making sure new building designs honor the district’s maritime legacy?

How do we attract new retailers and restaurants while enhancing the neighborhood’s distinctive character?

These are some of the questions answered by GGP’s proposed redevelopment plan to renew the South Street Seaport. Introduced by GGP in spring 2008, the master plan will serve the local community while attracting visitors from around the city and the world. The proposed redevelopment will begin the public approval process this year.



Iconic architecture distinguishes the Seaport along the Manhattan skyline at night



The Seaport’s historic cobblestone “Uplands” joined by the new architecture On Pier 17



The new Seaport: more open space on the pier, two hotels, new retail space, and a restored Tin Building relocated to the harbor’s edge



South Street Seaport model, overlooking the proposed redevelopment



South Street Seaport model, looking East at the extended street grid and boutique hotel



Outdoor cafes on the pier bring friends and families together, on the water



More than double the existing open space on Pier 17; a place for neighbors and visitors to relax and enjoy the harbor views
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Last edited by NYC4Life; Oct 20, 2008 at 11:32 PM.
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2008, 11:33 PM
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CurbedWire

Seaport Fight Goes to Landmarks Commission.
Monday, October 20, 2008, by Robert



FiDi—The South Street Seaport redevelopment fight enters a new phase tomorrow with a hearing before the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It will be preceded by the kind of fun we would expect from such a session: a press conference by the Municipal Art Society denouncing the General Growth and SHoP Archtitects plan. Per a release, "MAS President Kent Barwick will state that the entire concept of the General Growth Properties project is flawed and misguided, and that it should be entirely re-conceptualized. Specifically, MAS will state that "the project overwhelms the historic buildings of the district, further severs the Seaport from its history and destroys the sanctity of views from and of the Brooklyn Bridge." The presser is at two at the Municipal Building, but no one is saying anything about the fact that General Growth may go bankrupt and render it all an empty discourse. [CurbedWire]


Copyright © 2008 Curbed
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Old Posted Oct 20, 2008, 11:36 PM
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looks like a building inside a cage.
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Old Posted Oct 21, 2008, 11:33 PM
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NY Times

Moving the Old Fulton Fish Market’s Building

October 21, 2008, 1:43 pm

By Jennifer 8. Lee


A view from the water, showing the side and portions of the back of the Tin Building, as well as the building in relation to the rest of the project.


Updated, 3:45 p.m. | No matter what one thinks of South Street Seaport’s future design, most agree its past deserves respect. Developers and preservationists are now wrangling over a question: Can the past be preserved by moving it?

The proposed relocation of Alexander Hamilton’s 206-year-old home in Harlem was considered successful. But the proposed relocation of the historic home of the Fulton Fish Market, to make way for a new complex at the seaport that includes a 42-story tower, have drawn protests from preservationists.

It’s a critical debate that lands in front of the Landmarks Preservation Commission around 3 p.m. today.

If the commission does not sign off on the relocation, much of the proposed redesign by General Growth Properties will be hampered (although not the plans for the 42-story building, which is planned for just outside the historic district).

The Tin Building, which was originally built in 1907, was long the home to the bustling Fulton Fish Market, which had come into existence in the 19th century.

But the building has sat as an unused shell since the fishmongers departed for Hunts Point (and more modern facilities) in the Bronx in 2005 (though much of the history in its old home had been well-documented).

Designed by the Berlin Construction Company, the Tin Building was given its name in part because of its orange-painted aluminum siding on the three floors above the concrete ground floor, where the wholesalers received their supplies and sold their wares.

The building was originally placed between two piers, so that the wholesale fish could be delivered by boat. But once fish arrived by truck, the space between the two piers was filled in and the Pier 17 mall was plopped onto that land. Now the developers want to raze the mall and move the Tin Building to the end of that pier, to make room for other buildings.

The Historic Districts Council argues that buildings within historic districts gain their meaning through their relationship with other structures, and, “Putting the Tin Building alone on the edge of a pier is not putting it into context.”

The developers argue otherwise: that in fact, putting it on the pier puts it more into context. They argue it was originally built on the water, but in the last century it has been hemmed in by the Franklin D. Roosevelt Drive viaduct to the west and the Pier 17 shopping mall to the east, among other structures.

“There are buildings on four sides of it, whereas it sat historically as a waterfront building with a large plaza in front of it,” said Gregg Pasquarelli, a partner at SHoP Architects, which is handling the redesign for the entire South Street Seaport. “Its context is gone, and the understanding of this building as a waterfront building has been gone for three decades.” He argued that it had other benefits, too, such as clearing the way for an esplanade along the water, like the one that runs long the Hudson River.

“What we are doing is we are moving it to reinstate its position as a waterfront building,” Mr. Pasquarelli said, “giving it views in all four directions, allowing it to be seen in all four directions for the first time in four decades, and placing a large open public space in front of it, just like they day it opened in 1907.”

But preservationists oppose much of the plan in general (especially the 42-story building), and have been focusing their dissatisfaction on the Tin Building. “It has been historically a waterfront building, but it wasn’t stuck out at the end of the pier,” said Simeon Bankoff, executive director of Historic Districts Council. “We feel like it separates the historic building from its environment.”

The building would most likely be revived into a use related to food — perhaps a banquet hall, restaurants or markets — said Michael McNaughton, a vice president for General Growth Properties, a real estate company which has had some financial struggles of late. The food theme is a nod to the Tin Building’s historic past, he said. “It has been feeding New Yorkers for decades.” (We think this is a bit of a logical stretch.)

The Tin Building, while situated in a historic district, is not itself historic. And it suffered great damage when a suspicious fire swept through it in 1995, disrupting the lives of 400 employees and uprooting seven major wholesale vendors who sell $350 million in seafood every year. The fire came on the heels of several attempts by government to purge the fish market, because for decades, the Tin Building had served as a shadowy world for Mafia gangsters who thrived on extortion, fraud, no-show jobs, loan sharking, money laundering and gambling rackets, investigators said. It was rebuilt shortly thereafter, but with fiberglass cornices instead of metal ones. So for all the fuss, it turns out that very little of the Tin Building today is actually original.


Copyright 2008 The New York Times Company
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Old Posted Oct 22, 2008, 8:09 PM
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Curbed.com

Seaport Redevelopment Plan Heads to LPC, Gets Dissed

Wednesday, October 22, 2008, by Joey



Yesterday, the Landmarks Preservation Commission began its look into the proposal put forth by South Street Seaport leaseholder General Growth Properties to replace the tourist-friendly shopping mall on Pier 17 with new shops, boutique hotels, public plazas and, oh yeah, a 42-story waterfront condo/hotel tower. (A refresher of the SHoP Architects' plan appears above, and here's the model). The proposal—a major piece of which is moving the historic Tin Building to the edge of the pier—is a controversial one, and preservation groups such as the Municipal Arts Society have already made their feelings known. The LPC didn't immediately rule on the redevelopment plan, but the three-hour discussion had plenty of fireworks. Curbed Correspondent Noah Adler was in attendance, and his report follows:

The presentation by General Growth and SHoP to the Commission equally covered the plan to "disassemble and reconstruct" the Tin Building and the plan to build a new "boutique hotel" atop street-level retail. Noticeably absent from the presentation (but completely unavoidable in the public session) was the neighboring 42-story mixed-use tower that lies outside the Seaport Historic District.

General Group Properties brought in their historic preservation consultant to discuss the historic context of the site, which she described simply as "water and market," which was "obliterated by 20th century construction." Richard Piper, an architect working on the restoration of the Tin Building, walked the Commission through a detailed presentation on the damage done to the building in the fire of 1995. The only remaining "time capsule" of the original structure lies behind enclosed refrigerator units on the rear of the building. Other portions of the original building to be salvaged will be window and pilaster casings and as many interior cast-iron columns as can support the new structure.

An hour into the presentation, the laptop and projector shut off unexpectedly, prompting one Commissioner to say, "I think it's telling us something." The technology rebounded, however, and Jim Horner from Field Operations spoke about the very detailed plans for the use of open space. The plan for open space will include seating inspired by nautical infrastructure and the ever-popular "interactive water feature" will be situated between the relocated Tin Building and the boutique hotel and retail complex. The "water feature," comprised of lit water fountains that spout up from the ground and will include seating interspersed between the fountains for those not afraid to get wet.

At this point the presentation had run well over an hour and a half, and the Commission resolved to adjourn the hearing without voting following the public testimony - and there was plenty of testimony to be heard. A member of CB1 appeared to appeal to the Commission to delay their vote so that CB1 could provide their resolution in two weeks' time. Three members of the Municipal Arts Society testified to express their belief that the plan should be "firmly rejected." While they agreed that something needs to be done with the tourist trap that is the Seaport, "reconfigured retail spaces and hotels do not seem to be the solution." Additionally, they expressed concern that the relocation of the Tin Building would set a troublesome precedent for the preservation movement.

A number of individuals expressed a desire to preserve - wait for it - the Pier 17 building, on the grounds that it was designed by Ben Thompson, co-founder of The Architects Collaborative. A rep from the Historic District Council went so far as to say that one day, New York might regret its loss of the Seaport mall. The quote of the night, however, went to a woman who curtly stated in reference to the mixed-use tower, "The pseudo-fishnet brings kitsch to a new level."

A fair number of supporters turned out to voice their opinions as well. Bill Brown, executive director of the nearby Shooting Star Theatre, said, "Anything of this magnitude requires some negotiation, but that's what this process is all about, isn't it?" Another supporter: documentary filmmaker Ric Burns (brother of Ken). A young woman read his testimony to the Commisison, which stated, "It seems apparent that the proposal as a whole has been developed with an impressive level of imagination and integrity." His full letter was overall a glowing review of the proposal.

Despite the celebrity endorsement, the plan still suffered a good deal of blows from members of the public, including two former staff of the South Street Seaport Museum. The proposed tower was called a "monster," the plan as a whole considered everything from an overly-designed "theme park" to "civic and historic abuse." The word "Disneyfication" was mentioned on three separate occasions. One woman finally suggested, "Our current economic climate gives us an opportunity to slow down and reconsider our options." And slow down, the Commission did. CB1 will hold a public hearing next week on the matter, and their resolution will be included at the next LPC hearing, "at a future date to be determined."

· South Street Seaport coverage [Curbed]
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Old Posted Oct 23, 2008, 9:13 PM
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10/23/2008 09:46 AM

Plan To Restore Tin Building Divides Manhattan Neighborhood



To build or not to build and just how much to build, those are some of the questions swirling around South Street Seaport these days. As ideas to revamp the entire area are refined, disagreement over plans for a single building there illustrates a neighborhood divided. NY1's Rebecca Spitz filed the following report.

Nestled in the shadow of the FDR Drive and the shopping mall at Pier 17, the so-called Tin Building is almost impossible to see – but maybe not for long.

Plans are in the works to restore the former fish market building to its original glory.

"The Tin Building is important because it's really the only historic building on the water side of the FDR Drive," said architect Gregg Pasquarelli. "It's an incredibly important thing for us to save as a marker of what happened in this neighborhood with the fish market and the shipping and the water-dependent uses that were always here."

Developer General Growth Properties wants to move the entire building to its original location at the pier's edge and restore it; the structure was gutted by fire in 1995.

"We would like to actually recreate and rebuild all the pieces in the authentic materials, so when you do that, it's probably better to take it apart in pieces and rebuild the building from scratch," said Pasquarelli.
But the Tin Building's restoration is part of a larger plan to revitalize all of South Street Seaport.

First released in June, the design calls for more than two acres of open space, besides new shops and restaurants. The signature building would house retail, as well as a hotel and residential units.

The developer has already invested a lot of time and money and says it wants to make the space more welcoming for both residents of the area and the city at large.

"I think we've done a lot of work to engage the community and really feel we've made connections with people and gotten input all along the way," said Laurel Blatchford of General Growth Properties.

But there are critics of the plan to renovate the seaport and within that, the plan to move the Tin Building. Among the more vocal opponents: the Municipal Arts Society.

"Market buildings weren't necessarily out on the end of a pier," said Lisa Kersavage of the Municipal Arts Society. "They were on the streets where they could move goods in and out of the building rapidly. So the history here is important and it should be the guiding vision for this development."

In fact, opponents say the entire project as envisioned would be out of scale with the rest of the neighborhood.

Like it or not, the approval process is underway. Developers say they hope to start construction in two years and be finished by 2014.


Copyright © 2008 NY1 News. All rights reserved.
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Old Posted Oct 24, 2008, 5:35 AM
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http://gothamist.com/2008/10/23/ice_...sweeps_nyc.php

Ice Rink Mania Sweeps NYC



October 23, 2008

Clearly jealous of all the media attention bestowed upon the forthcoming ice rink at the Natural History Museum, the South Street Seaport has announced today that they're going to have an awesome ice rink too, you know.

The Seaport Ice rink will be opening on November 28th (running through February 28th). 8,000 square-feet of ice will be open from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week, with admission rates at $5 and rentals at $7. So for $12 you can skate in circles while overlooking the East River, which used to have free ice skating once upon a time.

Meanwhile, the AMNH has released more information on their own rink, saying it will open to the public on November 22nd (also open through 2/28). Picture this: "Skaters will glide around a 17-foot-tall polar bear made of openwork stainless steel festooned with pine boughs and twinkling lights. Engaging facts about polar bears and the Earth’s polar regions, as well as 'green' tips and suggestions, will surround the rink." The Polar Rink is 150 by 80 feet, fitting up to 200 skaters, and admission will range from $6-10.
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Old Posted Oct 31, 2008, 5:21 AM
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C.B. 1 backs Landmarks approval for Seaport development

By Julie Shapiro

After hearing hours of public testimony, Community Board 1 gave its support to part of a major Seaport development Tuesday night.

The board voted 23 to 16 with two abstentions to back the portions of General Growth’s project that lie within the South Street Seaport Historic District. That helps open the door for General Growth to demolish the Pier 17 mall, move the historic Tin Building from the pier’s base to its tip and build new retail and a boutique hotel up to 120 feet tall on the pier.

“The community board is pleased with the overall design,” said Roger Byrom, chairperson of C.B. 1’s Landmarks Committee. The board did not recommend any changes to the plan.

The community board’s opinion is advisory, and the Landmarks Preservation Commission has the final say. The L.P.C. held its first hearing on the project last week but has given no hint of a reaction.

Simeon Bankoff, director of the Historic Districts Council, called the community board’s approval vote a mistake.

“That was a foolish move on their part,” Bankoff told Downtown Express after the meeting. “I’m disappointed with their decision.”

Bankoff disagrees with moving the Tin Building and thinks the new 120-foot Pier 17 buildings are not in context with the rest of the historic district. Historically, pier buildings are low-scale and broad, Bankoff said, while G.G.P.’s boutique hotel is 120 feet tall. Bankoff also criticized the glass facade of some of the pier buildings.

City Councilmember Alan Gerson spoke before the board’s vote and urged General Growth to withdraw the landmarks application and go back to the drawing board. Gerson thinks the 500-foot condo and hotel tower General Growth hopes to build just north of Pier 17 is too tall for the neighborhood.

“It should not be an extension of high-rise Lower Manhattan,” he said of General Growth’s plan. “It should be an exception to high-rise Lower Manhattan.”

Barry Skolnick, a C.B. 1 member, voted against the resolution after he described recently visiting Toronto, a city that walled off its waterfront with buildings.

“I want to keep our waterfront open,” he said.

The tower was not on the agenda Tuesday night, since it sits outside of the historic district that encompasses the rest of the project.

The amenities G.G.P. has offered — including open space, a community center and a potential school — were not on the table either, since Landmarks only considers aesthetics, not uses. The tradeoff and tower discussions will happen next spring, when the project goes through the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure.


More than 100 people turned out to Tuesday’s community board meeting, and nearly 40 of them spoke about General Growth’s plans, roughly half in favor and half against. Many people were angry about being silenced at a community board meeting about General Growth two weeks earlier, when time ran out before everyone could speak. At this week’s meeting, all those who arrived in the first few hours were heard. The move of the 1907 Tin Building was one of the hottest topics, with some saying they supported the project because of the move and others saying it was a deal breaker.

“Moving the Tin Building is a fantastic idea,” said Tom Brown, who has lived in the Seaport for four years. The move would put the building “in a place where you can see it, instead of under the eyesore of the F.D.R.,” he said.

Roger Bentley, who lives on Beekman St. between Front and Water Sts., agreed with Brown.

“The Tin Building is nothing but a haven for rats and garbage,” Bentley said. “It’s sad what it’s become.”

Bentley has lived near the water in Tokyo, San Francisco and Portland, Ore., and he said New York is lagging behind those cities in utilizing its waterfront.

“This is nothing more than an attempt to upgrade,” he said. As for the tower, “I don’t fear it at all.”

Although the board will not consider the tower until the spring, it got lots of attention at the hearing. Several people said the tower would diminish the stature of the Brooklyn Bridge and ruin views from the Brooklyn promenade.

“It just doesn’t fit,” said Margaret Chin, a City Council candidate who lives near the Seaport in the Financial District. “It just doesn’t look right…. People come down to the Seaport because of its history. A 40-story tower has no place in the Seaport.”

Learan Kahanov, president of the Seaport Parents Association, said he supports the project in his backyard because General Growth has shown a willingness to work with residents on a school.

“It’s the first time a major company that I’m aware of reached out directly and said, ‘What can I do?’” Kahanov said.

Several people, including Seaport residents with young children, praised the open space General Growth has pledged to include, but others said it would not feel like public space since it will be sandwiched between a private hotel and a private catering hall in the Tin Building. Both of those buildings will have retail space on the lower floors.

Ruth Porter, a 35-year Southbridge resident, noted that many of those who spoke in favor of General Growth’s project either received free space from the company or had received the promise of a future contract or amenity. Most Southbridge residents oppose the project, she said.

“How can the community board then be approving such a proposal?” she asked.

Plummeting stock

The community board’s approval was good news for Michael McNaughton, vice president of General Growth’s northeast region, but he and his crew of consultants weren’t heading out afterwards to celebrate.

“I’m beat,” McNaughton said as he left the meeting after 8 p.m. “It’s been a rough few months. But I feel more enthusiastic today than I have.”

Asked if G.G.P.’s tumbling stock price might have something to do with his exhaustion, McNaughton shook his head no. He pointed out that the company’s stock, which reached a low of $1.97 on Monday, had jumped above $4 Tuesday and closed at $3.39.

“The markets have spoken,” McNaughton said triumphantly.

Still, for a stock that traded comfortably above $30 for much of the last year and peaked at nearly $55, the modest rise isn’t likely to quash rumors that the company will be sold. (The stock also dropped again on Wednesday, to close at $2.99.)

General Growth has $27 billion of debt and this week put its Las Vegas properties on the market. Bernard Freibaum, the company’s C.F.O., resigned several weeks ago, and this week C.E.O. John Bucksbaum, whose family founded General Growth, also stepped down, along with President Robert Michaels. General Growth disclosed this week that Michaels and Freibaum had taken improper loans from a Bucksbaum family affiliate to cover their personal margin debts from the falling stock. The loans were reportedly against company policy, but not against the law.

Regarding the company’s stock difficulties, McNaughton said Tuesday “It is not a G.G.P. issue,” since the economy is suffering worldwide. “We are a viable organization,” he said.

McNaughton previously told Downtown Express that the Seaport redevelopment is General Growth’s first priority. Asked Tuesday if that means the Seaport would be the last property G.G.P. would ever put up for sale, McNaughton said, “I would like to believe that.”

At Tuesday’s community board meeting, many people raised the question of G.G.P.’s finances.

Margaret Cooney, a 32-year Southbridge Towers resident, said G.G.P.’s assurances of viability didn’t mean anything. Cooney worked at Bear Stearns before its collapse and sale to JPMorgan Chase earlier this year. She recalled watching the stock go “down and down and down” on her computer monitor and listening to executives reassure the staff that the company was fine even as they dragged boxes out of the building.

Now, Cooney said, “I’m watching General Growth’s stock go down and down and down…. This does have a bearing on General Growth and what they will be able to do for our community.”

The community board agreed, and the resolution they passed includes many references to “G.G.P. or any subsequent developer.”

“There is a strong likelihood we will be negotiating with other owners,” said Byrom, chairperson of the Landmarks Committee. Byrom wants to make sure General Growth’s commitments about amenities would apply to any future owner. “We don’t want them to say, ‘Oh, I’m sorry, I can’t afford that,’” Byrom said.

Extend the district?

Two weeks ago, the community board met to pass a resolution on General Growth’s plans, but the board could not come to a consensus and seemed close to rejecting at least part of the proposal. At that meeting, the board tried to pass several resolutions that included a controversial suggestion: The board wanted to extend the Seaport Historic District to encompass the New Market site, where General Growth wants to build the tower. If the city went along with that proposal, which is unlikely and would take years to implement, General Growth’s tower would become all but impossible.

The community board omitted the historic district extension from Tuesday night’s resolution, but Paul Hovitz, a board member and Southbridge resident, proposed it from the floor as an amendment.

“I think it’s only proper that the entire pier be in the historic district,” Hovitz said. “I have a big problem that the loophole is not closed…. This is something the city should have done a long time ago.”

During the public session, several other Southbridge residents agreed. The Southbridge Towers board helped pay for studies that led to the 2003 rezoning of the Seaport Historic District with a 120-foot height limit. Many people thought the rezoning, combined with waterfront zoning, would prevent a new tower along the water. But the loophole Hovitz referred to is the fact that the platform where General Growth wants to build the tower has a much higher height limit of 350 feet. The firm hopes to get a special permit in order to build 500 feet.

Diane Harris Brown, a Southbridge resident, said the community board, which fought for the rezoning, was flip-flopping now in its support of the project.

“It is short-sighted and rather unbelievable,” she said. “It would be an outrage to have a luxury high-rise [on the water].”

Byrom, Landmarks chairperson, disagreed with Hovitz’s amendment. Byrom said putting the tower site in a historic district could make the entire project unviable.

Julie Menin, chairperson of the board, agreed. “The time to oppose the tower is at ULURP,” she said, but several people in the audience called out “No!”

Bruce Ehrmann, co-chairperson of the Landmarks Committee, concurred that Hovitz’s resolution would destroy the project, which he said would ignore the wishes of many residents who want it to move forward.

Hovitz replied that the residents of Southbridge Towers are firmly against the project, and he doesn’t want to ignore them either.

Ehrmann gestured around the Southbridge community room, where the meeting was held, and asked rhetorically, “How many towers are here?”

The board then voted Hovitz’s amendment down by a roughly 2-to-1 margin, leaving the original resolution to pass unchanged.
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  #9  
Old Posted Nov 4, 2008, 1:10 PM
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http://www.tribecatrib.com/news/newsnov08/seaport.html

CB1 Backs Moving Historic Building, Demolition of Pier 17 Mall




By Matt Dunning
OCOTBER 31, 2008

Whether General Growth Properties will survive the economic storm gathering against it remains to be seen, but that did not stop the mega-mall developer from pushing forward in the approval process for its massive South Street Seaport redevelopment plans.

After weeks of debate, the company got a big boost on Oct. 28 when Community Board 1 narrowly voted to support key components of the company’s bid to rebuild the Seaport, including the relocation of the 101-year-old Tin Building and demolition of the Pier 17 mall.

“It’s been a rough couple of months, but I think we’re moving in a good direction,” said Michael McNaughton, a General Growth vice president. “Overall, I think there’s a general sense of optimism.”

Earlier in the month, General Growth made its initial presentation to the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission, seeking its approval to move the landmark Tin Building to the end of Pier 17. The company wants permission to tear down the existing shopping mall in order to erect four two-story retail buildings and a cantilevered, 120-foot-high boutique hotel in its place.

The company’s plans also include a 42-story hotel and residential tower on the site of the New Market Building, next to the Tin Building, but its construction is not subject to the Commission’s protection because it lies outside the South Street Seaport’s historic district.

Twice—at a Landmarks Committee meeting in September and again at an emergency meeting on Oct. 15, six days before the beginning of the Landmarks Preservation hearing—the board failed to reach a majority opinion.

Late last month, the board finally passed, by a count of 23 to 18, a resolution in support of General Growth’s applications to the commission.

“We knew this was going to be a very difficult issue,” Landmarks Committee chairman Roger Byrom said. “It is very confusing for many of us to be asked to opine on the historic relevance of this project, ignoring [the 495-foot tower] that’s located just outside the historic district.”

CB1 members appeared eager to shrink the size of the proposed tower after General Growth made its first presentation to the board in July. But because the site of the tower is outside the historic district, there is little that the board could have asked the Landmarks Preservation Commission to do about it.

The board will have a chance to vet the tower’s height, along with the rest of the project, when General Growth enters into the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process (ULURP) in the spring.
CB1 can then try to negotiate for community amenities such as a school or community center, or simply turn it down.

General Growth’s hearing with the Landmarks Preservation Commission is scheduled to resume this month.


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  #10  
Old Posted Mar 5, 2009, 1:47 PM
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http://www.nypost.com/seven/03052009...ort_158086.htm

SUN, SAND AND SEAPORT

By BILL SANDERSON
March 5, 2009

Aruba, Jamaica, oooh, I wanna take ya - but with the economy what it is, South Street Seaport will have to do.

The downtown tourist mecca will be the place this summer to plant your bod by a beach umbrella and sip a cold one.

The Seaport's operators are working on a deal with New York Water Taxi to set up a fake beach on Pier 17.

Officials of the Seaport couldn't be reached for comment yesterday, and a Water Taxi spokeswoman declined to discuss the idea.

But the Seaport is seeking a liquor license for the beach at a Community Board 1 meeting next week. A board official said the beach itself doesn't need any approvals.

In the last few years, Water Taxi has set up a beach in Long Island City, Queens, layering a wharf with four inches of beach sand shipped from New Jersey.

Besides the Pier 17 beach, the firm is also planning a beach on Governors Island to open around July 4.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2010, 5:10 AM
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http://downtownexpress.com/de_363/emerging.html

Emerging from bankruptcy, firm revives Seaport tower talk

By Julie Shapiro
April 9 - 15, 2010

Quote:
General Growth Properties is emerging from bankruptcy and is looking to resurrect its plans to redevelop the South Street Seaport.

Before declaring bankruptcy in April 2009, General Growth intended to demolish the Pier 17 mall and replace it with a new hotel and retail complex, including a 500-foot tower. The company’s $27 billion in debt, along with the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s dislike of the designs, put those plans on hold indefinitely.

But that could be changing now that G.G.P. has submitted a reorganization plan based on a $6.55 billion investment from Brookfield Asset Management, Pershing Square Capital Management and Fairholme Capital Management.

As part of that plan, G.G.P. would divide into two companies: General Growth Properties would retain most of the company’s core asset, its shopping malls, while a new company, General Growth Opportunities, would take the mixed-use properties and those with future development potential. The South Street Seaport mall would become part of General Growth Opportunities, suggesting that the new company would seek to redevelop it.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2010, 6:53 AM
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I forgot I even started this thread, lol. Such a long time since we've heard news on this redevelopment, but good to see a possible revival. The area around the FDR drive could certainly use a refurbishment, especially with those lots full of buses.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2010, 10:02 AM
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The facade on the tower reminds me of ropes twisted together, or those fishing floats with the twine mesh wrapped over it. I guess that was the general idea?

The overall design has a very maritimesy feel to it, maybe even borderline kitschy. I think it's a really cool development though.
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Old Posted Apr 9, 2010, 1:17 PM
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The area around the FDR drive could certainly use a refurbishment, especially with those lots full of buses.
Work has already started there for the new East River promenade and the lots under the FDR (check the east river thread).
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2010, 12:48 AM
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http://www.observer.com/2010/real-es...street-seaport

Pasquarelli Still Wants to SHoP at South Street Seaport



By Matt Chaban
September 28, 2010

Quote:
At today's Atlantic Yards announcement, the Real Estate Desk asked Gregg Pasquarelli, who unveiled a new plaza for the Barclays Center, what the status was with another of his firm's projects, the South Street Seaport. Pasquarelli noted that the project's owner, General Growth Properties, is still negotiating its way out of bankruptcy, but the architect seemed confident it would make it. The result will be two companies — one with all of General Growth's existing mall properties, another, backed by Brookfield, with all the development projects.

"We assume the Seaport will be going forward at some point," Pasquarelli said. "We believe it's one of their best assets, so we hope it's one they'll be working on soon."

Before the company collapsed in the face of the recession, which hobbled retailers nationwide — but especially the over-leveraged General Growth — it had planned to transform the stodgy Pier 17 into a megaplex of shopping and apartments, including a latticework 42-story tower, all designed by SHoP. The project was facing stiff opposition from the Landmarks Preservation Commission but never came to a full vote because the collapse of the company took precedence.
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2010, 7:09 PM
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Until a grip is reached on this project, it’ll continue to fade in and out of the spotlight. I’m sure at some point some form of redevelopment will commence; whether it’s this long-advertised rendering remains to be seen.
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2010, 9:58 PM
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What's the tower behind the proposed site that currently does not exist?
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Old Posted Sep 29, 2010, 10:05 PM
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Its one of the later iterations of the 80 south street project, which obviously never went anywhere and is not going anywhere anytime soon. The original plan was an amazing calatrava design.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2010, 5:17 AM
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Now this is architecture at its finest. I hate to see it now being built. I though SHOP built it already which is what they used to market themselves to Bruce Ratner to redesign the Barclays Center.

Will there be anything worthwhile that is historic lost on the pier? I have a hard time judging from the articles if this project will really damage anything worthwhile.
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Old Posted Sep 30, 2010, 12:54 PM
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Will there be anything worthwhile that is historic lost on the pier?
Nothing on the pier itself. It's currently just a mall, and not a very good one.











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