City Planning OKs Pier 17 plan with modifications

DSC_2848CityPlanningCommissionAmandaBurdenAABB(1)

The City Planning Commission led by Amanda Burden, center, voted on Feb. 6 to approve with modifications Howard Hughes Corp.’s request to tear down the existing mall on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport and replace it with a glass-enclosed mall. Downtown Express photo by Terese Loeb Kreuzer

BY TERESE LOEB KREUZER |

On Feb. 6, the City Planning Commission voted to approve The Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan to tear down the existing mall on Pier 17 in the South Street Seaport and replace it with a glass-enclosed structure. However, C.P.C. wants some modifications to the plan which now goes to the City Council.

Howard Hughes has asked all tenants to vacate Pier 17 by April 30. The tenants, who are still grappling with the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy, said that this would cause them great and continuing hardship, and they need the busy summer season to recoup their losses.

Michelle de la Uz, a Commission member appointed by Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, asked the Economic Development Corp., owner of the pier, to negotiate with Howard Hughes to extend the Pier 17 tenants’ leases until the fall. At the present time, under a Letter of Intent between E.D.C. and Howard Hughes, construction on the pier would have to begin on July 1, 2013 at the latest.

City Planning could not make a comment about the leases an official part of the resolution because it has no legal authority to weigh in on this issue. However, “the fact that one member did mention it is good,” said Michael Levine, director of planning and land use for Community Board 1.

City Planning rejected the prominent signage that Howard Hughes had requested for the rooftop of the new mall building. Howard Hughes had gone so far as to write to City Planning asking it to reconsider its negative position on the sign, but C.P.C. refused to change its position.

“The elimination of the rooftop sign will prevent the experience of the Lower Manhattan waterfront environment and the views of the Brooklyn Bridge from being compromised,” Amanda Burden, commission chairperson, said according to the official transcript.

Burden, who did not comment on a lease extension, said the project will help “a declining shopping district within the Seaport Historic District” attract residents and workers in addition to tourists.
The C.P.C. resolution also requires mooring for boats of different sizes at Pier 17 and increased maritime use of the pier.

The resolution on Pier 17 now goes to City Council, which has 50 days in which to approve it, alter it or dismiss it. Should City Council fail to act within that time frame, the resolution as currently written would become law.

City Councilmember Margaret Chin has been talking with Pier 17 tenants and with the Howard Hughes Corp. about the need to extend the Pier 17 leases through the fall. In a telephone conference call on Jan. 23, Howard Hughes executives told Chin that they would look into that possibility, but so far, they have not gotten back to her.

Chin said that she is going to take the matter up with the E.D.C. and with New York City Deputy Mayor Robert Steel.
“Margaret Chin and City Council are the last stop,” said Levine. “City Council may want to reopen the issue of extending the tenants’ leases.”

He said that in general he was pleased with the City Planning Commission vote. Community Board 1 had voted against the rooftop signage and had espoused other measures for Pier 17 that made their way into the resolution that the City Planning Commission passed.

“The Community Board succeeded where we felt we could,” he said.

E.D.C. did not comment on the City Planning Commission vote but previously had no comment about a lease extension.

Howard Hughes Corp. also refused to say anything about a lease extension but released this statement:

“The Howard Hughes Corporation is pleased with the City Planning Commission’s approval of our vision for Pier 17, transforming the building’s iconic waterfront setting into an energetic, highly engaging destination for shopping, dining and entertainment in Lower Manhattan.”

Spread the word:

3 Responses to City Planning OKs Pier 17 plan with modifications

  1. I have always wondered about the various shops and restaurants and the South Street complex generally. For all that it is a tourist destination, on the occasions I have been there, that has always seemed to me most used by New Yorkers. Not least, it has seemed to be a major attitude-readjustment venue at the end of the week for people employed in the financial district. I have seen the changes over the years, and it seems to me that each time primarily-local use is ignored, and some grand scheme is pursued, to the extent it is implement, its inevitable failure just damages the Seaport as a fun place to hang out. I used to go fairly often; now I never bother, haven't for some time….

  2. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this ahead of. So nice to get somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this web-site is some thing that’s required on the web, someone having a little originality. useful job for bringing something new to the world wide web!

    Nike Lunar Elite

  3. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read something like this just before. So nice to uncover somebody with some original thoughts on this topic. realy thank you for starting this up. this website is something that’s needed on the internet, a person with a little originality. beneficial job for bringing some thing new to the web!

    michael kors hand bags

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


5 − one =

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>