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By JOSH ROGERS with TERESE LOEB KREUZER |
A deal appears to be close to approve Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan to redevelop the South Street Seaport’s Pier 17. Paul Hovitz, a member of Community Board 1’s Seaport Committee, said Tuesday night that City Council Speaker Christine Quinn and Margaret Chin would be at a City Hall press conference Wed., morning to announce a new food market to open at the Seaport.
Quinn has scheduled the announcement regarding Seaport development for 10:15, March 20. In an email to supporters Quinn wrote the gathering will be “to celebrate our announcement that we will be getting two additional markets in the Seaport area. The first one will open before December 31, 2014, as part of the current renovation project. The second one will be in the Tin Building, one of the historic fish market buildings, and will be open to the public seven days a week selling locally and regionally sourced and produced food items to residents and tourists alike.
“New York City is one of the only major cities in the United States without a full-time food market like the one we’ve announced. We are proud of our work on this project and invite you to come celebrate.
The Hughes firm has an option to develop the Tin Building and the market might be part of the deal to win Council approval for Pier 17.
Earlier in the day, Chin told Downtown Express that a deal was close on Pier 17, and did not rule out a full Council vote as soon as March 20.
“We’re trying to make sure everything is put together,” she said March 19, but said she had not agreed to anything as of yet.
She did not disclose the deal’s terms and did say it was not finalized. But she also said the New Market and Tin buildings were not part of the negotiations since it was separate from the land use application.
Previously, Chin has asked Hughes to allow Pier 17 tenants to stay through the busy summer season before it is demolished. She has also asked for an increase in public access and other design adjustments, along the lines of other opponents.
If the deal is approved it will likely be opposed by at least some in the Seaport who saw little in the Hughes plan they liked.
For her part, Quinn has long had her eye on opening a permanent food market at the Seaport, dating back to her 2010 State of the City Address.
In 2011 she visited the New Amsterdam Market at the Seaport, which has opposed the Hughes plan, and is hoping for a permanent Seaport home.
“I think a goal of the neighborhood and the goal of the Council is to make this into a 12-month-a-year food market,” Quinn told Downtown Express then. “Eventually I’d like to see this market be both outside and inside. It could have a demonstration kitchen and could be a huge bonanza for the neighborhood and also an important tourist draw.”