City says Seaport tower is NOT on hold

Image courtesy of the Howard Hughes Corp. Rendering of Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan for the Seaport. Image courtesy of Howard Hughes Corp.

Rendering of Howard Hughes Corp.’s plan for the Seaport. Image courtesy of Howard Hughes Corp.

BY JOSH ROGERS | ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED JAN. 30, 2014  |  The city’s Economic Development Corp. on Thursday contradicted the assertions of Downtown leaders that the proposed Seaport tower is on hold, and is insisting the project is moving forward on schedule.

One E.D.C. official pushed back strongly against the claims — reported by Downtown Express and other media outlets Jan. 29. “In short, there is no new ‘halt’ or agreement to halt,” according to the official.

E.D.C. manages the South Street Seaport for New York City and is overseeing the Howard Hughes Corp.’s proposal to redevelop the Tin and New Market building with a 600-foot mixed use tower, food market and a marina.

Kate Blumm, E.D.C.’s spokesperson, said in a prepared statement: “This proposal is at the very beginning of what will ultimately be an extensive public review process, and we have strongly encouraged Howard Hughes Corporation to work with local stakeholders to solicit their input and understand their concerns. We’re encouraged by the steps the developer is taking in concert with elected officials to more formally structure community involvement, and we look forward to seeing the dialogue evolve. To date, the process is moving as anticipated along the timeline previously agreed upon.”

At Tuesday’s night Community Board 1 meeting, Chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes said a “community-driven” task force will be created and the plan “will not go forward as presented….Any future milestones are on hold until a comprehensive community process has taken place.”

On Wednesday, she told Downtown Express that her report was carefully worded after a conference call that included Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer and Councilmember Margaret Chin.

Silver in his written monthly report to C.B. 1 said of the tower that “the city has now agreed to put those plans on hold.”

A source close to Chin had said on Wednesday that the creation of a task force with the Howard Hughes Corp. would likely have the effect of halting the project.

The E.D.C. official acknowledged the task force may have the effect of a delay but said that was always going to be part of the project and added it was not true that there have been any changes to the milestones or any hold on the proposal.

E.D.C. did not respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.

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6 Responses to City says Seaport tower is NOT on hold

  1. Doris on Fulton

    There are fundamental cracks in the process for developing real estate in this city when you have elected professionals and civic groups providing INACCURATE information to the public. We all want the end product to be as beneficial for the community as possible, but stating a project is over before its even really begun is ludicrous. I say remove the community boards from their obstructionist behavior and let real negotiations proceed.

  2. "A source close to Chin had said on Wednesday that the creation of a task force with the Howard Hughes Corp. would likely have the effect of halting the project.'

    So, does Chin want the task force or not?
    Considering the head of HHC is the former head of the Real Estate Board, which spent hundreds of dollars getting her elected, the smart money is would bet that she will try to scuttle the task force to appease her paymasters.
    (Aside. Why does Chin always have some flack speak for her? Too worried to speak directly to the people, Margaret?)

  3. Who elected the EDC? No one. Who are they speaking for?

  4. Seaport Resistance

    We, the members of the Seaport Resistance League, are determined to take back our Seaport from the nefarious and corrupt Hughes Corporation by any means possible, using time-honored tactics of resistance.

    The Hughes Corporation has embarked upon a plan to defile and destroy a national treasure, the South Street Seaport. They are no different than the Nazis in WWII who occupied conquered countries.

    The Hughes Corporation is a company without a soul, whose only objective is to maximize profits for its shareholders, and they are carpet-baggers from Texas.

    They care nothing about this city or the people who live here. The League will deal with them and their collaborators, the E.D.C.

  5. With Margaret Chin in the mix this sure to be a confusing process that creates a political out for her once the nearby residents get screwed. Has this area ever been worse represented?

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