Published On: Tue, Nov 25th, 2014

Howard Hughes CEO David Weinreb Defends South Street Seaport Project

South Street Seaport Project

The Howard Hughes Corporation is trying to save its planned development for Manhattan’s South Street Seaport by making alterations to it in response to complaints over the project from community leaders.

The company’s CEO David Weinreb explained the Hughes Corporation’s new plans to the New York Daily News.

“I think we’re there. We’ve put everything on the table we have, ” said Weinreb in reference to all of the changes that were made to the project in order to please local politicians.

Hughes has agreed to reduce the height of its proposed new residential tower from 52 to 42 stories. The tower would actually sit on the Hudson River next to the pier where the Seaport is located and just north of the Brooklyn Bridge.

Weinreb also pointed to his firm’s offer to pump $300 million into improving local infrastructure as part of the project which relies on the new tower to be viable. “There’s really no other way to make this happen, ” Weinreb told the News. “There needs to be an economic driver to make all these improvements. We can build a lower building but we’d have to start taking away benefits.”

But New York City Councilwoman still isn’t happy with the plans and wants the tower to be moved somewhere else. As she said in a statement, “I can’t support the proposed tower in its current form, and I can’t support the development proposal overall in its current form. There’s still a lot of work to be done to make sure this plan truly serves the Seaport community, and we must strongly consider alternatives to the proposed tower.”

Designed by SHoP Architects, Hughes says that the development plan will integrate the site into a reimagined East River waterfront, drawing New Yorkers and visitors to an enlivened Seaport district.
The pier’s building design pays homage to the maritime and world market heritage of the City’s working waterfront, provides expansive views of the Brooklyn Bridge, and improves pedestrian access by connecting the street grid to the pier.

The company boasts that, “Pier 17 and the South Street Seaport will create an unparalleled New York experience and the most vibrant retail and lifestyle destination in Manhattan.”

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