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Say Hello to the New South Street Seaport, Approval Pending

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[Rendering: ShoP Architects]

South Street Seaport owner/developer General Growth Properties has been teasing a new design for the tourist-laden mall for a while now, and the moment of the big reveal has finally arrived. The ultra-ambitious plan would replace the three-level shopping center on Pier 17, move the 19th century Tin Building from the foot to the end of the pier, and raze another more recent building once occupied by the Fulton Fish Market. A SHoP Architects-designed 42-story apartment and hotel tower wrapped in terra-cotta would rise from new pilings in the East River. The new retail would be a cluster of two-story buildings, which would connect to a four- and six-story hotel in a crisscross of walkways and esplanade. It would?to say the least?be an improvement.

With the departure of the Fulton Fish Market and the residential makeover of the surrounding neighborhood, General Growth knew it was time to make a change at the Seaport. A General Growth exec even told the Times, "It is going to change dramatically from a place where people in tourist buses buy Yankee T-shirts and bonsai trees." (And stare at preserved cadavers.) But can a Chicago-based mall developer navigate the tricky waters of gaining approval for a massive view-obscuring tower built on the shores of Manhattan? There are many "regulatory hurdles," as the Times notes, but you can bet that Mayor Bloomberg is hungry for this to get done in the wake of other megaproject delays and failures. One thing we're curious about is the design of the tower, which we only get a peek of in the rendering above. No worries, our friends at SHoP (who have some experience on the piers) are sending us more images today. To be continued!
· New Look Planned for Pier at South Street Seaport [NYT]
· Dead Bodies to Make Way for Real Ones? Not So Fast! [Curbed]
· Fulton Fish Market Reborn as Locavore Paradise? [Curbed]