Before Hurricane Sandy, the South Street Seaport was in the midst of a major revitalization, the crown jewel of which is the planned redevelopment of Pier 17 by Howard Hughes. Post-Sandy, the streets have been quiet. Damaged apartment buildings are empty and making repairs, chain stores like Gap and Guess on Fulton Street remain boarded up, and Pier 17 is blocked off by metal gates. "I think this is an even bigger setback than we know," the president of Douglas Elliman's retail group told the Journal. "For the first time, I think the South Street Seaport may really sink."
Damage to the piles of Pier 17 is currently being assessed, but a spokesman for Howard Hughes said the redevelopment will go on as planned. However, this will close the mall for two years, and people worry that tourists will stop coming to the neighborhood, as other attractions, like the Seaport Museum, took huge hits from the storm. Local officials and small business owners think that the larger stores would continue to attract visitors, but many of these places are still closed, despite their "deep pockets." Real estate experts worry that retailers will now be reluctant to move to the area. "People have a short time span to remember. When they remember the seaport, they'll remember all those stores being closed."
· Seaport in Danger of 'Sinking' [WSJ]
· Surveying Sandy's Damage to the South Street Seaport [Curbed]
· Pier 17 coverage [Curbed]
Photo of Fulton Street the day after Sandy, by Lockhart Steele