According to a Letter of Intent that Pier 17 developers the Howard Hughes Corporation gave to the Economic Development Council in December of 2011, Howard Hughes' plan for the South Street Seaport entails a "mixed used project" that would include a 95,000-square-foot hotel, 280,000 square feet of market-rate residential apartments, and an additional 82,000 square feet of retail space. The letter, which was uncovered by Downtown Express, had previously been released, but with all mentions of the mixed use project redacted. Although City Council just approved a Uniform Land Use Review Procedure for Pier 17 construction, if Howard Hughes does go through with the hotel and market-rate housing plan they would have to go through the process again, and also take those plans to Community Board 1, the Landmarks Commission (depending on whether or not the project is in the Seaport Historic District), the City Planning Commission, and the Borough of Manhattan President.
Councilwoman Margarget Chin, who knew about the Letter of Intent, issued a statement which reads, in part:
Like the community board, my office has also asked Howard Hughes to make their development plans public. I understand the frustration people feel, but the Letter of Intent (LOI) is not a master plan for the Seaport. The LOI does not contain any specific development proposals, and furthermore, it is not accurate to use the numbers quoted in the LOI to predict what future development could entail. When questioned in the past by Community Board 1, Howard Hughes had maintained that there was no master plan for the Seaport, and made no mention of the hotel or market-rate housing. "Obviously, hearing this, there was a very clear plan," said CB1 Seaport Committee chair John Fratta. "This is the problem that the Seaport Committee and I'm sure, the board, has with Howard Hughes. They're not being forthcoming with us." Aw, it's not like that, CB1. Howard Hughes was just trying to surprise you...for your, uh, birthday. Why does everybody have to ruin Howard Hughes' surprises?
· Seaport developer's secret plan for hotel & apartments revealed [Downtown Express]
· Howard Hughes Corporation coverage [Curbed]