Howard Hughes Corporation is planning to seek more community feedback for its controversial 50-story residential/hotel tower near Pier 17. The Wall Street Journal reports that the developer will announce today the creation of a task forceformally called the "Seaport Working Group"that will advise the building process. It could prolong the development's coming-to-be by "weeks or months," but Howard Hughes is willing to wait... which is sort of shocking. Though the group's recommendations won't be binding, and Howard Hughes can proceed with some manner of as-of-right plan if it so chooses, the developer has said it will try to appease community members. (Who, it should be said, are very unhappy about the SHoP-designed proposal as it stands.) Issues on the table include the aiding the ailing Seaport museum, repairing piers, and adding affordable housing. Hughes and co. aim to submit their plans to the city, kickstarting the ULURP approval wheels, in late summer.
This move, to involve community members in the decision-making process when they don't even have to, could set a precedent for debated projects in other communities, though, and comes as part of a push from above, at the mayoral administration and City Council level, for more involvement from neighbors in these kinds of decisions. So, NIMBYs, meet developers. And vice versa. You just may be working together a lot more closely now.
· New Hurdle for City Projects [WSJ]
· City Says Howard Hughes' Seaport Tower Is Moving Forward [Curbed]
· All South Street Seaport coverage [Curbed]