The Howard Hughes Corporation has made no new friends in the South Street Seaport with its plans for a 50-story tower beside Pier 17, so it seems that the developer is turning its attention to other locations. The Post reports that Howard Hughes is in contract to buy 80 South Street, where City Planning has already approved plans for a 1,081-foot-tall ecotastic tower designed by Morali Architects. Development of the site has been talked about for a decade; originally, Frank Sciame was going to build a boxy Santiago Calatrava tower of townhouses, but the project died in 2008.
Given that 80 South Street is less than three blocks from where Howard Hughes wanted to build the SHoP-designed towerwhich would be built outside of the historic district, but require razing the New Market Building&3151;one might assume that neighbors would also oppose this project. But the community's biggest gripe is that the 50-story tower will completely out of context; the blocks immediately surrounding the site are filled with low-rise buildings. 80 South Street, on the other hand, would rise very near to many other towers, including the 40-story 180 Maiden Lane, as shown in the Google Streetview photo above.
It's unclear what will happen with Howard Hughes' plans for the SHoP-designed if the tower at 80 South Street, which would be mixed-use, moves forward. Neighbors were vehemently against Howard Hughes demolishing the New Market Building, where the historic Fulton Fish market used to operate, but the plan also included community benefits like shoring up the piers and restoring the Tin Building. The Tin Building would also be moved out of the flood level, and a public marina would have been created.
UPDATE: Howard Hughes sent out a statement confirming that they are looking to buy 80 South Street, but noting that nothing is 100 percent just yet. The developer also re-affirmed its commitment to a mixed-use project beside Pier 17, which will include a residential/hotel building (possibly the 50-story tower), a marina, and the improvements to the Tin Building mentioned above.
· South Street Seaport owner changes tack [NYP]
· 80 South Street coverage [Curbed]