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Alternative Seaport Proposal Nixes Tower, Highlights History

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Grassroots group Save Our Seaport has serious issues with Howard Hughes Corporation's plan for the redevelopment of the historic neighborhood, and has issued an alternative plan for proceeding with the redevelopment of the area. If Howard Hughes's plans would, in SOS's words, "result in the devastation of New York City's only lasting tribute to its seafaring heritage," the group's alternative vision aims to reclaim the redevelopment as a community-based process with a focus on the preservation of historic structures and sight lines (you can be certain that SOS's plan does not include that incredibly contentious SHoP-designed 42-story waterfront tower).

The proposal for the neighborhood presented by SOS focuses on the preservation of two structures, the New Market and Tin buildings, which Howard Hughes Corp. has proposed to raze and move. Under SOS's plan, both buildings would be repurposed; the New Market Building would become a center for maritime activity with community space, and the Tin Building's upper floors would give way to a middle school, community recreation center, or catering facility with lower floors occupied by a public market.

The group's plan also includes measures to "reinvigorate" the South Street Seaport Museum and create berthings for visiting historic ships. The proposal also includes a call for a moratorium on all Seaport Land Use Actions and a request for the mayor to put into place a "community-based master planning effort" for the neighborhood. Not least, SOS calls on the comptroller to annul Howard Hughes's 2011 Letter of Intent. In an attempt to remain civil, SOS says that Howard Hughes can and should remain a stakeholder (amongst the community) in the planning process moving forward. Whether Save Our Seaport's requests will hold water with the city has yet to be seen, but they'll certainly keep on trying.
· Save Our Seaport Offers An Alternate Vision For The Future Of The Tin And New Market Buildings At New York City's Historic South Street Seaport [SOS]
· All South Street Seaport coverage [Curbed]