While Howard Hughes Corporation's grand makeover plans for the South Street Seaport make their way through the public review process, the developer has been not-so-secretly amassing a collection of development rights and additional properties in the neighborhood. The anti-tower group Save Our Seaport believes, according to a press release they sent out last week, that HHC plans to use these rights to building a "mega-tower" measuring 818,000 square feet, but the Real Deal reports that something slightly smaller, but still quite large, is in the works. According to "sources familiar with the transaction," HHC made a deal with Edison Properties to build a "large mixed-use building" measuring up to 518,760 square feet. The site fronts at 163 Front Street, which HHC bought earlier this month, and lies just outside the historic district.
The Real Deal also got its hands on a zoning diagram prepared by SHoP Architects, so it would seem that Seaport denizens should prepare for a SHoP-tastic future considering the firm designed Pier 17, and all of the proposed structures: Schermerhorn Row building, 42-story tower, and revamped Tin Building. The properties proposed for the new development sit along Front Street between John Street and Maiden Lane, about four block south of where the other tower would be located.
HHC purchased 150,000 square feet of development rights from a parking lot owned by Edison at the corner of John and Front street, which would make the new proposed building possible. HHC owns a few other properties on the block, including 85 South Street. Save Our Seaport has a detailed list of all the properties that the developer has purchased or purchased air rights from, and many are on this block, so it's not a stretch to say that Howard Hughes is planning something big for the site. The developer declined to comment.
· Howard Hughes Strikes Deal with Edison That Allows it to Develop Large Seaport Building [TRD]
· Save Our Seaport Announces New Information Documenting Howard Hughes Corporation's Intent To Build A 'Mega Tower' Adjacent To South Street Seaport [SOS]
· All Howard Hughe Corporation coverage [Curbed]
· SHoP's Revised, Shorter South Street Seaport Tower, Revealed! [Curbed]