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Controversial Seaport Tower Could Be Shorter Than 40 Stories

Howard Hughes Corporation haters have found a lot to dislike about the developer's ongoing/in-the-works plans to redevelop the South Street Seaport, but chief among their complaints is the hotel and condo tower HHC wants to build beside Pier 17. Because of backlash over the height—the first version was to rise 52 stories—the developer has already asked SHoP Architects to redesign it once, but another new iteration may be coming. In a recent letter to Mayor Bill de Blasio (sent after an anti-Seaport development group wrote him a letter), HHC CEO David Weinreb said that they are "working on a significantly revised plan to address the height issue." SHoP already lopped off 156 feet, bringing the tower down to 42 stories, but opponents say that it is still way too tall and it's not appropriate for next to the historic district.

Representatives for HHC would not elaborate on what could change with the plans, but here's what Weinreb says in his letter, first reported by DNAinfo:

While we challenged our architect, SHoP, to design an architecturally significant building appropriate for its location, the one Seaport Working Group guideline that our proposal did not completely satisfy was the request for a shorter building on the "New Market" site. Following thoughtful planning and discussions with local officials and members of the community, we are now working on a significantly revised plan to address the height issue as well while retaining the vibrancy required for the district to be successful. As we work through the height concerns, we are also striving to retain as much of the necessary infrastructure improvements and requested community benefits as possible, including the following:
· Provide a long-term solution for the Seaport Museum.
· Reconstruct the deteriorating waterfront infrastructure.
· Restore the Tin Building and develop a best in class food market.
· Complete the East River Esplanade from Pier 16 to the Brooklyn Bridge.
· Improve waterfront access for the entire Seaport District while at the same time
ensuring its resiliency against future "Sandy" events.
· Provide additional community amenities, including new improved open space,
community facilities, and possibly a school.
· Affordable Housing.
· Creative office space.

Parts of the redevelopment that will affect the historic district already bene going through ULURP, but there hasn't been much action in a few months, save for more people speaking out against the plans. It seems like HHC hit the breaks on everything, as Weinreb's letter says they will present a "revised proposal" in the coming weeks.
· All Howard Hughes Corporation coverage [Curbed]
· Seaport Developer Pledges to Address the 'Height Issue' of Luxury Tower [DNAinfo]