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Seaport developers want to push Tin Building conversion forward

Locals and activist groups are not happy with the attempt to tack it onto an existing ULURP

Plans to redevelop the Seaport's landmarked Tin Building may be moving forward, though in a slightly sneaky sort of way. DNAinfo reports that developer Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) has asked the City Planning Commission to add the building's redevelopment plans—which include lifting and moving it, and revamping the century-old building—to the existing land use approval for nearby Pier 17, calling it a "minor modification" to the existing ULURP that was approved several years ago. The Tin Building will eventually become a fancy seafood-themed food hall helmed by celebrity chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten.

As expected, those in opposition to the project, namely community activist group Friends of South Street Seaport, are not at all pleased with attempts to tack on the Tin Building renovation to an existing approval. They claim that the HHC is attempting to rebuild the entire Seaport piece by piece as a way to circumvent a more comprehensive review process from the city.

"To date, HHC and EDC [Economic Development Corporation] have used several strategies to gain approvals for Seaport waterfront development that raise serious concerns regarding the validity of the oversight process," they wrote in a letter to city officials.

City Planning will vote on the "minor modification" to Pier 17’s ULURP "at a later date," a spokesman told DNAinfo. In March, the Landmarks Preservation Commission unanimously approved the new design for the Tin Building. It will be led by SHoP Architects and include plans to relocate the building slightly away from the FDR Drive to make it more visible and flood resilient.