The City Planning Commission has just approved the transfer of thousands of square feet of air rights from an adjacent lot to 80 South Street, a tipster has revealed to Curbed. The approval has also been confirmed by a City Planning Commission spokesperson. Since the lots were acquired by the U.S. subsidiary of the Chinese investment company China Oceanwide Holdings in August 2015 from the Howard Hughes Corporation, 426,940 square feet of air rights have been transferred to the lot. Early rumors surrounding the site speculated that the developer was planning a supertall tower. While no plans have been filed with the Department of Buildings, it looks like at least something is up.
The transfer could lead to the construction of a building spanning 1,067,350 square feet, of which slightly over 512,300 could be used for residential space according to documents submitted to the City Planning Commission. The documents also reveal that the developer is planning on constructing a building with residential units, as well as hotel, office, and/or retail space.
China Oceanwide Holdings reportedly acquired the property at 80 South Street along with another site at 163 Front Street for $390 million in August last year from the Howard Hughes Corporation. At that time, plans for the site called for the construction of a 820,000 square foot towerpotentially designed by SHoP Architectswith 440,000 square feet of residential space.
Despite its proximity to the South Street Seaport, 80 South Street falls outside of the Seaport Historic District. A few buildings on the block bound by Front, John, South, and Fletcher streets will remain in place, according to the documents: a new 31-story Fairfield Inn on the corner of Front and Fletcher, a three-story building dating back to 1835-63 at 165 Front Street, a six-story loft building at http://streeteasy.com/building/85-south-street-new_york">85 South Street, and the loft building at 170 John Street.
80 South Street was once the proposed site of a residential skyscraper designed by Santiago Calatrava, but the financial crisis in 2008 put an end to those plans.