Howard Hughes back on the drawing board in the Seaport project


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It’s back to the drawing board – or maybe a trash can – for the proposed towers at 250 Water Street.

Over the years, Howard Hughes Corporation has faced widespread repression of communities for its construction plans two towers for mixed use on the side. And this week the Commission for the Protection of Monuments – rejects requests from a lot of influential New Yorkers at the meeting on January 5 – said that the project was simply too high.

According to Tribeca Tribus, the commission told a Texas developer at a meeting Tuesday that the towers would “attack the neighborhood’s space.”

The panel did not take any official action, but made it clear that it would not approve the project. The obstacle means that Howard Hughes will have to revisit the site’s plans with architects Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

“We appreciate LPC’s thoughtful feedback and look forward to returning to the commission soon,” a spokesman for the newspaper’s developer said in a statement.

Some speculated that the redevelopment of the giant car park would not be economically viable if it were limited to the typical five-storey scale of the historic district. The small-scale project would certainly not generate enough profit to donate $ 50 million to the South Street Seaport Museum, as promised by Howard Hughes’ 40-story tower.

Howard Hughes bought the site for $ 180 million in 2018 from the Milstein family. His current plan, scaled down from an earlier design, includes two 470-foot-high towers with 260 housing units and 100 affordable rental units.

At that height, the towers would be well above the existing 120-foot zone height limit in the area, according to a local newspaper. In addition to approval by Landmarks, the developer needs land use planning from the city council; it has support lined up from a local member, Margaret Chin.

Critics of the proposal argue that the monuments can only take into account its architecture and scope, not the $ 50 million that the project, according to Howard Hughes, made it possible to contribute to the Seaport Museum.

Commission Chair Sarah Carroll agreed at a meeting Tuesday that the benefits for the museum “are commendable, not factors we can consider or rely on to determine whether the proposed proposals for 250 Water Street” are appropriate.

The commissioners were unshaken by the argument that the place has been undeveloped for decades, has no historical significance and is on the edge of a historic district with much taller buildings just behind it.

[Tribeca Trib] – Sylvia Varnham O’Regan


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