Despite deep-seated community opposition, The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) has finally received approval to build a mixed-use tower on an undeveloped site in the Seaport District in lower Manhattan.
The $850 million project will rise 26 floors on a full block parcel between Beekman Street and Pearl Street on the northwest fringe of the district. The base of the building will blend into the historic maritime streetscape that defines the Seaport while the tower will be setback so as to decrease the bulk of the structure.
The parcel has seen different ownership and a myriad of proposals for development. While the lot has been an eyesore, local residents have feverishly fought against any development. As proposals over time have been dramatically reduced in scale, the community still objected. They argued that almost any development with a tower component would be out of sync with the historic neighborhood. A tower would also forever alter the open river views of hundreds of Southbridge Tower residents.
However, the latest revision of 250 Water Street along with some substantial concessions to the community, including a significant affordable housing component, finally pushed the project through the city’s approval process.
The HHC development will rise 324 feet and will total 528,345 square feet. There will be 367,019 square feet of residential space, 160,264 square feet of commercial space, which will include a substantial retail component, and a community facility of 1,062 square feet. The plan calls for 269 rental units which includes 70 units dedicated to affordable housing. The average size of an apartment, based on gross numbers, will be about 1,364 square feet. The permit shows 92 enclosed parking spaces.
In addition to the affordable housing component, HHC will contribute a sizable infusion of cash toward the South Street Seaport Museum. HHC will contribute $40 million toward the museum while the city will kick in another $10 million. The museum has particularly suffered during the pandemic.
The development also involves the transfer of unused air rights from Pier 17 and the Tin Building at 95 Marginal Street to 250 Water Street by HHC.
The world-renowned architectural firm of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill will be orchestrating the development.
The neighborhood is serviced by 2 and 3 trains at the Fulton Street and Wall Street Stations and the J and Z trains, also at the Fulton Street stop.