Howard Hughes Corporation Now Admits It Has Plans For Schermerhorn Row But Won’t Say What They Are

From DowntownPostNYC:

HOWARD HUGHES CORPORATION NOW ADMITS IT HAS PLANS FOR
SCHERMERHORN ROW BUT WON’T SAY WHAT THEY ARE

Landmarked Schermerhorn Row in the South Street Seaport.
(Photo: Terese Loeb Kreuzer)

The Howard Hughes Corporation – the Dallas-based developer with long-term leases on parts of the South Street Seaport – is now angling to increase its leasehold and for the first time, is mentioning that landmarked Schermerhorn Row is among its desired plans.

Schermerhorn Row is a collection of buildings on the south side of Fulton Street in the South Street Seaport. The buildings, more than 200 years old, once housed the galleries of the South Street Seaport Museum, but the museum has not been able to reopen those galleries because electrical damage from Superstorm Sandy has never been repaired.

At Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee meeting on Sept. 17, Diana Switaj, CB 1’s director of land use and planning, said that the next step in the Howard Hughes land use application to the Landmarks Preservation Commission would pertain to the Tin Building, the pavilions under the FDR Drive and “potentially some areas of Schermerhorn Row.”

She said that Community Board 1 does not yet know what the details are.

Howard Hughes has to complete the Landmarks Preservation Commission portion of their applications before they initiate a ULURP (Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, required when public property is transferred or altered) and so on Sept. 29, said Switaj, “the Howard Hughes Corporation will be presenting the contents of their Landmarks Preservation Commission application to the Seaport Working Group and then on Oct. 22, CB1 is having a special Landmarks Committee meeting for HHC to present their application to the Landmarks Committee with the Seaport and the Planning Committees invited for a recommendation from the Landmarks Committee. Then, after that, HHC has their Landmarks Preservation Commission hearing on Nov. 18.”

Howard Hughes had originally said they thought they would be ready to go to ULURP in the fall of 2014. They now anticipate that they will be ready to go to ULURP in the spring of 2015.

Michael Levine, former director of land use and planning for CB1 and now a consultant to CB1, said, “We do not yet know what’s in the application. We’ve asked them on several occasions but they haven’t told us.”

Levine said that he, Switaj and CB1 chairperson Catherine McVay Hughes, had had a conversation with Howard Hughes representatives about the reason for the delays in bringing information to CB1. According to Levine, the HHC representative said that Howard Hughes was waiting for the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) to give them the “go ahead,” which had not yet happened. “It is their property,” said Levine, “and one of the essential components [of any plan] is a lease for the property.”

“The final plan – we don’t know if it’s been approved by EDC yet,” he said.

According to Levine, the HHC application would be for the Tin Building, for the demolition of the Link Building, which is adjacent to Pier 17 “because they’re moving the public market into an expanded Tin Building – and for potential pavilions under the FDR Drive and something happening in Schermerhorn Row in some way – we don’t know exactly what the plan will be – all of which is in the landmarked district. These are not ULURP actions. They are only Landmarks approvals,” said Levine.

“What part of Schermerhorn Row are you looking at?” asked Michael Kramer, a public member of CB1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee and a member of Save Our Seaport, a group of Seaport residents and businesses who are trying to save the historic seaport and its maritime heritage.

Both Chris Curry, executive vice president for Howard Hughes in charge of the Seaport and Adam Meister, a Howard Hughes vice president, were in the room when Kramer asked that question. Neither Curry nor Meister answered it.

- Terese Loeb Kreuzer

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SOS Town Meeting Monday September 15th (updated with more speakers)

Save Our Seaport invites the public to its seventh Town Meeting

sosMonday, September 15, 2014
7:00PM

Southbridge Towers Community Room
90 Beekman Street (Map)

Guest Speakers will include:

Jim Caras, General Counsel and Land Use Director for Borough President Gale Brewer

Mary Cooley, District Office Director for State Senator Daniel Squadron

Paul Goldstein, District Office Director for State Assemblyman Sheldon Silver

Brendan Sexton, former board member, South Street Seaport Museum

After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period with open discussion, followed by a walk through the South Street Historic District.

Save Our Seaport is hosting a series of Town Meetings to talk and walk about New York’s South Street Seaport Historic District.

Developing and preserving the NY South Street Seaport Historic District is a two-fold challenge. It requires a responsible development plan which guarantees the economic viability of the District while also maintaining, preserving and celebrating the historic importance of this integral part of our city’s history.

SOS invites the public —New Yorkers and visitors to our city alike—to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum, maintains ties to an active waterfront, and locates a world class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

SOS-Town-Meeting-Flyer-Seven

 

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SOS Response to NY Times Op-Ed: The Source of New York’s Greatness

The Source of New York’s Greatness
By RUSSELL SHORTO
SEPT. 7, 2014
www.nytimes.com/2014/09/08/opinion/the-source-of-new-yorks-greatness.html

The author speaks eloquently of free trade as the crux of cultures convening in Manhattan. This provided an atmosphere conducive to tolerance, understanding, and prosperity. We can keep this spirit alive by preserving the historic cradle of free trade in New York—the landmark South Street Seaport. It appears that city government and the developer Howard Hughes Corporation would like to deface history by converting the irreplaceable antique streets and buildings into a generic flashy shopping center and entertainment venue.

The best way to honor New York’s historic anniversary is to rescue the South Street Seaport Museum (with its majestic tall ships and unique architecture), and create a world-class PUBLIC market. We need to stop the sell-off of public assets that will destroy these precious remnants of Old New York.

We implore our civic leaders to take action before it is too late!

Save Our Seaport (a citizen’s group)
saveourseaport.org

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Our Next SOS Town Meeting: Wednesday August 27

Save Our Seaport invites the public to its sixth Town Meeting

sosWednesday, August 27, 2014 6:30-7:30PM

St. Margaret’s House Conference Room

49 Fulton Street

Guest Speakers include:

Roland Lewis, Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance

Victor Papa, Two Bridges Neighborhood Council

After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period with open discussion, followed by a walk through the South Street Historic District.

Save Our Seaport is hosting a series of Town Meetings to talk and walk about New York’s South Street Seaport Historic District.

Developing and preserving the NY South Street Seaport Historic District is a two-fold challenge. It requires a responsible development plan which guarantees the economic viability of the District while also maintaining, preserving and celebrating the historic importance of this integral part of our city’s history.

SOS invites the public —New Yorkers and visitors to our city alike—to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum, maintains ties to an active waterfront, and locates a world class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

SOS-Town-Meeting-Flyer-six

The following SOS Town Meeting will be on Monday, September 15.

 

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Reminder: Save Our Seaport Meeting Tonight / Social Media SOS

Reminder: Our next Save Our Seaport Meeting is TONIGHT August 20th, 6:30pm at the St. Margaret’s Conference Rooms. St. Margaret’s is located at 49 Fulton St. (Map)

Please join us!

Click to download the flyer to distribute to your friends and neighbors.

* * * * *

Social Media SOS

We are launching a worldwide social media campaign to alert city officials that we need to Save Our Seaport from irresponsible development that would marginalize the importance of our Historic Seaport District and erect a 50-story hi-rise as its new centerpiece. This development would dominate the view of the South Street Seaport, the iconic Brooklyn Bridge, and our Tall Ships, leaving only the few who can afford luxury hi-rise living as its beneficiaries.

YOU can help!  Let’s see how many languages we can gather to Facebook to say to our mayor: SAVE OUR SEAPORT!

Please post to our Facebook page, and include your photos, your impressions of seeing the Historic Seaport, its view of the Brooklyn Bridge, the Tall Ships. Post to our Facebook page and send this to all your friends and family around the world. Even if people have never visited New York, they all know the Brooklyn Bridge and your and their expression of support counts!

facebook.com/SaveOurSeaport

* * * * *

NY Daily News

Last weekend, the NY Daily News published an excellent Op-Ed by Jeremiah Moss from the blog Vanishing New York, calling upon Mayor de Blasio to help halt the squeezing out of small businesses in our city.

It’s been on our Facebook page, but we need more comments – not on Facebook, but on the Daily News site. Please read the article HERE, and post your comments!

(Note that you can’t see or post comments on the Daily News mobile site, you’ll need to visit on a computer.)

See you at tonight’s meeting!

SOS-Meeting-flyer-August-20

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Save Our Seaport Meeting Wednesday August 20

Our next Save Our Seaport Meeting is this Wednesday, August 20th, 6:30pm at the St. Margaret’s Conference Rooms. St. Margaret’s is located at 49 Fulton St. (Map)

Please join us!

Click to download this flyer to distribute to your friends and neighbors.

SOS-Meeting-flyer-August-20

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Save Our Seaport’s Fifth Town Meeting This Wednesday

Save Our Seaport invites the public to its fifth Town Meeting

Wednesday, August 13, 2014 6:30-7:30PM
Southbridge Towers Community Room

Guest Speakers include:

Maureen Koetz, Environmental Law Attorney

Joanne Gorman, Southbridge Towers resident, SOS Activist

Bridget Schuy, Realty Specialist Lower Manhattan

After the speakers there will be a brief question and answer period with open discussion, followed by a walk through the South Street Historic District.

* * * * *

Save Our Seaport is hosting a series of Town Meetings to talk and walk about New York’s South Street Seaport Historic District.

Developing and preserving the NY South Street Seaport Historic District is a two-fold challenge. It requires a responsible development plan which guarantees the economic viability of the District while also maintaining, preserving and celebrating the historic importance of this integral part of our city’s history.

SOS invites the public —New Yorkers and visitors to our city alike—to examine development that preserves the view of the iconic Brooklyn Bridge and the Tall Ships; re-establishes the vibrancy and color of the Seaport District; fully engages the educational work of the South Street Seaport Museum, maintains ties to an active waterfront, and locates a world class food mecca in the New Amsterdam Market.

* * * * *

The following SOS Town Meeting will be on Wednesday, August 27, in Titanic Memorial Park, Fulton & Water Streets

* * * * *

SOS-Town-Meeting-Flyer-five

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