Seen & Heard: Opening Date Confirmed for the World Trade Center Oculus

••• A Port Authority press release explains what we can expect when the World Trade Center Transportation Hub opens in the first week of March: “The Oculus […] will enable travelers to have a seamless connection with 11 New York City subway lines and the East River ferries in addition to access to PATH trains. When the Oculus opens, PATH commuters will take new underground passageways to One World Trade Center, 4 World Trade Center, the corner of Liberty and Church streets a few blocks from Wall Street and to Vesey Street on the northern edge of the site.” Two questions! How is the “seamless” connection to the East River Ferries happening, exactly? And can they really not commit to an exact date?

••• There are signs all along Warren for a “Limitless” (TV show) shoot on Thursday and Friday.

••• Silverstein Properties came through with more info on the 7 World Trade Center plaza landscaping changes: “The work completed this past weekend included the removal of dying trees, roots from trees that were cut down previously, as well as irrigation and electrical/lighting systems. All of this was completed in preparation for the total replacement that will take place in the spring. We will be planting 36 Aristocrat Pear trees, 200+ bushes (various azaleas), and approximately 600 flowering plants. The new trees have purchased and tagged (in New Jersey) and will be shipped sometime in April. The bushes, flowers, etc., as well as the lighting and irrigation system (all purchased) will also be replaced as part of the project.”

••• South Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monster is opening a shop at 79 Grand (between Wooster and Greene).

••• From Friends of the South Street Seaport:

In a letter to Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, the Friends of the South Street Seaport called on City Hall to disregard “confidential” draft environmental impact documents submitted to the City Planning Commission by the developer Howard Hughes Corporation obtained by FOSSS under a FOIL request and conduct a transparent public environmental review. […] The documents were filed with the CPC in August of 2015 as confidential assessments of a “Mixed Use Project” that has not been publicly disseminated. The clandestine HHC Plan includes demolition of the historic New Market Building to make way for a hotel complex on the East River Shore in the protected view corridors of the Seaport Historic District. No public notice was provided before the documents were submitted, and it remains unclear whether members of the Seaport Working Group, other interested community groups, or elected officials were apprised of the hotel tower plan.

UPDATE 1/21: A Howard Hughes Corporation spokesperson sent over this response:

The planning document that CB1 discussed Tuesday night was a preliminary document that HHC submitted to EDC in August 2015.  It contained a conceptual-level plan for the New Market site that is not going forward at this time. Because there is no New Market site proposal going forward at this time, government agency applications have not been filed and environmental review has not commenced. Over the last two years, HHC has been engaged in ongoing dialogue with NYCEDC, the City, elected officials, and community stakeholders for a plan at the New Market site. Once a proposal for the New Market site is finalized, HHC will submit an application to the appropriate agencies and the proposal will undergo all required public review as well as community engagement.



  1. As a member of the Seaport Working Group, I continue to be appalled–but not surprised– by the shenanigans of the NYCEDC and the Howard Hughes Corporation. Lack of transparency and accountability have characterized their strategy from the beginning. It seems evident that they have no respect for the historic heritage of this precious remnant of 18th Century New York. The South Street Seaport Museum should have the lead role in programming the development of the historic Seaport area. In the long run, the unique attractions of the Street of Ships, the marvelous old buildings, and the remarkable exhibitions of the collections will draw the populace that is needed to make commerce thrive.

    Congratulations to the Friends of the South Street Seaport for m aking this vital information known to the public.

    • Dr Ms. Brown,
      You should be ashamed of yourself. You are a fear mongerer and follow an uninformed path. A group spending over $1B to restore any area of this City should be approached with a collaborative spirit. Instead you and your cronies perpetuate a mythical conspiracy theory and hope that a ‘gotcha moment’ will somehow bring about greater results. I sat through the last CB1 meeting in which SHoP gave a detailed presentation about a restored Tin Building, what a great slide show it was to fully understand how much work that building needs and to see smart planners and developers coming together to share that vision with the community. Instead you insulted the very premise of that meetings’ purpose by slinging mud. Way to go. Did it make you feel better about yourself? I live in this neighborhood because I have a child at Peck Slip School. I personally cannot wait for the new and improved local components put forth by the developer and SHoP. These are architectural designs that make our City great, and last time I chceked no precious historic buildings are being touched at Seaport except to include more useful shops or the locals. If you want to live in the 18th Century please pack up and take your cronies with you…

      • Glen,

        There is only one obvious thing to note: Dianne and Friends of the South Street Seaport will oppose any plan that HHC presents, “no matter what”. It is humorous to suggest that the museum should lead all redevelopment efforts in the area. Actually, it would be feasible if we lived in the 18th century. But then again, there is something called an acceptable IRR that must obtainable on private capital.


    • i don’t think diane is fear mongering at all. the track record of the howard hughes corp in the seaport area is appalling. if they had their way in the past, the tin building would be gone and there would be a high rise in the middle of the pier.

  2. I appreciate Diane’s comments too. If you have a look at other Howard Hughes Corp projects they generally show a Disney-esque approach – they don’t distinguish between what’s artificial and what’s authentic. Mall – ification. Nothing good will come of it.

  3. Come on HHC – surely with your lawyers at your side, you can do better than this ridiculous response to the secret documents revealed at Jan 19 CB1 mtg: It was just ” a conceptual-level plan for the New Market site that is not going forward at this time”. Re: “conceptual” plan – nice that all the researchers, writers, lobbyists, (should we add lawyers) spent all that time and effort on documents that add up to over 400 pages that mean nothing, and you still have “NO PLAN”. Better tell the lobbyists and lawyers to go to ‘time out’. What were you thinking , spending all that $ on a throw away concept that is not going forward – OH, I forgot, not at this time.