In the News: Lawsuit against 250 Water fails

Crain’s reports that the lawsuit filed by local groups Save Our Seaport, the South Street Seaport Coalition and Children First against the Landmarks Commission’s approval of the Howard Hughes Corp.’s development for 250 Water in the historic district was dismissed by the judge. Seaport neighbors had argued that “the board’s approval of the tower was illegal and unfairly influenced by city officials. The groups also claimed the decision went against precedent and did not establish the appropriateness of the developer’s plan for the neighborhood. The local groups said they will continue to pursue the case.

This one makes the 250 Water plans look low-rise. The Real Deal reports that plans have been filed for 261 South Street by
Two Bridges Associates, a joint venture of CIM Group and L+M Development Partners, to build a 73-story residential complex with 1300 units across two towers. Community groups sued them as well in 2019 on the grounds that the proposed towers circumvented the city’s land use review process. The New York Court of Appeals declined to hear the cases.

Wallpaper reviews the comprehensive Panton show at R & Company gallery: “Danish designer Verner Panton might be synonymous with a handful of iconic designs, but a comprehensive exhibition in New York City is reiterating just how wide-reaching his design legacy is.”

The Times takes a look at the fate of Soho and its retail, post-pandemic:

  • “No other Manhattan neighborhood saw its offices empty out faster after the pandemic began. The roughly 25 percent of office space that is available for lease, according to the real estate company Savills, is nearly triple the vacancy rate before the pandemic.
  • The current asking price for SoHo storefronts is $274 a square foot, down from $350 right before the pandemic, according to the real estate services firm Cushman and Wakefield.
  • Nearly 27 percent of the neighborhood’s retail space was available at the end of July, according to the most recent data available; the figure was 23 percent at beginning of last year, the firm said. Brands like Victoria’s Secret, Frye and Missoni have closed their stores.”


  1. While, of course, the Seaport Coalition would have preferred to have prevailed on defeating the motion, it is critical to remember that the motion to dismiss had nothing to do with the merits of the case, only when the Court would intervene. It found the case was not “ripe” i.e. much could transpire that would obviate the need for judicial intervention, and we are free to refile our claims at a later point.

    “The advantage to us for having “lost” the motion is that we will now have the opportunity to take advantage of the additional time to further craft, enhance, supplement and polish our pleadings that we will file,” said Seaport Coalition Attorney Saul Shapiro.

    • Great point, Michael. The Howard Hughes Corp. has a long road ahead, and I can’t imagine it will be a successful one. Elected officials have rescinded their support and the community is ready to continue opposing this development.