Howard Hughes Seaport building is green-lit

The Howard Hughes Corporation received its final approval for the tower it has planned on the empty lot in the Seaport Historic District at 250 Water — and now has a 99-year ground lease from the city. And at the same time, the Seaport Coalition filed a zoning challenge with the Department of Buildings, claiming that it did not have the authority to issue permits for the site.

The Coalition — made up of residents from the Southbridge Towers, parents from Peck Slip School and Save Our Seaport — claims the DOB did not have the authority to issue the zoning permits it did in November. They also crunch the numbers and argue that the taxpayers in the end are contributing more to the project than it looks from the outside. “Our public entities, focused on development at any cost, have failed to protect the integrity of the low-rise South Street Seaport Historic District.” You can see their summary in the chart below.

But more to the point, the group is still fighting what they say (and they are right) is a development that is totally out of character for the neighborhood, especially for a site that is firmly in the historic district.

The deets, in case you haven’t absorbed them yet:

  • the building is 324-feet tall, 26 stories
  • designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill
  • it will cover the blocks from Peck Slip to Beekman, Pearl to Water
  • it will contain 270 apartments, 70 of which will be affordable rentals, plus office, retail and community space
  • ground breaking will start in 2022 with the brownfield cleanup of the site
  • the cost is $850 million

One key point of the deal is $40 million for the South Street Seaport Museum, with the city throwing in another $10 million so the museum can 1) reopen and 2) construct a new building around the corner on South Street.

HHC has also committed $9.8 million toward resiliency enhancements as well as improvements to Titanic Park, the plaza on Pearl and Fulton that serves as the entrance to the Seaport. HHC is also developing the Tin Building on Pier 17.



  1. Thanks, Pam. Happy and Healthy New Year!

  2. Thank you for this article, however there are some details that should be noted, on top of the political maneuvers that have allowed a Texas corporation to take advantage of New Yorkers!

    You’ve included in your deets that there will be Community space.
    Originally, was 5,000 sq ft, reduced to 4,600 now 1,600 sq ft. With a back door entrance (poor door for the affordable apts)coming thru the middle of this paltry space for the Community.

    Once this construction starts there will be no streets for the children of 2 Elementary schools to play in, and with the rats that will come up from the disturbance of the ground, and the garbage from the site, noone in the neighborhood will be able to walk the streets.

    The shadows that will fall on our neighborhood, year round, from the brick walls of this building that sits edge to edge of the property is closer to 28 stories tall and 365 ft., once mechanicals are added, on property that has 120 ft height limitation.

    We are all for supporting the precious Seaport Museum and we’re for affordable housing, but at the expense that falls on taxpayers.

    With the amount of money the city is giving away to HHC, the city could build 100’s of affordable apts.

    From experience with HHC, what has been promised will slowly be changed and will not resemble what was presented for approvals.

    Neighbors are standing strong to stop this out of character development for our Nations’ Historic Seaport District

    Thank you again for publishing this information.

  3. Please do pay attention. If this is enacted, we will be sacrificing our quality of life to enrich Bill Ackman/ Period.

  4. Please shut this HHC development down.