After nine hours of testimony, the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission sent the Howard Hughes Corporation’s proposal for a tower at 250 Water St. back for further revisions.
“It is still inappropriate,” L.P.C. Commissioner Michael Goldblum said of the Seaport tower plan.
Cheering the result were several groups fighting the Water St. tower, including the Seaport Coalition, Save Our Seaport (SOS) and Children First NYC.
“We thank the commissioners for their thoughtful insights,” said Michael Kramer, a Seaport Coalition member. “Common sense tells us, as we familiarize ourselves with the history of this erstwhile parking lot, that a proposal for a tower in the low-rise South Street Seaport Historic District, disregards all precedence and seeks to establish a new set of rules. It also tells us that whatever is built here should replace this former Milstein property with something that is architecturally significant rather than ‘shoehorned’ into place for all the wrong reasons.”
Assemblymember Yuh-Line Niou, who represents Lower Manhattan, including the Seaport, added, “That language is clear, which makes this revised proposal unacceptable and absurd. Though the total height has been reduced from 470 feet to 345 feet, that is still nearly three times the 120-foot limit [under current zoning]. Equally concerning is that the building’s footprint merely shifts density to the edge of the district. The current proposal is more of a sleight of hand than a serious attempt to incorporate community feedback and local restrictions.”
Howard Hughes Corp. is expected to return with more revisions to is plan.
This is the second time the plan has been found lacking by L.P.C. At a January meeting at which the agency considered the 250 Water St. project, L.P.C. also chose “no action.”