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The cornerstone of our plan

250 Water Street

The engine of our proposal is 250 Water Street, designed by the world-renowned architecture and urban design firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM). By transforming an underutilized full-block surface parking lot into a new, mixed-income development, we’ll deliver enormous value to the Seaport and the city.

In a neighborhood where only 2.5% of housing qualifies as affordable and former accessibly priced co-ops are now well out of reach for working families, 250 Water Street will include some of the area’s first new affordable housing in decades. With over 70 units of MIH affordable housing, the project will extend security and opportunity to the New Yorkers who need it most.

Through job creation and economic stimulus, our plan will help propel the economic recovery from the ongoing pandemic. At a time when the city needs it most, our proposal will generate more than $1.0 billion in economic impact, creating over 1,000 construction jobs and nearly 2,200 permanent jobs across the commercial, retail, and nonprofit sectors. Our comprehensive plan also extends a lifeline to the South Street Seaport Museum, providing significant funding to stabilize and reinvigorate the beloved institution.

The new 250 Water Street

Throughout the planning and design process, we’ve welcomed community input. The Howard Hughes Corporation and SOM teams explored multiple approaches to the new development, soliciting feedback at neighborhood pop-ups and presenting options during community engagement workshops.

In planning 250 Water Street, HHC and SOM explored multiple configurations for the site, presenting several options as part of three community wide engagement workshops. Earlier concepts included a potential single tower standing nearly 1,000 feet. Shaped by feedback from community members, Community Board 1, elected officials, and more recently New York City Landmarks commissioners, the highest point of the proposed building is now 345 feet.

Its sensitively scaled base references the heights and materials of adjacent buildings, with lower massing where the building faces structures in the historic district, and higher as it moves close to the towers of the Financial District.

The new development will also enhance the Seaport by providing community space and improvements to streetscape making it more friendly to pedestrians and Seaport families.

Benefits we need: affordable housing, jobs, and a vibrant Seaport Museum

  • 3,000+

    Jobs for New Yorkers

    At a time of record unemployment, the plan will create 1,000 construction jobs, as well as nearly 2,200 permanent jobs.

  • Funding for the South Street Seaport Museum

    We’ll provide essential funding for the renovation and reopening of the museum.

  • 70+

    Units of new affordable housing

    The plan brings the first MIH affordable housing to the Community Board 1 district.

What’s next: NYC public land use approvals

To proceed with the overall project, a framework for transferring unused development rights from the Pier 17 and Tin Building sites to 250 Water Street must be approved. Transferring these development rights to the upland 250 Water Street site will help preserve the low-rise character of the waterfront and the existing built fabric of the community.

The proposed transfer builds upon the existing mechanism for transfer of development rights within the Seaport Subdistrict, which has been in existence since 1972. Through the development rights sale, upon which the 250 Water Street proposal is contingent, a significant contribution will be made available to ensure the re-opening and long-term fiscal stability of the South Street Seaport Museum.

The proposal is subject to a comprehensive public review that provides numerous opportunities for community engagement and public comment, including evaluation by the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) and the City’s full public review process, known as the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP).

HHC presented its proposal to the LPC in January 2021, and will be presenting a revised proposal this spring, with commencement of the ULURP process to follow. Under this timeline, construction – and the economic activity it will generate – would begin in early 2022.

As owner of the 250 Water Street site, HHC is engaged in planning for the full environmental remediation of the site, working closely with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Department of Health as part of the rigorous Brownfield Cleanup Program, communicating routinely with local stakeholders, and funding an independent community monitor to ensure the process is transparent and safe.

See more about our vision for a brighter future for the Seaport