Howard Hughes Corporation Announces Plans for Two-Tower Development at 250 Water Street in South Street Seaport

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & MerrillRendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

New renderings and details of 250 Water Street were revealed yesterday, depicting a mixed-use development significantly smaller in size and scope than the supertall previously speculated. Developed by the Howard Hughes Corporation and designed by Skidmore Owings & Merrill, the two-tower high rise is a bit underwhelming in contrast to the 1,000-foot-tall design that would have become the tallest structure in Lower Manhattan outside of the World Trade Center complex.

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

At its highest point, 250 Water Street is expected to reach 470 feet. It appears the five-story podium will still rise approximately 78 feet high, fitting in contextually with with the heights and materials of adjacent buildings. Setbacks along the base further allow sunlight to make its way to the street level.

“As New York City works to recover from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, we are redoubling our commitment to the city and the Seaport,” said Saul Scherl, president of the New York Tri-State Region, The Howard Hughes Corporation. “We aim to be part of the solution by investing in this unique, historic neighborhood and its economy, providing a crucial lifeline to the Seaport Museum, and building affordable housing in an area where housing prices are out of reach for most New Yorkers. Over the last five years, we’ve received input from a wide range of neighbors about the Seaport’s future that has helped shape our proposal, which honors the area’s history and culture. We’re eager to continue the constructive dialogue with the community and our local elected officials as we move toward public review.”

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

Rendering of 250 Water Street by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill

The full-block site on the boundary of the South Street Seaport Historic District in the Financial District will bring new affordable housing units to the area. 250 Water Street will be the first affordable housing built in Manhattan Community Board 1 through the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing program, adding at minimum 100 permanently affordable apartments for residents earning 40 percent of Area Median Income. Of the project’s roughly 360 overall units, approximately 25 percent will be affordable, along with approximately 260 condominium units. Plans for 250 Water Street also include renovations or additions to the Peck Slip Play Street, a stretch of Peck Slip used by the neighboring school and the community as public space.

In order for construction to begin, several approvals are required. The Landmarks Preservation Commission (LPC) must approve the designs for 250 Water Street, as well as the new South Street Museum building and the improvements to the museum’s historic structures. Additionally, development rights from Pier 17 and the Tin Building to 250 Water Street must also be approved. Public review for 250 Water Street as part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) is also required. In December, the 250 Water Street proposal will be formally presented to the LPC, and in the spring of 2021 the ULURP process is expected to begin. With all approvals, construction would begin in 2022.

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19 Comments on "Howard Hughes Corporation Announces Plans for Two-Tower Development at 250 Water Street in South Street Seaport"

  1. NO! What a disappointment!! I want the supertall.

  2. “Underwhelming” is an understatement. It’s so short I couldn’t pick it out in the rendering. It will have zero impact on the lower Manhattan skyline. But I understand the builder’s concerns.

  3. Letdown.

  4. OneNYersOpinion | October 23, 2020 at 1:57 pm | Reply

    After decades of threatening to overpower the Historic District, this underwhelming dual tower(et) complex fades pretty discretely into the background. Thanks – We can live with this.

  5. What a major disappointment with this mediocre project, we all expected to see a large skyscraper grow that will dominate the lower Manhattan skyline, I prefer that they do not build that eyesore

  6. David in Bushwick | October 23, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Reply

    This is a much better alternative to yet another grossly overscaled supertall. Hopefully Downtown is saved from the weeds now sticking above Midtown. Having affordable housing makes this project perfect.

  7. I’m a little bit disappointed by this. But in the end I do think the design proposed for the supertall 250 Water Street was a little bit weak. And I’ll say, this scheme doesn’t seem all too bad anyways.

  8. Blah & Blah

  9. Actually, as a fan of the Seaport, I think this is a better choice. The old design was cool but really did threaten to overwhelm this unique and charming spot. This building seems to co-exist with its environment much more successfully. I do want to see more supertalls downtown, but there are other building sites downtown that are sandwiched in the urban canyons. You could build there without changing the character of any neighborhoods. Plus, let’s be honest, there’s probably zero need for more office space for 3 years at least.

  10. So is this the site that is currently a parking lot? Why isn’t that most basic fact stated in this article? Why is current day journalism so often bereft of the most obvious necessary ingredients to a story?

    Anyway, thank god not another stupid super-tall. Construction to begin in 2022? Rising from the ruins of New York City.

  11. Guessing the fact that any major development here needs (a) approval for transfer of air rights, (b) approval through ULURP, and (c) approval of Landmarks Preservation Commission, led developer Howard Hughes to go in a bit more conservative direction here than a supertall. There’s a loooong way to go with this project–Councilmember Margaret Chin could basically kill it, and I think she would have been under a lot more pressure to do so if Howard Hughes had proposed a supertall–and one should expect to see a huge amount of NIMBY opposition from the condos across Pearl Street that are fighting to preserve their river/Brooklyn Bridge views.

    • The owners of that privatized coop already got a big windfall and they are just so greedy about this always referring to their rights about “historical district”. The city needs more space to house people so why can’t they build in front of you?!

  12. I don’t understand all the naysayers…the project is contextual and preserves the character of the historical seaport district. Job well-done.

    • Naysayers? They talk about community, character, historical district blahblahblah, cleaning program that harms their children in school blahblah, but in the end, it is simple, they don’t want to give up their view which translates to $$$$

  13. Howard Hughes does it again! Wait, what?!

  14. Isn’t the land on that site contaminated? Have they even begun soil remediation?

  15. definitely fits in better with the skyline and the seaport district than the original render. the original proposal was way to tall

  16. Misleading pictures which don’t show how out of place the 470ft tall towers will look next to all the historic buildings. They have many other spots to build right in the seaport area under their ownership. Leave this site or build a 6flr building like their pics show, not the towers above. If they care about community, they need to consider the parents of the peck slip schools strong opposition against the project.

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