HHC: Game Over for the “Save Our Seaport” Folks……

This is classic Weinreb……..

The Save Our Seaport (SOS) folks have been throwing one objection up after another regarding $HHC ‘s plans to redevelop the dilapidated S. St Seaport area into something actually usable.  They’ve objected to a “mall” being put there but thankfully the folks in NYC realized a first class waterfront retail/dining/entertainment destination was far better for the city than a rotting pier falling into the East River after it was destroyed by Sandy.

Now they’ve decided that what has not been developed has to be “preserved” so as to not lose its cultural heritage.  I need to note here that what they want to “preserve” is of course condemned buildings that the city is going to partially demolish.   There is nothing like building a world class destination spot in the Seaport and having it surrounded by partially demolished condemned buildings to make an area proud.  The SOS folks are also willing to forgo the >$300M in area improvements $HHC will make as well as desperately needed affordable housing and a new school. Condemned buildings that have not been used for anything in over a decade are far more important than those trivial things.

Perhaps the SOS folks would like to go back to the “Good Ole Days” of the Fulton fish market when organized crime effectively ran it and it was a center for drug dealing and sex trafficking?  Nothing makes an area look nicer than hookers peddling crank on street corners for the mob.

So, how does Weinreb counter these “objections”?  Oh, easy. Build a world class cultural center at the Seaport……..Game , set , match…. What will be really interesting is to see what the Save Our Seaport folks come up with next. Will they object to the lack of a rotting fish smell at the Seaport? Perhaps the sudden drop in crime will burn their britches?   The suddenly pleasing views from their windows (vs rusty collapsing buildings) will make the area unrecognisable to them?

Bottom line is there is no legitimate objection to what $HHC is doing there. The Seaport before $HHC was slightly better than Newark. When Weinreb and Co. are  done with it the Seaport will be a premier destination in NYC for both tourists and residents…….

How can anyone conceivably object to that?????

 

The Howard Hughes Corporation® Launches the Seaport Culture District – a New Cultural Hub in Lower Manhattan Provides a Glimpse into Revitalization Efforts Currently Underway

Cultural Programs Deliver a Variety of Short Term Exhibitions, Installations and Events from New York’s Most Distinguished Cultural Organizations Coming Together for the First Time

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Aug. 3, 2015– The Howard Hughes Corporation® (NYSE: HHC) unveiled today the Seaport Culture District, an innovative new program coming to theSeaport District that brings together a dynamic gathering of cultural partners and collaborating organizations, spaces, installations and interactive opportunities on the storied streets in Lower Manhattan. Beginning mid-August and running through the end of December, the Culture District includes a collection of New York’s most influential and distinguished cultural organizations showcasing an array of indoor and outdoor spaces stretching across the historic neighborhood under the direction of architect and urbanist James Sanders, AIA. With the curation of the Seaport Culture District, the company continues its commitment to provide authentic New York experiences that touch fashion, food, entertainment, art, design, history, culture and technology in one bustling, vibrant neighborhood – all while showcasing its rich, historic roots.

“The Seaport Culture District adds another rich layer to the historic fabric of the Seaport District by creating a 21st century hub of ideas, activities and cultural energy,” said David R. Weinreb, Chief Executive Officer of The Howard Hughes Corporation. “This continues the transformation of the Seaport District into one of New York’s premier destinations for new and one-of-a-kind cultural, culinary, fashion and entertainment experiences.”

The Seaport Culture District along with the recently opened Seaport Studios and Smorgasburg provides an exciting glimpse into the future district-wide menu the Seaport will offer locals and visitors as The Howard Hughes Corporation continues its revitalization of the iconic neighborhood into one of the ultimate destinations for New Yorkers. The iPic theatre – Manhattan’s first luxury movie venue – is under construction and will open in the refurbished Fulton Market Building in 2016. In 2017, seven city blocks and the new Pier 17 building will fully reopen with 365,000 square feet of 85 new shops and restaurants filled with art, fashion, culinary and entertainment experiences. The new Pier 17 – where work is also already in progress – is highlighted by a one-and-a-half-acre rooftop that will include a world-class restaurant, two outdoor bars and an amphitheater that will hold up to 4,000 people for concerts and special events, becoming one of the leading boutique entertainment venues in the world. With 40% more open space, Pier 17 will showcase spectacular views of the Brooklyn Bridge, New York Harbor, Statue of Liberty and Lower Manhattan.

The Seaport Culture District partners and collaborating organizations coming together for the first time include AIANY Center for Architecture and Archtober,AIGA/NY, Solomon R.Guggenheim Foundation, HarperCollins Publishers, Eyebeam, Arup and Art Start. In addition to the extensive installations and exhibitions, the Seaport Culture District organizations – spanning from architecture, art, graphic design, photography and film to technology, publishing and fashion – will offer more than one hundred lunchtime and after-work events, including educational talks, presentations, panel discussions, forums, screenings, walking tours, sketching workshops and photography classes among other public events. Extensive after-school educational programs will also be available for grades K-12 along with additional family offerings on weekends.

The Seaport Culture District activations include:

  • The AIANY Center for Architecture on Front Street will present Sea Level: Five Boroughs at Water’s Edge, a series of large scale images of the East River waterfront by photographer Elizabeth Felicella. The installation is accompanied by texts and curated by author/historian Robert Sullivan (My AmericanRevolution) – installed within a sinuous, curved space by Andrew Berman Architects with graphics by Perrin Studio.The AIANY space at the Seaport will be the headquarters to Archtober in October, the premier citywide festival of the built environment, bringing together 51 cultural partners from all across New York. Across the month, the Archtober Hall will host scores of design-related public events, including programs on design, public art and urban change sponsored by the Danish, Finnish and Swedish consulates.

    The AIANY space will also be home to Åzone Terminal, an interactive, real-time visualization of the Åzone Futures Market, a new Guggenheim project in architecture and digital initiatives. It will allow users to participate in an online simulation of the new types of economies that decentralization is beginning to enable. The concept originated with a symposium of architects, artists and technologists on the spatial effects of emerging decentralized digital technologies, such as Bitcoin, that took place in the Åland Islands off the coast of Helsinki, where the Guggenheim Foundation has proposed a new museum.

  • In the AIGA/NY space on Front Street, NY Chapter board members will create an innovative multi-level event space that will host two exhibitions.Looking/Thinking/Making in the City will explore how six of the most innovative New York design studios are influenced by the urban environment, in work for clients ranging from MTV to the Milwaukee Bucks. Making the City will present ways that designers are taking the lead in issues of growth, equity, resilience and sustainability that are crucial to New York’s future.
  • On Beekman Street, Eyebeam, the non-profit urban artist colony and R+D lab, will create Eyebeam at the Seaport, a multi-purpose space hosting two exhibitions and a robust calendar of programs. The first, Making Patterns, will feature advanced “computational fashion” projects at the intersection of digital technology and clothing design. Outside/In, a two part exhibition, will present indoor/outdoor installations drawing upon the Seaport’s rich urban and maritime heritage. The first part will feature work by three Eyebeam residents creating new site-specific works – Nancy Nowacek, Torkwase Dyson andMattia Casalegno.
  • In Cannon’s Walk, Art Start, the award-winning organization that uses the creative arts to empower underserved and homeless youth, will partner with world-class photographers, Rosemont Press and the engineering firm, Arup, to host Portrait Project, an outdoor light-and-sound installation in Cannon’s Walk that offers an inspiring glimpse into the dreams and imaginations of Art Start’s teens. Additional partners include Fast Ashleys Studios, Anyway Reps and DCOY Studios.
  • In September, the global publisher HarperCollins will celebrate its recent return to Lower Manhattan – where nearly two centuries ago the company first arose on the streets of the Seaport – by introducing the HarperCollins BookLab, an innovative event space and reading lounge with views of historicSchermerhorn Row. Located in Seaport Studios, the BookLab will host various programs, launch events, readings, panels, talks and receptions.

“It is an honor to help bring this new cultural district to life in this very special place,” said James Sanders, AIA, Principal of JS+A Studio. “On the historic blocks of the Seaport – the very blocks where two centuries ago, New York’s great commercial engine first roared to life and the forces of globalization, innovation and diversity first made themselves felt – a new kind of urban crossroads will now emerge, compressing into the space of a few blocks some of the city’s most creative and talented individuals, most engaging cultural conversations and most exciting environments and experiences.”

For additional information on the Seaport Culture District, visit www.southstreetseaport.com, follow the Seaport District on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag #SeaportCulture.

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HHC Save Our Seaport
HHC Save Our Seaport