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.
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.”
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.