NEW YORK | 250 Water Street | 324 FT | 25 FLOORS

I’d like to see a very big public green space on this huge site.

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How tall we talking here, Robert?

I think that that area is limited to 120’. That’s fine with me. The adjacent streets have very old buildings. A huge tower would overwhelm them.

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While the buildings to the east of 250 Water are old, short buildings, to the west are tall residential buildings like Southbridge Towers and St. Margaret’s House. This parking lot is really on the border between tall residential buildings and a historic neighborhood with cobblestone streets and short buildings. There are also multiple schools, playgrounds, shopping venues, etc. surrounding the lot. If HHC determines to its satisfaction that the demand for a tall residential building is there, then build it.

Saul Scherl at HHC is in charge of the Seaport and HHC’s offices are literally across the street from the lot at 199 Water. Although he moved out to the suburbs in Englewood, NJ a few years ago, he still has to stare at that lot every day he’s at work.

Going off of something I heard, I think it’s possible SHoP has or will produce conceptual designs for 250 Water for HHC. At the same time, HHC will spearhead an effort to remove all red tape surrounding the development of the site. This of course is all speculation based on what acquaintances say, or don’t say rather.

SOM will focus on providing a comprehensive plan for HHC’s Seaport District properties in the context of the neighborhood, with a particular focus on the surface parking lot at 250 Water Street as well as other potential improvements to the Seaport District.


Howard Hughes Corporation wants to build a large tower in the Seaport District
They want to transfer unused air rights from neighboring buildings, including

  • 311,000 sqft of air rights on the site
  • 415,000 sqft of unused air rights at Pier 17 and the Tin Building
  • 212,000 sqft of air rights owned by the city at the New Market site

South Street Seaport redevelopment plan includes up to 990-foot tower

Four options for a tower proposed for 250 Water Street.

As part of an integrated plan to redevelop several sites in the South Street Seaport, the Howard Hughes Corporation aims to build an up to 990-foot tower on a contested lot that could bring hundreds of new apartments to the neighborhood’s historic district.

The mixed-use building would rise on the edge of the historically low-slung patch of Lower Manhattan under a scenario that would transfer more than 700,000 unused development rights, many from three high-profile properties, to alter the zoning at 250 Water Street, which is currently a parking lot that sits above the toxic remnants of a 19th-century thermometer factory, according to the urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) tasked with developing a master plan for the Seaport.

The current zoning for the Water Street lot caps development in a roughly 10-block historic district at 12 stories. But by modifying the zoning, Howard Hughes seeks to build a red brick podium that’s contextually appropriate with the neighboring Georgian and Federal-style brick buildings, and a tower that would soar above anywhere from 570 to 990 feet depending on how the high-rise is configured on that podium (a dual tower scenario is one option that’s being most seriously considered).

The base would feature some office and retail space, while the residential tower would bring between 550 and 700 overall units; it would be the district’s first project to utilize mandatory inclusionary housing—approximately 200 apartments could be set aside as affordable housing under the current proposal. The building would also bring with it a package of upgrades throughout the Seaport area tied to changing the Water Street site’s zoning, said a lead designer on the proposal.

“We are trying to look at this to find a holistic solution to the district,” says Chris Cooper, a design partner at SOM, who worked on crafting the Seaport-wide master plan. “[By] moving the air rights upland to 250 Water that becomes the enabler—the economic engine, so to speak—for improvements for the whole district.”

Howard Hughes purchased the Water Street lot—bounded by Peck Slip and Beekman Street to the north and south, and Water and Pearl streets to the east and west—from Milstein Properties in 2018 for $180 million. But the developer also controls a sizable chunk of the historic Seaport under a lease with the city, including Pier 17 and the Tin Building. Among them are several hundred thousand of unused development rights, but because Howard Hughes doesn’t own those properties, it can not unilaterally transfer the rights to 250 Water Street without the city’s consent, according to the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), which is the city steward of the Seaport.


the 880 ft stepped tower would fit in best with the area

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Agreed. Option “B” comes closest to achieving the classic lower Manhattan silhouette.


Im sure than some people try to stop or cut this projet…

I have a feeling option B is the most realistic choice. Looks like it would max out the potential, although a bulkier alternative would be idea. Option B would also aesthetically be right for the location IMO. I’d be very happy with option B, even if it wasn’t the super tall option.

I’m not going to get my hopes up on this one. Correct me if I’m wrong but this area has long been hotly contested by NIMBYS. I have a feeling option D is what they will end up going with after relentless community push back.

Option A or B would be incredible, but they seem like a pipedream fantasy in this location.


Your probally right lol but yah could of waited a week to break the real situation as to not ruin the fantasy. :smile:

But yeah, if its too good to be true, it will probally face stiff opposition. The war on the skyscrapers is in full swing.

Hopefully the next administration considers some legislation to protect developers. The opposition is getting rampant with some developments. The LES towers alone is a prime example as is with Sutton, Lenox Terrace, and 200 Amsterdam.

Option B by siniaevart. Don’t want to get my hopes up for this one, but I really like how it would look.


they should go with the supertall or the split version. That 880’ chunker is too heavy at base for the neighborhood. Like a giant wall.


I think that the U.S. is spiraling into a deep recession, and this tower won’t rise anyway for a very long time.