General Growth Formulates Plans for Manhattan’s South Street Seaport

General Growth Properties has unveiled the details of a plan to redevelop South Street Seaport in Lower Manhattan, a mall and tourist center the Chicago-based REIT acquired the with its purchase of the Rouse Co. in 2004. The plan would replace the existing enclosed mall with a pedestrian district, and add more than two acres of additional open space and circulation areas connected to the street grid of the historic Seaport District. According to General Growth, the thrust of the redevelopment plan would be to reconnect South Street Seaport to the fabric of the surrounding neighborhood. New shops and restaurants, a boutique hotel and a five-star hotel and residential building are also part of the proposal. SHoP Architects, headquartered in Lower Manhattan, designed the Seaport’s new master plan. SHoP is also working with the city to design the nearby East River Esplanade and Piers Project, which stretches for two miles from the Battery Maritime Building to East River Park along the eastern edge of Lower Manhattan. The proposed master plan must be reviewed by the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission. Pending that review, the plan could enter the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Process in the spring of 2009, with construction planned to start in late 2010. Completion of the entire plan would take about four years, according to General Growth.