After Tin Building Deal, New Amsterdam Market in Limbo
A short time ago, City Council Speaker Christine Quinn announced a deal has been reached with the Howard Hughes Corp. creating a new food market inside the historic Tin Building. The concession is part of a larger agreement paving the way for a Council vote today green lighting the redevelopment of Pier 17. At a contentious hearing last week, local residents and supporters of the New Amsterdam Market argued in favor of addressing the future of the former Fulton Fish market buildings now rather than at some point in the future. The Tin Building is adjacent to the mall and was not included in the redevelopment plan.
A press release received a short time ago states:
Today, Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Margaret Chin, Council Members and members of the community announced a deal with the Howard Hughes Corporation, South Street Seaport Limited Partnership (SSSLP) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation that secures commitments for two new food markets in the South Street Seaport area, pushes back the Pier 17 redevelopment construction start date allowing the existing tenants to stay through the summer, and ensure additional public access to the new roof top. The Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises, Committee on Land Use and full Council will all vote today on the Pier 17 redevelopment applications which will achieve numerous community victories as well as commitments for the further development of the South Street Seaport area… The agreement mandates that any proposal for a Mixed Use Project at the Tin Building must include a food market occupying at least 10,000 square feet of floor space that includes locally and regionally sourced food items that are sold by multiple vendors and is open to the public seven days a week.
UPDATED 5:42 p.m. This afternoon New Amsterdam Market founder Robert LaValva expressed disappointment in the compromise. In his view, 10,000 square feet is insufficient space to create a permanent home for the regional food production and distribution he envisioned at the Seaport. The market has been a fixture in the summers outside the Fulton Fish Market buildings. But LaValva said he has misgivings about staying in a location in which the market has no long-term future. He said no firm decisions have been made as of yet about this coming summer’s schedule. Today’s plan does not address the future of the New Market Building, the other historic structure that housed the Fulton Market. Howard Hughes has until the end of June to spell out a vision for that site. Late today the full Council voted in favor of the Seaport land use application.
The NYC Economic Development Corp. released a statement yesterday regarding the Seaport deal. “Funded through more than $200 million in private investment,” said EDC Executive Director Kyle Kimball, “this project (will) create enhanced shopping, dining and entertainment options as well as a new food market and open space to better connect the Seaport to the local community, it will also create hundreds of jobs and revitalize the Seaport for New Yorkers and visitors alike.”