Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance
January 4, 2012
Pier 17 and its dated mall are scheduled to close on June 30 for demolition and reconstruction by the Howard Hughes Company. Community Board 1 approved the new glass structure that will replace the current building but is urging that the closing be delayed for three months, to allow Pier 17 businesses and the entire South Street Seaport neighborhood — still struggling more than two months after Hurricane Sandy — to benefit from the busy tourist season.
As the owner of Manhattan By Sail, Tom Berton is directly affected by Pier 17 plans. His tall ship Clipper City (above) docks at the end of the pier and boards passengers there. In December, he presented testimony to the City Planning Commission on the matter, suggesting that the city allow local businesses to have one more full summer season to try to reap desperately needed extra revenue. He also urged the city to make the decision to delay construction as soon as possible so that New York City tour operators and businesses can plan accordingly and advertise.
“It doesn’t make any sense for affected local businesses or for the people who live and work in the Seaport area to have to lose such valuable public space in the middle of the busy summer season when it is utilized the most,” he told WaterWire.