MBP Brewer and City Council Member Chin have recommended DISAPPROVAL of towers at the South Street Seaport in the past, rejected breaking the 120 ft zoning and voiced their strong support for keeping the low scale nature of the Historic Seaport intact. MBP Brewer says she recommends DISAPPROVAL on the proposal for Governor's Island, stating that even the allowable height would be too tall. So why do both MBP Brewer and CM Chin NOW SUPPORT breaking the 120 ft zoning to build almost 500 ft twin towers at 250 Water Street??
“It just doesn't fit. It just doesn't look right.... People come down tothe Seaport because of its history. A 40-story tower has no place in the Seaport.”
"I want to come before the commission personally to really voice my support for this certificate of appropriateness application of the site on john street and 250 Water Street...
I really urge the commission to really give it a full review, and to support it."
"Historical context, building heights and maintaining the vitality of the area are all elements which must be factored in to any final project in this crucial neighborhood - the neighborhood where, in many ways, New York City began. As I have said before, building a tower at the South Street Seaport is like building a tower at Colonial WIlliamsburg"
"I am certain that the Commission in this wisdom will fully review or proposed changes to ensure that these two applications are appropriate for their location in the South Street Seaport district"
"However, my primary concern is how the potential height of future development would affect the island. The proposed allowable height, which ranges from 200 feet to 300 feet, is too significant. Buildings of that height would cast shadows on the remaining open space on the island, and irrevocably change its character....To protect what makes Governors Island attractive in the first place, the height of any future structure must be reduced."
* need to fix a few unintelligble words
MBP Gale Brewer I am ready. Yeah, go ahead, please. Okay, I am the MB President and I am here to deliver a statement in support of the two applications one for 89 South Street, as you know, and one for 250 Water Street and you know they're in the South Street Historic District, this district is really important to the growth and prestige of the city because it was a leading port and commercial center as you know, a beginning in the 18th century, and you still see all the Georgia and Federal and Greek Revival styles of architecture when you're in that area. The museum was founded in 1967, and it created an anchor in that area it's also responsible for the restoration of many of the special buildings. And I think, thanks to the museum and other efforts was officially declared in that area a landmark area in 1977, it did as a museum create a master plan for the district in 1969, and obviously it envisions low density buildings, particularly in the middle, by the waterfront but it also talks about polar buildings further inland. When I became Borough President, I did put together a task force on this topic of seaport is a working group, and it came out with a booklet, it is available on our website just talking about the importance of the area I don't need to get into it, but I am certainly familiar with the seaport, and the scale, talking specifically about (to shoot?) towards the street. I know that this is an application that is controversial, and I know that it has however I think been crafted to reflect the existing urban context, together with the museum This is an important opportunity to preserve the historic district, and the museum. And the application for the museum which is less controversial than the towers it's for a new building. It should blend in with the old and the new and have gallery space and so on inspired by the use of wood similar to the wood and the artifacts of the area. The second application for 250 Water Street is crafted with a 1969 Museum master plan in mind is obviously a whole city block on the edge of the (cellfood) Historic District. It is a vacant site now using it for mostly parking. And it has, I think, a low contextual street wall with setback towers. The exterior design is directly inspired by historical buildings in the area the color variation and pattern for the brick facade provide texture to the exterior. And I know that even though we're not supposed to talk about this issue it will have affordable housing. I am certain that the Commission in this wisdom will fully review or proposed changes to ensure that these two applications are appropriate for their location in the South Street Seaport district. You know that there have been parking lots, on john Street and Wall Street for decades. And they don't make any architectural historical contributions in the historic district. I do consider the proposals controversial as (a one on where the street is well overall?) ensure the district's success for many years to come. Thank you for your consideration of these applications, and I look forward to working with you and with the other city agencies, as these two projects progress. thank you very much. Thank you very much.
CM Margaret Chin Okay, great. I guess now it's good afternoon. Commissioners. I just signed on early and I heard the whole presentation is very comprehensive. I know a lot of people sign on so I am not going to take too much time because Borough President Brewer and I, we actually submitted testimony. But I want to come before the commission personally to really voice my support for this certificate of appropriateness application of the site on john street and 250 Water Street. You know there's been a lot of engagement over this a lot of meetings with communities, stakeholders, and we heard time and time again how important the South Street Seaport museum and the historic district is, you know, to our community and to the city and the museum has been a leader in documenting and preserving the architectural significant and historic aspect of the seaport District, which we all clearly, deeply care about, and they are the leaders in the historic preservation and really need the city to support their important work. And furthermore, developing the site on John street will also give us the unique opportunity to restore the museum, but also a chance to oversee the completion of the museum's master plan from 1969. It is also important to note that the museum's master plans was updated in 1974. Prior to the area designation of a historic district. Well, we all know that without the museum there is no Historic District, because the museum is one that tells the history and really protect and preserve the ships, and also all the historic buildings in the area, and just on a personal note about the ships. We know that it takes a lot of resources to maintain and (start building?), and these ships. But for me, you know ringing the bell on the Ambrose lighthouse ship on opening day for the museum is very memorable even though that bell was very heavy to push, but I was able to do it I know the borough president, she did it easily. For me, it was a little bit more difficult, and the borough president I had the great opportunity with the captain to visit the rebuilding of the Wavertree ship. And it was in Staten Island, and be able to see the bow structure of the Wavertree, and to be able to have a sense of and a welcoming back of a totally rebuilt historic ship was amazing. And I think that this proposal that is before you know really help us save the museum and preserve it, so they can grow it for future generation, and to also complete this historic district. You look at the presentation. It's very comprehensive, they really look at, you know, completing, you know, with a streetscape Masonry. You know all the things that the Commission cares about. But I think for a lot of us especially myself and the Borough President. We want to make sure the museum is protected and is safe. And this really this proposal really create a once in a lifetime opportunity to see that happen. So I really urge the commission to really give it a full review, and to support it. And this proposal will also have to go through the city ULURP process so there'll be more discussion with city planning and city council. But before you today. And I hope that the Commission will give your support. Thank you.