Council agreement also allows for existing Pier 17 tenants to stay through summer; keeps rooftop open to public

City Hall — 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 Council has secured changes to the agreements which would implement the following:

– New Food Market: The developer and South Street Seaport Limited Partnership have agreed to open a food market that includes locally and regionally sourced food items that is open to the public all seven days of the week prior to October 1, 2014, within the area of the leased South Street Seaport.
– New Food Market at Tin Building: 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.
– Existing Pier 17 Tenants Can Continue to Operate Through Summer: Construction of the Renovation Project at Pier 17 has been pushed back from July 1 until October 1, 2013 to permit the existing tenants to remain in the Pier 17 building until September 9, 2013. This will allow the current tenants to operate through the summer. In addition, SSSLP will offer to all existing Pier 17 tenants, in good standing, the opportunity to present a proposal for a retail establishment in the new Pier 17 building on or before August 9, 2013.
– Public Access to Pier 17 Rooftop: All areas of the roof of the Pier 17 building (other than those areas reserved for restaurant use and mechanical equipment) will be open to the public at no charge except when an area is closed temporarily for private use. Additionally, portions of the rooftop will be made available for no rental charge to a community based organization (such as the PTA of the neighborhood school or a youth center) up to four occasions per year.
– Additional Community Victories: SSSLP will work to identify and implement noise reduction measures to address community concerns about sound from the rooftop event space and pier level stage at Pier 17. Furthermore, a plan for additional maritime infrastructure will be submitted to the City Council by SSSLP no later than June 30, 2013, to allow for maritime uses on Pier 17.
“Today’s agreement will bring a year round, seven days a week food market back to one of the oldest neighborhoods in the country, where the food trade helped build New York City into a thriving port town,” said Speaker Quinn. “New York City will no longer be one of the only major cities in the country without a destination food market, but instead will soon be home to tens of thousands of square feet of indoor space specifically for local and regional sourced food. I want to thank Council Member Chin, the Lower Manhattan residents and business owners, Community Board 1, and the city’s food community for their dedication to ensuring this day would come.”

“I am pleased to join Speaker Quinn to announce the return of locally-sourced, regional markets at the South Street Seaport,” said Council Member Margaret Chin. “Markets of this kind have a historic presence in lower Manhattan, and I am proud that were able to reincorporate this use into the wider redevelopment of the Seaport. The start date of construction on the Pier 17 project will be postponed to allow current tenants to remain open throughout this summer. This is the right thing to do. It will allow small businesses to make back the revenue they lost as a result of hurricane Sandy and take advantage of the many exciting events at the Seaport this summer. I want to thank Speaker Quinn for her support on this project and for fighting to make sure the needs of the lower Manhattan community were fully addressed in this redevelopment.”

“Bringing a regional food market to the South Street Seaport will further cement New York City’s future as a hub of great restaurants, food retail, and food manufacturing,” Rocco Dispirito, Chef and Restaurateur. “I commend Speaker Quinn and Council Member Chin for their work on this project.”

“Congratulations to Speaker Quinn and Council Member Chin, for this is news that will be well received by food enthusiasts around the city,” said Michael Anthony of Gramercy Tavern. “What’s at stake is the city’s ability to add one more incredible destination for visitors from around the world. Like every great city, New York City should have a destination that celebrates our regional food, a place where people can come together to meet the people who grow their food, a place that acts as a springboard for satisfying the city’s curiosity about this old but newfound love of eating locally.”

“For a long time, Community Board 1 has fought for the inclusion of a public market in the historic Tin Building,” said Catherine McVay-Hughes, Community Board 1 Chair. “This is a game changer at this critical time for the businesses and residents located at the historic Seaport area. These commitments will ensure vibrancy during the construction period of the new Pier 17 and the rebuilding of wider Seaport. It will be wonderful to have a local and regionally sourced market open seven days a week, all year long.”

“A city as great as NYC should have a public market,” said Marcel Van Ooyen, GrowNYC Executive Director. “I applaud Speaker Quinn, Council member Chin and Howard Hughes for the progress made here to bring a year round, seven day a week public food market to New York City, and I look forward to working with all the stakeholders to create additional outlets for our farmers to sell their products.”

“Project for Public Spaces is thrilled to see the continuity and celebration of the public market legacy in Lower Manhattan, an area that literally grew from the roots of these historic markets,” said David O’Neil, Project for Public Spaces Senior Director of Public Markets.”

“This market is a great step forward for the city and local food producers, and I applaud Speaker Quinn and Council Member Chin for their efforts to make this a reality,” said Jessamyn W. Rodriguez, Founder and CEO of Hot Bread Kitchen. “Having a daily market will provide tremendous opportunity to Hot Bread Kitchen and its incubator members, and other food manufacturers throughout the city.”

“For 400 years, Lower Manhattan has been a center of commerce, trade, innovation and a home to bustling marketplaces,” said Elizabeth H. Berger, President of the Downtown Alliance, the organization which manages the Lower Manhattan Business Improvement District. “With today’s South Street Seaport agreement, we add another page to that history. Lower Manhattan’s 60,000 residents, 310,000 workers and 11.5 million annual tourists will be able to shop, dine and buy locally-sourced food in one of New York City’s oldest ports and most iconic neighborhoods. Thank you to Speaker Quinn and our local Council Member Margaret Chin for their steadfast leadership on this
important Lower Manhattan redevelopment project.”
“The development that will be taking place at the South Street Seaport will benefit not just downtown Manhattan, but the entire city, by helping to attract more tourists and creating jobs” said Deputy Majority Leader, and Chair of the Land Use Committee, Leroy Comrie. “I am also pleased that the process for this development will protect small businesses that were affected by Super Storm Sandy, as well as ensure that the community’s needs were met. I would like to thank Speaker Christine C. Quinn, Council Member Margaret Chin, and my colleagues in the Council for their work on this project.”

“We held a five-hour public hearing at which we heard from hundreds of citizens who wanted a food market; thanks to this deal, they’ll be guaranteed one,” said Mark S. Weprin, Chair of the Council Subcommittee on Zoning and Franchises.