SHoP's Seaport plans far from sunk. (Courtesy GGP)
The news that General Growth Properties–which is on the verge of bankruptcy due to a massive debt-load related to its acquisition of the Rouse Company in 2004–put three historic properties up for sale has led some observers to speculate that development plans for one of them–New York’s South Street Seaport–have hit the dustbin. Not so, AN has learned.
Two sources have confirmed that the project is not for sale, as has been widely reported, but instead that the developer is seeking an equity partner to help keep the Seaport plan afloat through these choppy economic waters.
In fact, they still expect the plan to go before the city’s Landmarks Preservation Commission for another review in early 2009 as originally scheduled, which commission spokesperson Lisi de Bourbon also confirmed. “The status of the seaport is that the application remains active at this time,” she wrote in an email.
And in a statement, GGP re-emphasized its commitment to the project:
Jim Graham, senior director of public affairs, General Growth Properties, Thursday said: “South Street Seaport is among a group of properties for which General Growth is seeking partners, investors or buyers. We intend to continue working with the City of New York on a plan for the property’s development that they and the community will embrace.”
In the end, the project’s fate remains up in the air at the moment, like so much else in the development world. Which is all the more reason not to jump to any conclusions.
As for the other two properties involved–Baltimore’s Harbor Place and Boston’s Faneuil Hall–the latter may have just become worth a little bit more, having been recently honored with the 25 Year Award by the AIA.