Financial District

Swinging seaport: The nabe makes a comeback with a bevy of new buildings

Pier 17 rendering
Pier 17 rendering

A lot of new real estate is coming to South Street Seaport: condos and apartments, fresh space for stores and restaurants, even a new public school and a massive new complex for Pier 17. “There’s not much actively there,” one developer told the New York Post in January, “but there will be.”

When the new developments arrive, the area will undoubtedly be contrasted with its former, Superstorm Sandy-ravaged self from late 2012 and early 2013. Then, the streets were flooded, storefronts were abandoned and the prospect of a Seaport turnaround was being measured in years — not the months that it turned out to be.

Take the Walton, a 26-unit condo at 264 Water Street that opened for sales right after Thanksgiving 2013. It began life as a rental before Sandy — and was fully operational again barely five weeks after the storm. It was then that a group of tenants in the building went ahead and purchased it, and turned it into a condo. The lofts in the Walton start at $875,000 for an 1,114-square-foot unit and run to $1.995 million for a 1,408-square-footer.

Nearby, 56 Fulton Street, a 120-unit rental, is hoping to turn the Seaport’s maritime aesthetic on its head a bit when it opens in early 2016. Scott Aaron, principal at Socius Development Group, told interior designer Andres Escobar he wanted “a ‘70s, ‘80s downtown rock scene: Basquiat, Blondie, CBGB — that kind of downtown scene,” according to the New York Post. “Make it look back to New York 20, 30 years ago.”

The building will include a “funky” — Aaron’s adjective — residents’ club as well as 6,000 square feet of retail. The apartments upstairs, where the rents have yet to be set, will range from studios to two-bedrooms.

Also new: a 712-student school for kindergarten through fifth grade, opening in fall 2015 in the neighborhood’s old post office.

Finally, there’s the biggest Seaport newcomer of them all: The Howard Hughes Corporation’s redevelopment of Pier 17, which includes a 50-story commercial tower and marina as well as dining and retail accoutrements such as a dine-in movie theater. That’s right: a dine-in movie theater. Theater chain iPic plans to open a 505-seat, eight-auditorium movie hall with food-and-drink service.

The theater is set to open in mid-2015, amid all the additions to the Seaport. The commercial tower, which may also have a hotel, may spell the end of the building that held the Fulton Street Fish Market, which moved to the Bronx in 2005. — Tom Acitelli

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Average January rents

Studio         $2,832
1 bed           $3,739
2 beds         $5,213
3 beds         $7,614
> 3 beds      $17,700[/column]

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Average January sale price

Studio         $747,705
1 bed           $950,159
2 beds         $1,493,193
3 beds         $1,720,000
>3 beds      N/A[/column]

Source: StreetEasy

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