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December 12, 2014- Hedge fund titan Bill Ackman, Chairman of Howard Hughes corporation, was dealt a major set back by the CB1 on Wednesday when the Landmarks Committee of Community Board 1 (CB1) declined to vote on the plans to build a tall tower near the Brooklyn Bridge, along with a shopping mall. The CB1 vote is required before City Counsel can cast a vote, which would then allow the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) to either approve or reject the plans.
By deferring this into 2015, it opens up the possibility of yet another entire year of delays. The local officials, Margaret Chin and Gale Brewer, still seem adamantly opposed to the Hughes plan, particularly the tall residential tower. However, the key city official, Kyle Kimball, supports the Hughes plan, and the mayor is not taking sides publicly.
Notably, the newly formed “Seaport Friends” mailed out expensive promotional fliers before the Wednesday meeting. The three “mothers” deny that they are funded by the Howard Hughes corporation. Also in attendance at the CB1 meeting were dozens of “supporters” of the Hughes plan, wearing blue and yellow T-shirts. Howard Hughes has clearly hired PR and marketing firms in an attempt to get past the City Hall obstruction.