The demise of Sheldon Silver hurts Bill Ackman’s chances for building a tower at the Seaport

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Howard Hughes Seaport plansFebruary 17, 2015- The NYT reports, “For years, the owner of the South Street Seaport in Manhattan has been planning a $1.5 billion redevelopment that it said would rehabilitate crumbling piers, preserve landmark buildings and bring new vitality to the 400-year-old historic district on the East River.

But much like the Peking, the neglected four-masted bark still afloat at the seaport, the project appears to be heading nowhere.

The owner, the Howard Hughes Corporation, has dangled what it says is a $300 million amenity package that includes rescuing the city’s financially ailing maritime museum, building a school and affordable housing, renovating the Tin Building and extending an esplanade.

But it is Howard Hughes’s planned 494-foot-tall condominium tower over the water at the foot of Beekman Street that has incensed local officials, a couple of civic groups, preservationists and some community residents.

The developer and the administration may have hoped that the area’s powerful state assemblyman, Sheldon Silver, would support the project and overcome any local resistance. But since Mr. Silver stepped aside as Assembly speaker amid federal corruption charges, the political calculus has changed. And traditionally, the City Council, which must approve the project, follows the lead of the local council member, in this case Margaret Chin, who opposed the tower.”

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