In a detailed response to correspondence sent by Friends of South Street Seaport (FOSSS) in May of this year, the Department of the Army has established clear Federal due process and transparency requirements for development in the South Street Seaport Historic Area that affects the Tin and New Market Buildings.
In a letter dated October 2, 2015, Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy addressed future redevelopment around the Pier 17 Project, stating “[a]ny additional or subsequent work on the pilings or pier structures for the Tin and New Market Buildings, including removal of the buildings and/or a substantial change in the use of one or both piers, would require D[epartment of the] A[rmy] approval including a full public interest review in accordance with the Title 33 of the Code of Federal Regulations, Parts 320–332.”
Those regulations set clear requirements for environment and historic preservation analysis that the City of New York and its lessees will have to follow in future, and acknowledge much needed Federal and State participation to guide future plans to assure development comports with the scale and character of this irreplaceable historic area.
After inspecting the ongoing work at Pier 17, the Army found the current reconstruction consistent with previously issued Corps of Engineer permits. However, the letter also indicated a separate letter had been sent to the New York City Economic Development Corporation advising coordination and consultation with the State Historic Preservation Office regarding any partial removals of the Tin and New Market Building rear ‘cooler areas’ undertaken in conjunction with the Pier 17 renovation project.
For full text of letter, see attached images.