South Street Seaport's Pier 17 shuts down

A rendering of the South Street Seaport redevelopment.

A rendering of the South Street Seaport redevelopment. Photo Credit: Howard Hughes Corporation

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One of the South Street Seaport's most famous shopping areas had its swan song Monday.

After 32 years in operation, Pier 17 and all of its shops shut down to make way for a larger mall for the neighborhood, which is still recovering from superstorm Sandy.

Some small business owners who were clearing out their items said the change was bittersweet.

Even though the new center won't be complete until 2015 at the earliest, they all agreed that the area needs a boost to attract customers and visitors.

"I feel bad, but this [place] needs a future," said Ali Torun, 31, who owns the Fashion Bag and Pacific Grill stores.

In March, the city approved the Howard Hughes Corp., a Texas-based developer, to make over the site in a $200 million project.

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The building was in dire need of repair after the Oct. 29 storm, which flooded area streets and damaged infrastructure on the first floor. Community Board 1 chair Catherine Hughes said foot traffic is still low 11 months later.

Demolition of the pier, which opened in 1981, is set for Oct. 1. When construction is finished in two years, there will be a three-story building with rooftop space for public purposes and a front porch overlooking the water.

A spokesman for the Howard Hughes Corp. couldn't say if the current stores will be in the new space when it opens.



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