Renovations to South Street Seaport include new mall

Dave Evans reports from the South Street Seaport.
October 17, 2013 3:26:12 PM PDT
Thursday morning they broke ground on Pier 17 along the East River.

All of the shops and restaurants that were once here at South Street Seaport are gone. They've closed for the next two years of construction. Developers released a slick video of what it all might look like in 2016.

It includes a 300,000 square foot mall, and the promise of protecting this pier from future storms.

"But I'm happy to say the best days are still to come for the Seaport and that great future really does start right here today," Mayor Michael Bloomberg said.

The Seaport, known for its cobblestone streets and historic ships, will look a lot different. The community welcomes the development, but some are a little bit wary.

"Well, they're new and we just want to make sure Howard Hughes corporation get the message that it's important for residents and New Yorkers to come to the Seaport," City Councilmember Margaret Chin said.

Last Fall, this area was hit hard by Sandy. In some places, the water even reached the second floor.

When the storm hit, Pier 17 wasn't that badly damaged because it is elevated. But if you go just across the street and a few steps lower, this part of the Seaport was badly damaged. A lot of the stores are still struggling to reopen.

Just last Friday, Barbalu Restaurant reopened, after almost a year of recovery work. Its owner welcomes the mall nearby.

"I'm 100% convinced that I want other successful people, businesses around me. I'm not worried about other successful businesses. It will bring more people to the neighborhood," said Stefano Barbajallo, restaurant owner.