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Developer Hoping to Gut the Seaport's "Tourist Trap" Mall

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Photo via <a href="">LancerE</a>/Flickr
Photo via LancerE/Flickr

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The South Street Seaport's Pier 17 shopping center has never really been considered one of Manhattan's best shopping destinations, and DNAinfo reports that it may soon cease to exist—as we know it. The Seaport's owner, Howard Hughes Corp., has just proposed a plan that would tear down the "tourist-trap existing shopping center" and replace it with a new selection of high-end shops in a much fancier all-glass facade. Pending approval, construction would begin in 2013, and the new center would open up sometime in 2015.

If all goes according to plan, the street level and mezzanine will "feel more like a normal streetscape, with smaller individual structures housing shops and restaurants, separated by open-air pedestrian thoroughfares." The current mall houses stores like Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, Express, and J.Crew. It also has a Claire's Accessories, which would reduce the number of Claire's left in Manhattan down to two, if you can believe it. Perhaps we'll find out in April what brands have their eye on the spot, when the designs for the new structure go before the city's Landmarks Preservation Commission for a yay or nay.

Update: We mistakenly reported that Abercrombie & Fitch, Coach, and J.Crew are located at Pier 17, however they're actually on Water and Front Streets. Meaning they're safe. Claire's and Express, however, will not be so lucky.
· South Street Seaport's Pier 17 to be Gutted Under New Plan [DNAinfo]
· What's the Best (or Least Terrible) Mall in Manhattan? [Racked NY]
· South Street Seaport [Official Site]