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By Ricki Shenfeld ’18 & Brian Hwang ’17
On Friday, April 7th, the Real Estate Association (REA) had the privilege of visiting The Howard Hughes Corporation (HHC) offices and their project at Pier 17 of the South Street Seaport District. The group started the day with Craig Hormann ’14, an Associate in the Development Group. Craig gave us an understanding of the company’s structure and background and explained HHC’s mission to revitalize South Street Seaport and specifically make Pier 17 a destination for retail, entertainment and office. Historically, the Seaport has been heavily frequented by tourists, but the new Pier 17 intends to change that and make it a destination for tourists and local New Yorkers alike.
Students continued their visit with the Senior Vice President of Development, George Giaquinto, who showed us the future design of the Pier and explained the types of tenants HHC is targeting. The idea is to cultivate local artisanal shops instead of large national and multinational brands. To better understand HHC’s concept, the group watched the sponsor video that is used to attract tenants to the development site. HHC believes the future of retail is with smaller and local brands such as by Chloe who will be opening a new location at South Street Seaport soon.
Following George’s presentation, students set out with the construction team to walk the property. They learned about the two-step plan to first construct the new development and second to reconstruct the historic Tin Building. The new development is four stories and already includes leases with restaurants by Jean-Georges and the Momofuku Group. The rooftop has incredible views of Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty and will feature concerts and other events when completed.
On behalf of Columbia Business School’s Real Estate Association, we would like to thank the Howard Hughes Corporation for allowing us to explore their project at The South Street Seaport. The office visit and site tour enabled us to learn more about the company’s vision for the Pier and future of retail attractions in NYC.
Brian Hwang ’17 is the VP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. He is a second-year student focusing on real estate finance and development. Brian previously worked for CBRE in the Valuation & Advisory Group and will be joining M&T Bank in the NYC Real Estate Debt Group after graduation.
Ricki Shenfeld ’18 is the AVP of Site Tours for the Real Estate Association at Columbia Business School. She is a first year focusing on real estate and entrepreneurship. Prior to enrolling at Columbia, Ricki worked in Acquisitions and Capital Markets at DDG, a luxury real estate developer based in Manhattan with offices in San Francisco and Palm Beach. Ricki will be joining Silverstein Properties over the Summer.