In 2007 a plan to create greater public open space and enhanced waterfront access on Pier 17’s edge was explored and announced by GGP. Architectural innovation was the cornerstone of a proposed plan created by SHoP Architects and GGP to create pedestrian-only “streets” that extend from the city grid, these new buildings would open lanes that create view corridors to the harbor and the Brooklyn Bridge.
SHoP used the Seaport’s maritime heritage as inspiration for the hotel’s design features. Steel and other structural elements and materials were to be treated but left exposed to evoke ship masts and utilitarian port equipment. Two sky bridges—a functional feature that often marked 20th-century New York architecture—would link the commercial and public spaces.