The Old Seaport Alliance, an association that represents businesses within the historic South Street Seaport neighborhood has named Sara Williams (owner of Fresh Salt at 146 Beekman Street) and Enrico Ciotti (owner of the soon-to-debut VBar Seaport, on Front Street) as co-chairs of its board of directors. Ms. Williams and Mr. Ciotti are succeeding the Alliance’s founding chairman, Marco Pasanella, the owner of Pasanella & Son Vintners, on South Street, who additionally serves as co-chair of Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee. Also joining the Alliance’s board is Maura Kilgore (owner of Cowgirl Seahorse, at 259 Front Street), who will serve as secretary and treasurer.
The appointments come at a time of transition for the Old Seaport Alliance, a non-profit merchants’ association founded in the wake of Hurricane Sandy by business owners within the historic South Street Seaport neighborhood, with the aim of supporting one another during recovery efforts.
Among the successes that the organization has accumulated since its founding are the transformation of Peck Slip from a construction staging area into an open public plaza, the successful lobbying for a new Citibike Station at Peck Slip, and serving as a voice for the local community. But it has also weighed in on questions that remain to be resolved, such as the Howard Hughes Corporation’s proposal for a large residential tower along the East River waterfront, which the Alliance supports.
Although the district’s post-Sandy comeback is far from complete, it has entered a new phrase of robust growth, which appears to call for a new kind of leadership. In response, the Alliance is expanding its board and membership, while also seeking to solidify partnerships with neighborhood stakeholders and community groups.
It has additionally recruited high-powered talent from other Lower Manhattan organizations, such as Whitney Barrat, who formerly directed special projects at the Downtown Alliance. Ms. Barrat joined the Old Seaport Alliance as executive director last year.