South Street Seaport: Popular New York City Destination Gets a Facelift

The South Street Seaport suffered major damage during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012. The historic seaport, a popular tourist destination, received a major overhaul in spring 2013, completed just in time for the busy summer visitor season. The project made use of retrofitted shipping containers, saving considerable time and money in delivering the project. Bayer MaterialScience LLC supplied the spray polyurethane foam insulation for the 11 shipping containers used as part of the project.

Spring, TX, October 21, 2013 --( Almost one year after Hurricane Sandy walloped the northeast seaboard, one destination in New York City is finally ready to celebrate. Thanks to the concerted efforts of The Howard Hughes Corporation and a resourceful design and construction team, the historic South Street Seaport ( is not only open for business, but showcasing a vibrant facelift called See/Change. Spray polyurethane foam (SPF) insulation from Bayer MaterialScience LLC played an important role in the quick project delivery.

The South Street Seaport is a designated historic riverfront district in Lower Manhattan. The area is a popular tourist destination and home to many shops, restaurants and bars. Redevelopment following Hurricane Sandy sought to reinvigorate the Seaport with more open public and rooftop areas, dynamic retail spaces, and a more contemporary overall feel – all in time for the busy summer season. To expedite the construction, developers opted to use retrofitted shipping containers for temporary pop-up areas.

SG Blocks supplied 11 containers with door and window openings cut and electrical outlets installed and wired; the containers total roughly 3,500 square feet. SG Blocks chose Bayseal® Closed-Cell (CC) SPF insulation from Bayer due to its relatively quick installation and the mobility of the application system. Bayer and their certified applicator Remtek Services worked with carpenters and welders on site to complete the insulation in two days over the Memorial Day weekend. Construction of the full See/Change installation totaled five weeks.

“This project called for a rapid retail response initiative, and Bayer jumped right in,” commented David Cross, Vice President of Business Development for SG Blocks. “After my initial contact, it took Bayer less than 24 hours to commit to the project, provide an installation schedule, and coordinate application with Remtek. On site, Remtek was very responsive and always flexible with changes. A project like this, with an incredibly short schedule, in the center of a busy urban area, over a holiday weekend, definitely presents more challenges, but it was never an issue working with this team.”

Cross pointed out other attributes Bayer’s Bayseal® CC SPF insulation provided:
· Air leakage control – because SPF insulation expands upon application, it fills most voids and holes in the container, an important consideration due to any previous wear on the container.
· Site mobility – Remtek Services was able to easily access all containers from a central location using a 315 linear-foot hose. Containers were then transported across the one acre site to their respective locations. Cross referred to it as “an SPF factory without walls.”

The South Street Seaport project is the first time for Bayer to work with SG Blocks. Bob Burwasser, northeast regional business development manager for Bayer MaterialScience, oversaw the SPF application.

“This is definitely one of the most interesting and fastest projects I’ve done with spray foam,” Burwasser said. “I’m thrilled SG Blocks asked us to be part of this. Of course it is a big part of New York history, but I think it’s also an important morale boost for the retailers hit hard by Sandy, to see the rebuilding and get more people coming back. We coordinated closely with Remtek so SG Blocks could get their containers completed and placed quickly. I think Bayseal® CC was a great solution for this project, and I see plenty of opportunity to work with them again.”

The South Street Seaport See/Change venue opened Memorial Weekend 2013. A full calendar of summer activities included free movies and concerts, art exhibits, yoga instruction, and themed happy hours.
Bayer MaterialScience SPF
Carrie Stallwitz