Planning Commission questions affordable housing component of St. John’s Terminal project

Commissioners also voiced concern over the size of the retail space

Rendering of Saint John's Terminal (Credit: COOKFOX)
Rendering of Saint John's Terminal (Credit: COOKFOX)

Members of the City Planning Commission voiced concerns over the planned St. John’s terminal development at a hearing Wednesday.

Several members criticized the developer’s decision to group the project’s affordable units in a separate building, likening it to a “poor door,” according to DNAinfo. Some also questioned the size of the retail space, which commissioner Cheryl Effron described as “mall-esque.”

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The Commission will vote on the project by Oct. 17, before it moves on to the City Council.

Westbrook Partners and Atlas Capital Group plan to build five buildings spanning 1.7 million square feet and 1,586 housing units on the site at 550 Washington Street. Four of the five planned buildings will be residential (two condos, one affordable senior housing and one mixed-income rentals), along with one hotel building. Westbrook and Atlas have set aside 20 percent of the units reserved for residents who make 60 percent of the area median income and 30 percent for people who make 30 percent of the AMI.

In October, they reached a deal to buy 250,000 square feet of air rights from nearby Pier 40 for $100 million, but the deal is contingent on city approval.  The developers said they hope to begin construction in 2017. [DNAinfo]Konrad Putzier