City Council signs off on redevelopment of St. John’s Terminal

Some council members voted against the project because city’s MIH policy will not be enforced

Rendering of St. John’s Terminal
Rendering of St. John’s Terminal

The City Council gave the final green light on Thursday to Westbrook Partners and Atlas Capital Group’s proposed 1.7 million-square-foot redevelopment of the St. John’s Terminal, ending months of negotiations between the developers, a nonprofit trust and an influential local politician.

The rezoning approval — which some council members voted against — allows Westbrook and Atlas Capital Group to move ahead with the project at 550 Washington Street, DNAinfo reported.

The developers plan to turn St. John’s Terminal, a three-block long building along the Hudson River, into an office and residential complex with over 1,500 apartments in four buildings. There’s also plans for a hotel and at least of 400,000 square feet of retail space.

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In October, the City Planning Commission agreed to allow the developers to pay $100 million for 200,000 square feet of Pier 40’s development rights to the Hudson River Park Trust. The proceeds of the sale will be used to repair the pilings that keep the pier afloat.

The developers have pledged to keep 30 percent of apartments rent-regulated, resulting in nearly 500 below-market units. But Westbrook and Atlas will not have to comply with the city’s mandatory inclusionary housing policy. The city allowed the St. John’s Terminal developers to evade that requirement because of their $100 million investment in the park, which is considered “a vital public need.”

That decision raised the ire of some council members. Brooklyn council members Jumaane Williams and Carlos Menchaca voted against the project. Council member Brad Lander abstained from voting. “I would want the MIH floor to be a real floor so that people don’t seek to go below it,” he said, according to DNAinfo. [DNAinfo]Miriam Hall