The DNAinfo archives brought to you by WNYC.
Read the press release here.

Here's the Affordable Housing Breakdown for the St. John's Terminal Project

By Danielle Tcholakian | December 5, 2016 3:42pm | Updated on December 6, 2016 5:52pm
 Some of the affordable units will have waterfront views.
Some of the affordable units will have waterfront views.
View Full Caption

HUDSON SQUARE —  The breakdown of the affordable units at the proposed St. John's Terminal development across from Pier 40 was revealed at a City Council vote on Monday.

The development at 550 Washington St. would add roughly 2 million square feet of retail and residential buildings in St. John's Terminal after developers pays $100 million for Pier 40 air rights. The money would pay for critical repairs needed at Pier 40. 

The plan is still awaiting final approval from the full City Council later this month, but it sailed through two committees Monday morning, with only one Council member voting "no."

READ MORE: Development Across From Pier 40 Gets OK From Council Committees

Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has long been involved in the planning of the development, and has touted the nearly 500 units of below-market rentals it will bring as a win for the city.

READ MORE: Here's How the St. John's Terminal-Pier 40 Deal Got Done

Ten percent of the units will be allocated to people making 60 percent of the area median income, 5 percent to people making 80 percent, another 5 percent to people making 110 percent and a final 10 percent to people making 130 percent.

Brooklyn Councilman Jumaane Williams was the only person in the zoning subcommittee to vote against the project, on the grounds that the affordability levels were not deep enough. He abstained from voting in the land use committee, and was joined by Brooklyn Councilwoman Inez Barron.

In brief remarks, Williams said he believed that "municipalities are going to be important" in light of Dr. Ben Carson's appointment as the new secretary for the federal Housing and Urban Development agency.

Williams said it was imperative that affordable housing target AMIs as low as 30 or 40 percent "or we won't get a handle on what's going on with housing in this city."


Williams commended Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents the district where the development is proposed, on "a great job negotiating" for things his constituents wanted, such as nearby landmark protections, and noted that he wasn't trying to take a stand against this particular project, but wanted to "really help push this body and this administration forward" on affordable housing.

"We have to do more," Williams said after the vote. "We attend these press conferences, we talk about homelessness, we talk about affordable housing, and then the projects that come out of the administration and this body don't reflect that. We won't be able to really get where we need to go if we don't have projects that have lower AMI."

Williams, who chairs the Council's housing committee, noted that lower AMI units are consistently relegated to communities that are already lower income.

"It keeps the segregated communities that we have segregated," Williams said. "I think it's critically important that we break up the pockets of poverty that have persisted in this city, and we have opportunities to do so."