Development Across From Pier 40 Gets OK From City Council

CIVIC CENTER — The St. John's Terminal development across from Pier 40 inched closer to final approval Monday, when it was voted through two City Council committees.

Under the plan, the developers would construct roughly 2 million square feet of retail and residential buildings in St. John's Terminal after paying $100 million for Pier 40 air rights. The money would pay for critical repairs needed at Pier 40. 

The zoning subcommittee voted it through first, followed by the land use committee. The full Council is expected to vote on the project later this month.

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

The approvals came with some hard-fought changes to the plan, negotiated largely by Councilman Corey Johnson, who represents the district where the development will be built.

The development's cellar-level indoor recreation space was increased from 10,000 square feet to 15,000, and will be open to public during all of its operating hours.

The number of parking spaces included in the development was slashed from 772 to 425, and retail spaces were limited to 10,000 square feet, except for one 25,000-square-foot space. The limitation does not apply to grocery stores, food halls or spaces with fitness or recreation use.

► READ MORE: St. John's Terminal Developers Outline Changes to Proposal

In a win for the Hudson River Park, the St. John's Terminal developers will pay the full $100 million for Pier 40's air rights at the closing of the deal, rather than over three years, and even agreed to put the full sum in escrow prior to the full City Council vote later this month.

Johnson said he also secured an additional $14 million from the city "to ensure the long-term sustainability of Pier 40."

The developers also promised to provide some funding for a new crosswalk to Pier 40, though the exact amount has not been specified.

The Hudson River Park Trust and the developers were happy with the vote. 

HRPT President and CEO Madelyn Wils said the new agreement to bring money to repair Pier 40 sooner will ensure "urgently needed repairs to the pier's piles will be made, and the pier will stay open."

And the developers, in their own statement, thanked the committees "for their support, and Councilmember Johnson and his staff for working so hard with us to reach an agreement that works for the community and the project."