SPURA Plan Approved By City Council Land Use Committee
Yesterday, the City Council Land Use subcommittee voted unanimously to approve a modified SPURA development plan. The mammoth project now heads to City Planning prior to the final vote before the entire council on October 11 (tentative).
The updated application includes the following additions, as negotiated by Councilmember Margaret Chin:
- More affordable housing – 100 new units were added to the plan, half are earmarked as affordable. This brings the total housing unit count to 1,000.
- Public school – the city will reserve 15,000 square-feet of Site 5 for a potential public school.
- Offsite affordable housing – the city will commit to additional affordable housing at 21 Spring Street.
- The displaced – former tenants of the SPURA area before its demolition will receive priority.
- Essex Street Market – it will remain a public amenity. If it does indeed move, vendors will be given first opportunity for comparable square-footage. Rent schedules and planned increases in any new facility for existing vendors will be commensurate with their rent at the time of the move. There’s still a possibility of ESM staying put.
- Local hiring – the goal is to fill 50% of all new permanent jobs from the local population who are making below 200% of the poverty level. They hope to retain 40% of these hires for at least nine months.