On August 15, the Planning Board approved two mixed-use towers measuring 57 and 59 stories at the location of Mecca Trucking across from Home Depot, which the Mecca family applied for under the Newport RDP.
Since this abuts the Holland Tunnel, they engaged with the Port Authority for access to nearby PATH and HBLR stations, but no agreement was reached because of concerns about emergency access. The Port Authority also noted that traffic could be significantly increased. A consultant for the developer, however, assured them that any change should be minimal.
HPNA reiterated traffic concerns, and highlighted the lack of green space and mass transit. We also requested that City Planning conduct a traffic study for all new developments north of 12th St, including Emerson District. Matt Ward, an assistant city planner, indicated his department is already exploring some options for such a study.
No variances or deviations were requested, and both the Planning Board chairman and the developer confirmed no abatements have been decided. Six members voted in favor of the plan, while four voted against, and one abstained.