Saint Peter’s University’s Armory Parking Lot, located in McGinley Square at the corner of Montgomery Street and Tuers Avenue, will provide the site for the the tentatively named Saint Peter’s Tower, a 20-story structure offering retail, recreational, and residential opportunities. By providing the land for the project, Saint Peter’s will hold an equity stake in the development and enjoy amenities for its students.
The project first emerged via a partnership between Saint Peter’s University and Maryland-based developer, Sora Development.
According to the firm’s website, “Sora specializes in downtown redevelopment, college campus development, and hospitality projects.”
“Their main focus is developing communities surrounding the neighborhoods surrounding universities and colleges,” Saint Peter’s University President Eugene Cornacchia said. “So the project itself is a multifaceted development which will include parking garage, retail, entertainment, and residential housing.”
“We’re anticipating that the construction will begin in the Spring of 2015,” Michael Fazio, Vice President for Advancement and External Affairs at Saint Peter’s University, said. “We believe it’ll probably be about a 20 to 24 month construction process.”
Along with housing 300 beds for Saint Peter’s students, the $210 million tower will hold 430 market rate apartments,a movie theater, and a bank.
“I’m told there would be something like the equivalent of a Whole Foods market. That would be very good for this area,” Prof. Thomas Mansheim of the Saint Peter’s University Department of Sociology and Urban Studies said.
According to Fazio, the plan also includes two penthouse restaurants, one casual and one upscale. The top floor of the building will host a pool for residents, but as of now, Saint Peter’s students will not have access.
In order to control the flow of traffic to the area once construction has concluded, Saint Peter’s University has also commissioned a traffic study of McGinley Square, Fazio said.
According to this study, the area’s traffic peaks during daytime hours Monday through Thursday. On the other hand, the planned cinema is expected to draw its largest crowds from Friday evening to Sunday afternoon, thus diminishing the risk of massive traffic jams.
Furthermore, while the building itself will remain confined entirely to the Armory Parking Lot, construction will ultimately alter the surrounding landscape as well.
“We are working with the city to change the direction of Tuers and Jordan, essentially swapping the way that they go,” Fazio said. “They’re both one-way streets, and then there will also be some ‘No Left Turn’ from, I believe it’s Jordan onto Montgomery, so that the flow of traffic goes away from Montgomery once the tower is constructed.”
However, the tower and shifting traffic patterns will not be the only changes which McGinley Square will see during this time.
“Also, adjacent to this development we’re planning a…public park, and I think that’s going to be really exciting because that will have both winter and summer entertainment venue,” Cornacchia said.
Notably, the Subway restaurant which currently stands in McGinley Square is missing from the diagram below.