A new eight-storey affordable housing building in downtown St. Catharines on the former site of a Royal Canadian Legion branch is moving forward with more units.

City council unanimously approved changing the zoning at 111 Church St. Monday night to allow for 128 units on the former Branch 24 property — 49 more than the previous zoning permitted.

The building is a unique partnership between Bethlehem Housing and Support Services, developer Penn Terra and FirstOntario Credit Union.

“This affordable housing development should not, will not, carry the oppressive stigma of being a project, ghetto, an eyesore or experiment in social housing,” said John Lee, chair of the board of Bethlehem Housing and Support Services.

“The development at 111 Church St. should be seen as an economic contributor to the ongoing revitalization of the downtown core.”