St. John's city council has approved a 15-unit apartment building in the west end of the city despite the objections of neighbours.

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St. John's Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary at Monday night's city council meeting. (CBC )

The developer said the three storey building at 642 Empire Avenue is meant to attract senior citizens.

St. John's Coun. Sheilagh O'Leary said the proposal fits with the city's increasing need for housing, especially affordable housing for seniors.

"We have a huge responsibility at the city to make sure that we provide this in the city because we're in desperate need of affordable housing, and in apartments for seniors in particular," said O'Leary.

Neighbours had several objections

O'Leary said residents in the neighbourhood objected for several reasons. 

She said some people were not convinced that the project is really aimed at attracting seniors. Others raised concerns about increased traffic and building heights.

However, O'Leary said the neighbourhood — just west of Columbus Drive — already has a mixture of housing.

"We do have affordable housing there, St. John's housing," said O'Leary. "And there's other areas where there's huge homes going in. It's a real mixed area."

"In a very positive way, it [the apartment building] could fulfill a need for people in that area who need to transition."