Staten Isle Gets “Iron" In Diet, Will Be Site of Huge New Development, City Sez
Jotham Sederstrom Nov. 22, 2011, 9:30 a.m.
The Staten Island site of a former Naval port base will soon be transformed into 14 acres of waterfront residential properties and retail space, the city announced last week.
New Jersey-based developers Ironstate Development Company has pledged $150 million to transform the site, located in the Stapleton neighborhood in North Shore of Staten Island, into 30,000 square feet of commercial space and 900 apartments.
The city is expected to contribute $33 million to the project, which will go to building a new waterfront esplanade and spruce up a nearby Staten Island Railway station.
Rents in the residential buildings are expected to range from $1,400 to $2,000, according to published reports. Ironstate, which has developed similar waterfront properties like the W Hoboken and 50 Columbus in New Jersey, is expected to break ground on the project as soon as possible, said Seth Pinsky, president of the city Economic Development Corporation.
Ironstate President David Barry could not be reached for comment.
The former Naval Port Base was handed over to the city’s ownership after the end of the Cold War when the military was downsizing its budget, said Mr. Pinsky. Once Mayor Bloomberg took office, he ordered local officials to come up with a redevelopment plan for the six development parcels – totalling 35 acres – on the Staten Island site.
After a request for proposal process stalled during the recession, Ironstate approached in 2009 and signed a contract with the city to redevelop two parcels. The contract was finalized Nov. 1 shortly after Ironstate finalized its $150 million in financing.
Now with a slew of retail and residential possibilities on the horizon, the most appealing part of the borough will soon be youth, said Mr. Pinsky. Staten Island “has had a very hard time retaining its young people,” said Mr. Pinsky. “The idea of having rental units in a location that’s accessible to public transportation and to jobs in Manhattan and elsewhere we thought was a great opportunity for the borough.”
The site feature panoramic views of Manhattan and the Verazzano bridge and is a five-minute walk from public transportation, he added.
The city has been actively trying develop NYC’s faraway borough. The city has a request for interest for a few development parcels in St. George between the ferry terminal and the Staten Island Yankees’ Richmond County Bank Ballpark. In addition, the city is working to improve retail at the Staten Island Ferry terminal and working on the expansion of the New York Container Terminal, among other projects.–DRosen@Observer.com