Top 10 NYC developments on BuzzBuzzHome in March 2014

BuzzBuzzHome Lists Staten Island’s The Accolade in the Top 10 of NYC developments!


Buzz Accolade


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Ironstate floats renderings of naval base project

Real Deal

via Mark Mauer/ The Real Deal

RD Ironstate

Ironstate Development has revealed renderings for a 900-unit rental community to be built on the site of a former naval base in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood.

Architecture firms Concrete and Minno Waska are behind the designs. The $150 million Urban Ready Living redevelopment project will also contain 600 parking spots and 30,000 square feet of retail space. The site broke ground last summer and is expected to be complete by 2015.

The city is contributing $32 million in funds for infrastructure developments and a waterfront esplanade. The project, which will rejuvenate a parcel of the Homeport base, has been in the works for the past four years, though redevelopment was first proposed two decades ago, as previously reported. [New York Yimby]

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White Castle goes upscale with Belgian waffles


white castleBelgian waffle sandwiches are the latest meal-on-the-go menu item from White Castle with locations in Grant City and Mariners Harbor.

The chain which has sold more than 1 billion of its greasy sliders is capitalizing on the fact that breakfast is the fastest growing segment of the fast food restaurant industry and that very few people have the time to make waffles at home.

The waffles are imported directly from a bakery in Belgium to bring what is billed as “an authentic taste of Europe.” Bacon, egg and cheese or sausage, egg and cheese on a waffle is what’s on the menu for breakfast and a chicken and waffle sandwich is sold all day.

In 1921, White Castle, opened its restaurants with a menu containing only four items: a slider, coffee, pie and Coca-Cola.

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“Hope” You’ll Come!

The Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue fundraising event is this weekend at Bungalow 18.

Staten Island Hope Animal Rescue is a non-profit animal rescue group founded by Andrew Leach and Michelle Christofilakes.

It began in 2010 when a large feral cat colony was discovered by fellow animal lovers in Staten Island and brought to the attention of Leach and Christofilakes. The two quickly put Trap, Neuter and Return (TNR) into place and, with the help of other local rescuers, Leach and Christofilakes reduced the overpopulation issue. To date, the colony of almost 50 cats is now 99% spay/neutered with a dramatically lowered birth rate.

SI Hope

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Newest NY developments offer luxury, location — and value

New York Post

via the New York Post

This has been a punishing winter for New Yorkers. Not the schizo temperature shifts (although, we concede, those weren’t exactly fun, either) — we’re talking about the lack of available residential real estate. According to the fourth quarter 2013 reports by appraisal firm Miller Samuel, NYC was at its lowest level of inventory in 14 years.

But the punishment is hereby over. The new condo projects that developers had been hoarding all winter are springing up from Staten Island to Brooklyn to the Upper East Side. Here are a baker’s dozen to look forward to:



The Accolade, Staten Island

Hear, hear! The Accolade, a 100-unit condo, will join the burgeoning north waterfront development boom in St. George, where new shopping, restaurants, residences and an esplanade are planned.

Set in the gated Bay Street Landing community, the 10-story building is made up of studios and one-, two- and three-bedroom units — plus eight duplex penthouses — ranging from 772 to 2,479 square feet and priced from $300,000 to more than $1 million. The homes feature high ceilings, oversized windows, hardwood floors, kitchens with custom wood cabinetry and Kohler fixtures and stone and marble bathrooms.

Most units offer private outdoor space; many have spectacular views of Manhattan and the New York Harbor. Amenities include a residents’ lounge with a bar and catering kitchen, Ping-Pong and billiards tables, a golf simulator, fitness center and screening room. Sales will launch in the next couple weeks; occupancy is slated for summer 2014. Contact: Sales office, 718-815-6500


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Out-of-towners flocking to Staten Island for its urban environment

More on the SI real estate scene. Tracey Porpora reports for The Staten Island Advance.

William Yost and his wife, Aerin, on the balcony of their condo in The Pointe in St. George. (Staten Island Advance/Bill Lyons)

Many former Staten Islanders are being drawn “back home” by the North Shore waterfront’s urban environment.

  “I have a growing family, with new twin boys and a daughter, so (Manhattan) is getting too small. My wife and I looked at different areas, and prices in Manhattan are out of control,” said Patrick McCarthy, 34, a West Brighton native who is relocating from Manhattan’s upper Upper West Side to The Accolade, a condo complex in St. George’s Bay Street Landing.

“My wife and I looked at Brooklyn, where the prices were good a few years ago, but now the prices there are just as high as Manhattan,” added McCarthy, who noted his wife is a native of California.

The mortgage loan officer said St. George is appealing to him because he wants a short commute to his job in Midtown, allowing him to spend less time traveling to work and more time with his family. 

“I can live in The Accolade and take a two-minute walk to the ferry, hop on and get to work in less than an hour,” said McCarthy.


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New York Wheel and Empire Outlets increase value and demand for Staten Island real estate


With the Renaissance of the North Shore waterfront in the pipeline, Realtors are already seeing area real estate — particularly in St. George — turning into gold.

Whether you’re the owner of a detached St. George home or have recently snatched up one of the condos in the newest Bay Street Landing building, your real estate values are rising with the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, and Lighthouse Point projects on the horizon.

“Over the past 1 1/2 years, there has been a huge uptick in the demand for residential homes in the St. George area,” said John Pitera, associate broker with the St. George-based Casandra Properties, the leasing and marketing agent for Empire Outlets.

Even before ground is broken on the upcoming projects, St. George real estate prices are already on the rise.


The Accolade, Bay Street Landing's newest addition features spacious rooms like this fourth floor model condo. (Photo/Bill Lyons)

The Accolade, Bay Street Landing’s newest addition features spacious rooms like this fourth floor model condo. (Photo/Bill Lyons)


However, much of the demand in the St. George area is for condos on the waterfront — and some new units are commanding prices as high as $1.1 million.

With over 100 new condos added to St. George’s housing stock over the last year, and more than 1,000 units in the pipeline, the area is poised for a large housing growth spurt, said Pitera.

“There has been a drastic increase as far as the volume of sales, interest and prices in the condo and co-op market in St. George,” said Fitzsimmons.

“While the products (condo buildings) speak for themselves and although nothing has changed in the interior, it’s part of the hype that’s taking place with the outlets and the Wheel…This is the closest you’ll get to Manhattan-style living on Staten Island,” he added.

Meadow Partners, which built The Pointe, a sold-out 52-unit condo building in St. George, will officially launch sales later this month at The Accolade, which features a new collection of 100 luxury condominiums priced between $300,000 to more than $1 million.

Not even open for sale to the public, The Accolade is already 13 percent sold, said Jacquline Urgo, president of the Manhattan-based Marketing Directors, which is responsible for marketing and sales of The Pointe and The Accolade.

“We are doing individual previews to The Pointe residents and homeowners of Bay Street Landing,” said Ms. Urgo.

“This is the last opportunity to purchase a home in the (Bay Street Landing) enclave. There are spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline,” she said.

And waterfront condominium resales are scarce as well.


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Dine Out Against Hunger 2014!

dine out

Dine Out Against Hunger is a restaurant-based fundraiser to help fight hunger on Staten Island. Over 125 participating Staten Island restaurants pledge to give 20% of their food bill (excluding the bar bill) to Project Hospitality, an interfaith effort sheltering the homeless, feeding the hungry, and caring for people with HIV/AIDS.

This one-day event is set for:
Thursday, April 10,2014

People of the community can support this effort simply by going out to eat at a participating restaurant on Thursday, April 10, 2014. Co-workers can dine out at breakfast, lunch and/or dinner together; friends and families can dine out in the evening.

At participating restaurants throughout Staten Island.

Project Hospitality helps the homeless, who struggle daily to find enough to eat, and the working poor, struggling to meet both rent and food costs. Project Hospitality is able to offer food, shelter, and hope during these challenging times with generous contributions from caring individuals, community organizations and businesses.

The co-chairs are Claire Regan, Associate Managing Editor of the Staten Island Advance and Frank Lombardi, Executive Chef of the Hilton Garden Inn. The founding Corporate Sponsor is the Staten Island Advance. The Founding Community Sponsor is the Honorable James Oddo, President of the Borough of Staten Island. The lead sponsor is Catering by Framboise. The Placemat Sponsors are Driscoll Foods, Northfield Bank, Richmond University Medical Center, Shoprite – Mannix Family Supermarkets, Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn and SYSCO Food Services of Metro NY and Gerald Peters Goldmine. A Poster Sponsor is Ashkar Corporation. Bronze sponsors are N. Cheng & Co., Empire State Bank and Rogers Surveying. Media sponsors are Mindsaw Web Development and The printing underwriter is R&L Press.

For more information: If you want to know more about Dine Out Against Hunger 2014, please call Project Hospitality at (718) 448-1544, ext. 163 or use the link to the left

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Ferry operators cruise to Staten Island

via Crain’s

WheelTwo major development projects on Staten Island—the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets—have the city’s ferry operators drawing up plans to transport millions of visitors a year to the borough that has been served for a half-century exclusively by one ferry.

If the developers of those megaprojects are right, and some 6 million annual visitors begin flocking to sleepy Staten Island in two years—when the attractions are expected to be completed—every major ferry company in the city, including New York Water Taxi, BillyBey Ferry Co., Statue Cruises and Seastreak, will be dropping off riders at a dock just a short distance from the St. George Terminal, where the Staten Island Ferry lands.

All those businesses are currently in negotiations with the New York Wheel and BFC Partners, which is developing the outlet center, evaluating whether they need to purchase more boats and how much they should charge to transport tourists from points in midtown Manhattan, New Jersey, Brooklyn and Queens directly to the North Shore of Staten Island. There are no regulatory impediments standing in the way of expanded service. The city is seeking a developer to build and operate a new ferry landing.

“There will be millions of passengers who will want to get to a part of Staten Island that is by far most accessible by boat,” said Paul Goodman, chief executive of BillyBey, the company that owns some NY Waterway ferries. “If we are talking about large crowds, we would have to purchase more vessels” before the wheel opens in 2016, he added.

Others are making commitments now. New York Water Taxi just signed a letter of intent with the developers to add a St. George stop to its existing hop-on, hop-off tour package, which makes stops in Brooklyn, lower Manhattan and midtown and costs $30.

“That gives [the attractions] access to our customers,” said Brian McCabe, chief executive of New York Water Taxi. “As demand grows, you might see direct [routes]” from different parts of the city to Staten Island.

Established competitor

Michael Burke, chief operating officer of Statue Cruises, which has the exclusive contract to ferry visitors to Liberty and Ellis islands, would like to add a Staten Island stop, too, but conceded that security concerns would likely scuttle such a plan. Instead, his company is more apt to run a separate boat to Staten Island.

The ferry operators’ main competition would not be each other but the Staten Island Ferry, which transports 20 million people a year to the borough on nine boats that operate seven days a week—and, most important, offers a free ride.

“The big unknown is how many people will use the Staten Island Ferry,” said Mr. Burke. “I think a majority will go on the free boat.”

To keep the cost competitive with the free option, Mr. Goodman of BillyBey said that subsidies either from the developers or from the city may be necessary. That could allow the boats to also cater to Staten Island commuters willing to pay a little more for direct service to midtown, for example. The city has already indicated that it will not subsidize new ferry service to St. George.

Another model could be one based on the Red Hook Ikea route offered by New York Water Taxi. The ride costs $10 round-trip, but Ikea shoppers who spend that amount or more in the store get a $5 discount on their purchase by showing their ferry ticket.

Travis Noyes, chief marketing officer of the wheel and senior vice president of Empire Outlets, has been charged with coordinating the marketing efforts of both projects, as well as with assessing the demand for each attraction. The Staten Island Ferry, he said, already transports more than 2 million tourists annually.

According to studies commissioned by the developers, an additional 1 million people will use the city-run ferry, while another million will pay a premium to board boats from points in the city other than lower Manhattan to travel directly to Staten Island.

The extra passenger volume should not put undue pressure on the Staten Island Ferry, he said, because most of the passengers going to the attractions would be traveling there during off-peak hours, not prime commuting times.

Staten Island could become a major tourist destination by 2016, if the developers’ vision is realized. Combined, the two projects represent a $580 million investment. The New York Wheel, a 630-foot structure, will be the largest such attraction in the world, featuring glass-enclosed observation capsules that hold up to 40 people for a 38-minute ride.

The wheel will be able to accommodate as many as 1,400 passengers at a time, while Empire Outlets will include more than 100 designer stores, restaurants, a banquet facility and a 200-room hotel.

At night, the wheel will put on a show using $8 million worth of LED lighting that will act as a beacon, drawing people to St. George and the waters around it.

Even more incentives to visit

Mr. Noyes, who was previously a New York Water Taxi executive, said, “All of the harbor boat tours will want to come out at night to see the light show, and it’s my job to get those boats to drop people off [on Staten Island].”

To that end, he is working with other attractions in St. George to create more incentives to visit. The minor-league Staten Island Yankees, for example, are developing new programming for their ballpark, including concerts.

To keep travelers on the island longer, Mr. Noyes is collaborating with a company that will transport their luggage to the airports on the day of their departure.

“We want people to check in their luggage at Empire Outlets and enjoy more time here,” he said. The bag operator would be approved by the Transportation Security Administration, similar to a service that’s offered at Fashion Outlets of Chicago, which checks bags for flights leaving from O’Hare International Airport and even prints boarding passes.

Correction: Billybey Ferry Co. contracts with NY Waterway to operate the ferries it owns. This relationship was misstated in a previous version of this article, originally published online March 2, 2014.

Read More at Crain’s

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MJ the Anteater – Newest Resident at the Staten Island Zoo

The Staten Island Zoo is proud to announce it’s newest resident, MJ the anteater.

MJ is the first recorded tamandua zoo birth in the New York metropolitan region. The birth of the baby tamandua on Jan. 12 — the day the Jets won the Super Bowl back in 1969 — is only the second surviving zoo birth in New York State. There are about 70 tamandua specimens in public zoos across America.

Baby MJ was born to mother, DJ, who has resided at the Staten Island Zoo since 2011. The father is EJ, who arrived at the Zoo in 2011. MJ weighed only 14 ounces at birth, and has already grown to two pounds and three ounces.

Read the full story at SILIVE.COM

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