Staten Island’s Turning Point?

A view of URL Staten Island, a new residential and retail complex rising in the Stapleton neighborhood, from the Stapleton platform of the Staten Island Railway. URL overlooks Upper New York Bay. Credit Edwin J. Torres for The New York Times

A view of URL Staten Island, a new residential and retail complex rising in the Stapleton neighborhood, from the Stapleton platform of the Staten Island Railway. URL overlooks Upper New York Bay. Credit Edwin J. Torres for The New York Times

C.J. Hughes features Staten Island development in this week’s The New York Times.

From the article:

A wide bay may separate Staten Island from the rest of the city. But in terms of real estate, differences between the borough and other enclaves seem to be lifting like a morning fog.

New rentals and condominiums, some with perks like a pet spa or rooftop beehives, are rewriting the island’s skyline. Big-city cool is popping up in a place not always noted for it: Small-batch espresso will soon flow at a coffee shop; a jug band played kazoos at a recently opened brewery; and stores selling brand-name skinny-leg pants are on their way. And a fresh crop of renters and buyers, unable to afford pricier precincts and unfazed by stereotypes about how the place can seem insular, bland or run-down, are setting sail for the island.

 Rising on a desolate stretch of waterfront is URL Staten Island, short for “Urban Ready Life,” a $250 million mixed-use project with about 900 rental apartments in a series of buildings resembling factories, with bands of windows and flat roofs, the better to house bee hives.

The first phase, with 571 studios, one-bedrooms and two-bedrooms, will open this fall. Interiors will feature stone counters and bamboo floors, plus stacked washers and dryers. Studios will likely start around $1,600 a month, and two-bedrooms at $2,800, said David Barry, the president of Ironstate Development, the developer.

The site will contain 35,000 square feet of retail space, more than half of which is now leased. Among the future tenants are a pizzeria, a store dedicated to specialty olive oils and Lola Star, a Coney Island clothing shop that is soon to open a branch in that other rising outpost, the Rockaways. Coffeed, a chain that brewed its first cup in Long Island City, Queens, will also be there.

National chain stores, such as those that dot Staten Island’s strip malls, are not welcome at URL. “This place has its own special character,” Mr. Barry said. “The stores should reflect that.”

URL will also have a 5,000-square-foot plot planted with vegetables that can be purchased from an on-site farm stand. Or, for a fee, residents will be able to request that its kale, spinach, rainbow chard and mizuna be prepared by a chef who will do double duty as the head farmer, said Mr. Barry, who was sifting through résumés for the post as he spoke.

READ FULL ARTICLE AT THE NEW YORK TIMES

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Check out Beyond Borders this Saturday

A celebration of Puerto Rican heritage with music and dance, featuring Plena Dura y Bomba Group and Jose & Nydia Ocasio, at Tappen Park in Staten Island, NY.

A celebration of Puerto Rican heritage with music and dance, featuring Plena Dura y Bomba Group and Jose & Nydia Ocasio, at Tappen Park in Staten Island, NY.

Saturday April 18
12pm
Location: Gazebo @ South Beach Boardwalk
Fee: FREE

Ed Morales of the Village Voice once wrote that “life [in immigrant NYC] is tolerance for ambiguity.” This “tolerance for ambiguity,” he speaks of, is not only the tolerance for, but the ability to see the inherent strength in, living in-between: languages, cultures, perspectives, and approaches to daily life. Such a lifestyle requires constant improvisation on the part of the individual as they move between the myriad of cultural worlds they inhabit.

In honor of immigrant heritage celebrations in NYC, Beyond Borders-A Meeting of Cross-Cultural Improvisations seeks to explore this very concept through the medium of music. The three hour open-air concert brings musicians from varying cultural traditions present on Staten Island, together on the same stage to explore cross-cultural approaches to musical improvisation. The concert will be presented at the gazebo on the iconic Staten Island Boardwalk as part of SIA’s collaboration with the Boardwalk Events Initiative Group programming from (April) May-June.This boardwalk initiative is led by Mark Tranchina at the Vanderbilt/South Fin Grill and NYC Dept of Parks and Recreation. Curated around themes of improvisation and cultural heritage the line-up will feature Sri Lankan Hevisi drumming, Afro-Puerto Rican bomba y plena, Ghanaian percussion, Middle Eastern folk musics (North African, Turkish, Arab and Jewish), and American Jazz. The program will combine individual performances with a jam and artist talkback/Q&A session.

This “encuentro,” to borrow the spanish term, or impromptu meeting between musicians from diverse backgrounds and traditions, will showcase several distinct approaches to time and improvisation in music. As the performers will elucidate however, the cultural significance of such methods and techniques reaches far beyond the bandstand and can also be used to find points of connection and inter-cultural collaboration.

Event sponsored Staten Island Arts

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Tiny Houses BIG on Staten Island?

The Salsa Box Tiny House by Shelter Wise is a cozy, compact cabin with a queen-sized bed and lots of creative nooks and crannies for storage. (Michael Lloyd for Oregonlive.com)

The Salsa Box Tiny House by Shelter Wise is a cozy, compact cabin with a queen-sized bed and lots of creative nooks and crannies for storage. (Michael Lloyd for Oregonlive.com)

Tracey Porpora at The Staten Island Advance tackles this very question:

In the 1980s John Mellencamp sang about the American heartland where little pink houses exist.

Some decades later, builders are trying to make home ownership affordable by building “tiny houses” across the county — particularly in the Midwest.

Albeit not pink, these apartment-size houses are actually becoming a trend.

For example, the Portland, Or.-based Shelter Wise, has designed a compact 96-square-foot home, reports Oregonlive.com. Though tiny by all standards, the design boasts all the amenities a homeowner needs: queen-size bed, bookshelves, bath and kitchen.

The best part: it costs only $22,500.

With the struggle for many middle- and low-income wage earners to be able to afford home ownership on Staten Island, some people are wondering if the tiny house could be the answer. 

 

 

READ MORE AT SILIVE.COM

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Support Project Hospitality’s “Dine Out Against Hunger”

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WHAT

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.

WHEN

This one-day event is set for:
Thursday, April 23, 2015

WHO

People of the community can support this effort simply by going out to eat at a participating restaurant on Thursday, April 23, 2015. Co-workers can dine out at breakfast, lunch and/or dinner together; friends and families can dine out in the evening.

WHERE

At participating restaurants throughout Staten Island. FULL LIST

WHY

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.

SPONSORS

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 Community Sponsor is The Honorable James Oddo, President of the Borough of Staten Island. The founding Corporate Sponsor is the Staten Island Advance. The lead sponsor is Catering by Framboise. The Placemat Sponsors are Driscoll Foods, Northfield Bank, Richmond University Medical Center, Staten Island Hilton Garden Inn and SYSCO Food Services of Metro NY and New York State Restaurant Association. A Poster Sponsor is Ashkar Corporation. Bronze sponsors are Victory State Bank, Rogers Surveying, NYC Hospitality Alliance and Richmond County Savings Foundation. Media sponsor is Mindsaw Web Development. The printing underwriter is R&L Press.

For more information

If you want to know more about Dine Out Against Hunger 2015, please call Project Hospitality at (718) 448-1544, ext. 163 or use the link to the left.

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SI Arts Scene to Draw on Ferris Wheel Visitors

Snug Harbor's Gabri Christa and Lynn Kelly are bringing more original programming to the center. Photo: Buck Ennis

Snug Harbor’s Gabri Christa and Lynn Kelly are bringing more original programming to the center.
Photo: Buck Ennis

Museums spruce up and expand to lure visitors from outlet center and the New York Wheel.

The fruits of Staten Island’s cultural renaissance are hard to miss these days. Visitors to the borough get their first glimpse upon landing in the ferry terminal, where a gallery that opened last summer features handmade jewelry and other crafts by local artisans in shows that change every seven weeks.

The 2,500-square-foot space is run by the nonprofit Staten Island Arts. Islanders hope it will help pique visitors’ interest in the borough and possibly persuade them to sample some of its growing number of attractions.

Last summer, the National Lighthouse Museum debuted with a few exhibits in a building a stone’s throw from the ferry terminal. A formal opening is slated for August. A month later, the Staten Island Museum will open a building with 10,000 square feet of exhibition space, more than double what it has now. Meanwhile, the Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden hired an artistic director last December—its first in more than 15 years—to bring more original programming to the 83-acre campus as part of a campaign to draw more visitors.

“There is so much to do on Staten Island,” said Lynn Kelly, president and chief executive of Snug Harbor, which is just a short bus ride from the ferry terminal. “We are really starting to get more traction.”

Read Full Story at Crain’s NY Business

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NY1 Online: 36 Acre Waterfront Community Near Completion

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NY1 VIDEOWhile a lot of attention is being put on development projects in St. George including the NY Wheel and Empire Outlets, another development project just down the shoreline is getting closer to completion. The project is transforming 36 acres on the former Stapleton Homeport into a sustainable waterfront community.  It will include 900 units of housing and 35,000 square feet of retail space. NY1’s Bree Driscollsits down with Dave Barry who is the President of Ironstate Development Company.

GO TO VIDEO

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Ironstate expanding its development focus to Connecticut, Staten Island

2015-03-09_11-30-35Joshua Burd at NJ BIZ reports on the expansion of Ironstate Developmentinto Staten Island and Connecticut.

After decades spent building a vast multifamily portfolio around New Jersey’s Gold Coast and then New York City, Ironstate Development is adding a new location to its list of target markets: Stamford, Connecticut.

The well-respected Hoboken-based firm is preparing to start construction on a 672-unit, mixed-use project in that city, which sits about 40 miles from Manhattan and is connected by a busy Metro-North rail station. Working in a joint venture with The Rich Co., a local developer, Ironstate said it expects to begin site work next month and deliver the first phase of 194 units by around fall 2016.

FULL ARTICLE

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Art Intersects March Meetup

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Tues, Mar 10, 7-9pm

SI Arts’ Culture Lounge Gallery @ St. George Ferry Terminal, 10 Ferry Terminal Drive, 10301

FREE | RSVP Here

Inspired by the community that formed around Staten Island Arts’ Art Intersects workshop series, this meetup group seeks to create a space for individual artists, creative businesses, collectives or nonprofit groups to develop independent initiatives, share resources, and deepen professional relationships. It is also an open forum for discussion about interest, opportunities, and upcoming events the Culture Lounge Artist Market. Let’s meet at the intersection of Art, Business, and Community!

This meetup group is envisioned as a space for artists/groups that are:

1. Currently participating in the Culture Lounge Artist Market,
2. Interested in participating in the market, and looking for feedback and peer support, and/or
3. Looking to deepen their business practices.

Space is limited. RSVP via email, phone, and/or ticketing system required.

Hope to see you there!

Contact  718-414-6904 or mvalenzuela@statenislandarts.org

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TMYK: Borough Hall Murals

PHOTO:  Vinnie Amesse

PHOTO: Vinnie Amesse

Staten Island’s 100-year-old Borough Hall is the seat of government for the Borough. Featuring beautiful French Renaissance design elements and a high clock tower, it is one of the most recognizable landmarks on Staten Island.

The grand marble lobby contains a series of Depression Era bas-reliefs and murals which allow visitors to take a walk through history. The 13 murals are 6 ½ by 13-foot oil-on-canvas masterpieces and depict significant moments in Staten Island’s past. They are the first comprehensive series of paintings to decorate a public building on Staten Island, and the murals are the largest and most accessible WPA collection in New York City.

www.statenislandusa.com

Hours
Monday through Friday, 9am-5pm
Admission
Free

Address
10 Richmond Terrace
Staten Island, NY
718.816.2000

via VisitStatenIsland.com

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Comedy Night (The Second Coming) @ SIABC Gallery

Comedy-Night-Flyer

February 19 @ 8:30 pm11:00 pm

SIABC is proud to present to you our second monthly comedy showcase right here at 73 Wave St!

Last month we had a sold out packed house and a lineup of great performers all from Staten Island and other parts of New York City! Clips of that show are available online now!

This month’s bill includes Staten Island talent:

Anthony Mustacchio
Joe Romby Jr.
Tommy DaddyTom Re
Zach Sharif
Susan Golden
Andy Nadler
John Kurschner
Jeffrey Paul
Jay Miller
Eric D’Alessandro
Jen Remauro

Tickets will be available from Pauline, Calvin, or any of the featured performers above.

$15 pre-sale
$20 at the door

ABOUT SIABC (from their website)

The Staten Island Artist Building Corporation (SIABC) is proud to be located in the Stapleton area of Staten Island.  It serves to building a stronger community by offering studio work space for creatively minded individuals. Artists and the community have embraced SIABC as a hub for creating, collaborating on, and showcasing their works.

Set in a beautifully designed building, SIABC is open to all different genres of art.  Currently accommodating artists in photography, painting, silk screening, writing, video, and glass designing, SIABC is open to consider new and innovative genres and welcomes artists involved in cutting edge creative works.  The SIABC building includes private artist studios in a modern space including a common lounge area and kitchen.

Aside from the main building, the SIABC Art Gallery / Performance Space has already seen its fair share of fantastic exhibitions from local artists, musical performances, and formal gatherings.  It is open to everyone and is available for reservation.  Several theatrical plays have been performed at the Gallery’s mini theater & stage and it is also available for smaller theater productions, business meetings, private parties, art showcases, and a host of different types of events.

Caffe Artisti is located right next door to the  Gallery.  Whether it’s to take an espresso break during any Gallery events or enjoy a delicious fresh food meal, Caffe Artisti is ready whenever the mood arises.

Staten Island Artist Building is pleased to share it’s space and resources with all Staten Island creatives with an outreach to all artists in New York City.  We look forward to the future of art and many more enjoyable experiences at our space with everyone.

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