#Progress

New York Wheel-thumb

via Curbed.com – Construction on what will become the world’s tallest Ferris wheel is moving along in Staten Island, and Untapped Cities got a chance to visit the construction site this week. Foundation work at the site got underway in June, but earlier this month it was revealed that the New York Wheel’s opening had been pushed to April 2018, from the previously scheduled opening in 2017.

Once complete, the $580 million Wheel will stand 630 feet tall, surpassing the current tallest wheel, the Singapore Flyer. While on their tour, Untapped Cities also got some new details on the New York Wheel project.

The designers at S9 Architecture described a “stiletto heel” foundation that will anchor the wheel deep into the bedrock. Additionally, a 950-car parking garage will be located across from the base of the attraction. That garage will come fitted with a six-acre green roof, a restaurant, a concert venue, and a playground.

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And so it begins ….

 

There’s a fun neighbor in Staten Island! DNAinfo New York reports on the Ferris wheel taking Staten Island by storm.

SI Wheel

The first part of the massive Ferris wheel expected to bring hordes of visitors eager for stunning views of the city to Staten Island is in place.

Crews spent hours pouring concrete foundation at the first section of the New York Wheel on Saturday.

About 450 trucks poured 4,000 cubic feet of concrete into the wheel’s base that will hold up the 630-foot, 20-million-pound structure when it opens, which is expected to be next year.

“I would challenge anybody who doesn’t believe to come down here and look at the $250 million we have in the ground,” said Rich Marin, CEO of the New York Wheel.

“We’re either delusional or something if we don’t think it’s real at this point.”

Continue reading and see pics at DNAinfo >>>>

URL®Staten Island housing complex to open in December

Tracey Porpora at The Staten Island Advance reports on the December opening of Ironstate Development Company‘s URL®Staten Island.

-d511e38ae2bf1142URL®Staten Island, the 900-unit housing complex being built at the former Stapleton homeport, is expected to welcome its first residents on Dec. 1.

URL (Urban Ready Life)®Staten Island — being built by the Hoboken-N.J.-based Ironstate Development Company — is a $150 million project to construct 900 rental units in two five story buildings with 35,000 square feet of ground floor retail, 600 parking spaces and a public plaza at the former U.S. Navy homeport.

“This will be a really different type of residential living for Staten Island. I think it’s going to be a credit to the North Shore community. I think it’s taking an underutilized waterfront area and providing really meaningful public access and programming in the form of restaurateurs,” said David Barry, president of Ironstate Development Company, whose portfolio of projects includes Pier Village in Long Branch, N.J.

URL®Staten Island will be the first of several waterfront projects — including the N.Y. WheelEmpire Outlets and Lighthouse Point in St. George — to take shape on the North Shore.

READ THE FULL STORY AT SILIVE.COM

Explore Staten Island’s Rapidly Changing North Shore

Rendering of URL Staten Island (Photo: Concrete)

Rendering of URL Staten Island (Photo: Concrete)

Curbed.com reports on new development on Staten Island’s North Shore. 

“Staten Island has a tough time being cool,” said Kamillah Hanks, founder of the Historic Tappen Park Community Partnership, as she spoke to a tour group about the North Shore neighborhood of Stapleton. It’s true: New York’s forgotten borough, often seen as isolated due to its inaccessibility by bridge or Subway line from Manhattan, doesn’t have the same charm or youthful energy that is pervasive in Brooklyn and parts of Queens now. Recently, developers have been aiming to change this perception while also taking advantage of vacant spaces on the island’s North Shore, with notable—and projects including the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, Lighthouse Point, and URL Staten Island. This past weekend, Curbed took a tour, hosted by Untapped Cities and Munro Johnson, vice president of Staten Island development projects for the New York City Economic Development Corporation, of some of the key sites and newest ventures to hit the island as businesses and residents alike descend on the area after being priced out of other boroughs and neighborhoods.

The tour began mere steps away from the Stapleton Staten Island Railway Station at URL Staten Island (short for “Urban Ready Life,” a rental community developed by Ironstate Development that is part of the larger community known as the New Stapleton Waterfront. Greg Russo from Ironstate explained that the 900-unit development, which is slated to open its first phase by the end of this year, is targeting apartment hunters in their 20s or 30s, as the island has experienced an exodus of young people in recent years. The project, which was implemented by the EDC’s Capital Program, will also foster community life with a public plaza, a cafe, and 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space. Outside of the buildings, the developer hopes to work with the borough to upgrade and create more streets connecting the shore area with the inner neighborhood, as the areas feel very distinct from one another at the moment.

READ FULL ARTICLE ON CURBED.COM

Developer to add 3 million sf of warehouse space to Staten Island site

via Rich Bockman/The Real Deal

Development site on Staten Island’s western shore (credit: Langan)

The owner of the city’s largest privately-held industrial site, where Brooklyn Brewery will build a new headquarters on Staten Island, is planning to add 3 million square feet of warehouse space to the project on the borough’s western shore.

Staten Island Marine Development, which owns more than 670 acres bisected by the freight rail lines connecting the borough to the national rail system, plans to redevelop half of the site in two phases through 2020. The project would deliver 3.1 million square feet of warehouse space. The developer declined to comment, but Brooklyn Brewery CEO Eric Ottaway said his company will build a 440,000-square-foot brew house with room for a 300-seat indoor restaurant, a beer garden and an events space. The brewers also decided to add a retail component for visitors.

“We originally had not planned retail, but realized people would want to come see the facility so we’d better add a visitor center,” Ottaway wrote in an email.

Meanwhile, the owners of the brewery’s current home at 79 North 11th Street in Williamsburg have put the property on the market. It’s expected to sell for at least $50 million, as previously reported.

The proposal is just one project shaking things up on Staten Island. Further north, mega projects like the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets and the 900-unit rental project planned by Ironstate Development promise to transform the borough’s North Shore.

READ MORE AT THEREALDEAL.COM

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

NY1 Online: 36 Acre Waterfront Community Near Completion

2015-03-16_14-12-20

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

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