Is Staten Island’s North Shore the next Hoboken?



via – “The North Shore is the Hoboken of the future. You’ve never seen something like Urby on Staten Island before, and I think the developers landed a goldmine when they put URBY where they did,” said Kate Rodal, one of the first residents of  URBY Staten Island.

That “goldmine” is the work of Dave Barry, CEO of the Hoboken-based Ironstate Development. It’s not the first time Barry has gone into a less desirable neighborhood, built a state-of-the-art complex and watched the area transform into an urban hot spot.


“I think Urby is the shot in the arm that is going to revive the North Shore. …The North Shore of Staten Island has the potential to be linked to the cultural landscape of New York City. People went to Williamsburg and Hoboken and then to places like Long Island City. …Staten Island’s North Shore is a part of that same story,” said Barry.

“Stapleton is in need of revitalization. It’s an area that has been plagued by crime and general lack of amenities and quality retail. Urby is a sizable project and it’s just the type of thing that will bring new people to the area,” he added.


Staten Island Mini City


Building No. 8 of Urby Staten Island, which began welcoming tenants on March 21, as seen from a new city park that’s to open this spring. Credit – Emon Hassan for The New York Times

via C.J. Hughes/The New York Times – The developers of Urby Staten Island, a new rental complex now opening in Stapleton, hope to prove that the North Shore of the “forgotten borough” can have broad appeal, and maybe even be the city’s next hip enclave.

Getting people to move to Urby, which is on an isolated stretch of waterfront about a mile — and two stops on the Staten Island Railway — from the Staten Island Ferry terminal, may not be easy. But the Ironstate Development Company, the project’s developer, is dangling many creative extras: an olive oil shop; a large garden that will grow kale; and a chef-in-residence to teach you how to prepare it.


Urby Staten Island is the first in a chain of similar developments planned for the region, including ones in Jersey City, Harrison, N.J., and Stamford, Conn.


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.


Explore Staten Island’s Rapidly Changing North Shore

Rendering of URL Staten Island (Photo: Concrete)

Rendering of URL Staten Island (Photo: Concrete) 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.


Staten Island Living, Retail Development Taking Shape on North Shore

Plans have been in the works for years to redevelop Staten Island’s north shore.
Now, there are some visible signs of progress at one site, where a residential and retail space is expected to rise. NY1’s Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

NY1At one time it was home to the U.S. Navy, a 36-acre space known as the Staten Island Homeport—but don’t call it that anymore.

With plans to open next summer as a retail and residential space, the site has a new vibe and a new name: URL.

Urban Ready Living. And it’s kind of a new paradigm for living in the cities and we’re excited to bring it to Staten Island. I think it’s going to be new, and fresh, and different,” says David Barry of Ironstate Development.

Ironstate Development bought the site back in 2008 with plans to build 900 units of housing and 30,000 square feet of retail space.

The first phase includes some 571 housing units meant to keep 20-somethings on Staten Island by giving them a place to rent that’s affordable.

Renting at URL comes with a host of amenities, like an outdoor pool, a community garden and a 4,000 square foot gym and yoga studio.

There’s also a cafe in the lobby, called Coffeed.

“We are locally sourced. We have a rooftop farm through the Brooklyn Grange that we use a lot of our produce from. We are very community-based, community-focused, community-centric,” says Coffeed’s Turtle Raffaele.

That’s good news for the entire waterfront, because Raffaele will also serve as the site’s social programmer.

He says he’s eager to include all the neighboring communities on events planned at URL.

No word yet on the rest of the retail space, but the developer says tenants are likely to be small businesses from around the city who may be looking for second or third locations.

Even when construction on the Homeport is complete, Barry says there’s one issue he’ll continue to push: creating a path that will connect all of the private development projects planned for the north shore.

“Naturally, there’s going to be a desire and an impetus to connect these areas. I think it’s something we all have to work on together,” Barry says.

The city is pumping $32 million into the project, fixing streets and building a waterfront esplanade—all being built to new Federal Emergency Management Agency flood standards.

One Man’s Bold Quest to Lure Cool New Yorkers to the City’s Least-Hip Borough

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Staten Island is one of New York’s five boroughs, but it seems like another world. Nobody goes there except for tourists who want to ride the free ferry and residents commuting home. The cool kids across the river have long laughed at the perennially unhip borough, treating it–if they ever think about it at all–like some loud, embarrassing cousin who you pray doesn’t show up at your birthday party and hit on your Warby Parker-wearing friends. The stereotypes can be ruthless: Mob Wives, tanning, SHOTS! SHOTS! SHOTS!, hair gel. Three members of the Jersey Shore cast were actually Staten Islanders. But here’s the thing: how many smug New Yorkers who mock that land on the other side of the ferry have actually spent any time there? What if Staten Island secretly has the potential to be…kind of cool?

FC BarryThat’s what David Barry is banking on, anyway. The 48-year-old co-president of real estate development company Ironstate is investing $150 million in a new residential project being built along the North Shore of Staten Island, and he’s specifically targeting the sort of cosmopolitan millennials who typically head directly to the sexier parts of Brooklyn. The project, set to open in fall 2015, is the first of Ironstate’s Urban Ready Living (URL) developments, which have been created with the help of Dutch design firm Concrete. The 571 initial units, with another 300-plus scheduled for phase two of construction, will be affordable–at least by New York standards, where the median price for an apartment tops $3,100 a month, according to data from the real estate research firm REIS. Pricing for the project isn’t finalized yet, but Barry says that 400-square-foot studios will start around $1,600, 550-square-foot one-bedrooms around $2,000, and 700-square-foot two-bedrooms around $2,400. That’s roughly $45 per square foot. Compare that to Williamsburg, Brooklyn–still the epicenter of NYC hipness–where studio apartments now cost an average of $2,632 a month, per the latest Brooklyn Rental Market Report.


Tide turns as groundbreaking at Staten Island’s old home port ushers in $1B boom

6-21-2013 1-29-12 PMvia Jillian Jorgensen/

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Twenty years after the U.S. Navy left the Stapleton home port behind, redevelopment of the prime piece of waterfront has finally begun — and it’s just the beginning of $1 billion in private investment slated for the North Shore.

“Now, at long last , we’re about to do something different with this site, something new,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said. “Not a naval vessel but a bright new future for a stunning, but long neglected, stretch of our waterfront.”

Bloomberg was on hand Thursday to turn a shovel at the groundbreaking for the $150 million development that will eventually contain 900 apartments and 30,000 square feet of retail space — all of it with “some of the best harbor views anywhere in the city,” he said, featuring the Manhattan skyline and the towering Verrazano-Narrows Bridge.

And the city will pump $32 million into the project, in the form of infrastructure upgrades, including development of a waterfront esplanade. Of the apartments, 20 percent will rent for below-market rates, Bloomberg said, and the enterprise will create 1,100 construction and 150 permanent jobs.

“Today’s groundbreaking also marks a big step toward realizing our vision for the dynamic future of Staten Island’s entire North Shore,” Bloomberg said.

With the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets planned to open beside the St. George Ferry Terminal in 2016, and Light House Point identified as a spot for another mixed-use development that would include a hotel, Bloomberg said roughly $1 billion in private investment in projects “are going to bring new life, new jobs, new opportunity to this community.”

“Welcome to the Renaissance of the North Shore,” City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) said.

At the home port, phase one, to be completed in 2015, will include 570 apartments and 25,000 square feet of retail — which David Barry, president of Hoboken-based developer Ironstate, said would be mainly food-and-drink options, so people can enjoy time along the waterfront. Many of them will be familiar names, but not national chains, he said.

“We’re looking in places like Brooklyn, in Staten Island and in New Jersey,” he said. “We’re not focusing on national chains, but people who have successful businesses in these areas and are looking to open a second or third location.”

They’re also looking to attract the twentysomethings who routinely flee the borough to live somewhere hipper, more affordable, or more connected to mass transit.

“This development is designed to be particularly attractive to young Staten Islanders, just starting their careers,” Bloomberg said. “And that’s going to meet an unfilled need on Staten Island, which for too long has lost many of its young adults to other boroughs, just because they couldn’t find apartments the right size for somebody starting out.”

The development has been long in coming — Borough President James Molinaro said requests for proposals first went out in 2003, 10 years after the Navy left. It took until 2008, he said, to find Ironstate and bring them to the Economic Development Corporation to get approved for the job said — and it was a further five years to the groundbreaking.

But Molinaro said it wouldn’t have happened at all without a third term for Bloomberg.

“Do you really think we’d be standing here today, or sitting here today celebrating this? Do you think we’d be celebrating the Wheel or the outlet center? No, we wouldn’t have been. We definitely wouldn’t have been,” Molinaro said. “So the additional term that he ran for, people may not be satisfied in Queens or Brooklyn or the Bronx. I really don’t care. For Staten Island, it was a blessing.”

There were many ideas for the area — including a park, which Molinaro shot down, saying the area should generate tax revenue. Ms. Rose said the best idea ultimately won out.

“This one turned out to be the most comprehensive strategy that would benefit our local economy as well as maintain our young people in place,” she said. ‘When we lose them we lose what they have to share with our communities.”

It’s Ironstate’s first development in Staten Island — but they’ve developed dozens of waterfront locations, including the W Hotel in Hoboken and Pier Village in Long Branch in New Jersey.

“We’re in a period of time when a lot of our industrial properties are changing over and becoming more commercial and more residential, and I think this is emblematic of that,” Barry said, “and emblematic of this move to respect the outer boroughs and what they have to offer.”

The project has been built to FEMA’s new flood standards, Barry said, and the company’s waterfront developments elsewhere weathered Sandy well. In addition to being at the proper elevations, the homeport development will feature generators to power elevators, charge phones and keep the management office running.

“We’re very, very confident that we are well-prepared for any storm that’s going to come,” Barry said.


Development Plans In Place For Staten Island Waterfront

By: Amanda Farinacci

Try walking along Front Street in Stapleton.

It’s not easy. The sidewalks that do exist are crumbling and many sections along the busy strip don’t even have them, forcing pedestrians into the street.

“It needs work,” says Tom McKnighty with the New York State Economic Development Council. “It does not have sidewalks, it does not have trees, it does not have lighting.”

Now, as part of the redevelopment of the Staten Island Homeport, that’s about to change.

Front Street borders the long-abandoned 36-acre site, once the home of the U.S. Navy. As part of an aggressive redevelopment plan for the long-abandoned site, infrastructure improvements have finally begun.

For the next several months, crews will be working underground on sewers and water mains. Next year, they will repave streets, add lights and plant trees.

“It’ll make a place that’s more pedestrian-friendly, it’ll be a better place for drivers and it’ll help establish a place for the new development,” McKnighty says.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation has teamed up with Ironstate Development to build 900 units of housing in phases, including 35,000 square feet of retail space and improved waterfront access.

By the end of the year, the city says it expects to begin work on the waterfront esplanade, a roughly three-acre site officials say will eventually look a little something like the recently redeveloped East River Park on Manhattan’s lower east side:

“It’s gonna be planted areas, it’s gonna be seating, it’s gonna be a walking path,” McKnighty says. “There’s gonna be opportunity for active recreation. It’s gonna be a waterfront park.”

Ironstate will begin construction of the first 450 units of housing later this year. In the meantime, the developer is already talking to potential tenants, both island-based businesses and national chains, about the retail space.

“They’re very excited about the waterfront location and about the esplanade and how it will all come together,” says Michael Darata of Ironstate Development.

While Ironstate says it hasn’t signed any tenants yet, it says it expects to very



It’s been a long time coming but there’s movement on converting a sprawling stretch of Staten Island waterfront into the island’s newest place to live and shop, years after the Navy set sail from the site.