Urban Farm Encourages @UrbyLife Residents in Staten Island to #LiveLivelier

Apparently, the grass is greener on the Staten Island side.


Click picture for video

Ironstate’s latest 900-unit rental, named URBY, boasts a community centric residence with a blossoming concept — a commercial urban farm, the first of its kind in New York City, with 50 different vegetables, fruits and herbs.

So, how does a rooftop farm grow in Stapleton, S.I.?

Read on and get the full story from ABC7NY

Continue reading


City’s First Farmer in Residence to Tend Staten Island Building’s Mini Farm

Nicholas Rizzi at DNAinfo gives a shout-out to first SI “Farmer in Residence” at URBY Staten Island.



The city’s first farmer in residence — at least in this century — is being hired to tend to a Staten island apartment building’s organic mini-farm.

Developers of URBY Staten Island brought on consultant Zaro Bates three years ago to help plan the farm and are currently seeking applications for the resident farmer, said a spokeswoman for the company, Ironstate Development.

Bates, who has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell University’s Agricultural School, will help Ironstate choose a farmer to take the position — which has a $15,000 to $25,000 yearly salary and a rent-free studio apartment, according to the job listing.


URBY Staten Island website launched for new 900-unit development


Ongoing construction at URL Staten Island on Front Street, Monday, Jan. 4. When complete, the 30,000-foot, mixed-use complex will bring 900 rental apartment units to the Stapleton waterfront. (Staten Island Advance/Vincent Barone)

via Tracey Porpora/SILive.com – The developers of the 900-unit housing complex being built at the former Stapleton homeport — recently renamed URBY Staten Island — have launched a teaser website advertising the new community.

URBY Staten Island (www.urby.com), touts “brand new waterfront apartments on Staten Island. Launching soon.” The site invites prospective tenants to “sign up for a sneak peak.”

The development, which will offer a mix of well-designed studios, one- and two-bedroom units, is expected to begin during the first quarter of 2016, said a public relations representative for the project.

“Initial pricing will be announced shortly,” he said.


Once signed up, the website sends the prospective tenant this message:

“We’re pleased to know you’re interested in Urby! You’ll be happy to know that you’re now on our priority waiting list. Stay tuned, we’ll be sending you an invite to a special preview in January to come visit us on the Staten Island waterfront, where we’ll give you a sneak peek at our design savvy apartments and innovative building culture.”


URBY Staten Island 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.

Formerly, it’s developers, the Hoboken-based Ironstate Development, named the site URL Staten Island. It has been rebranded.

“The name was changed as Ironstate plans to launch the URBY brand. Staten Island will be the first of a planned series of other URBY developments set to open in other cities. The next URBY is expected to open later this year in Jersey City,” said the spokesman.

Specially curated social spaces for URBY Staten Island will include a spacious fitness center, outdoor pool, onsite farm with farmer in residence and a communal kitchen with a chef to help residents prepare gourmet meals. The site will also offer 300 parking spaces, he said.


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.


NY1 Online: 36 Acre Waterfront Community Near Completion


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.


Staten Island: NYC’s farthest-flung borough gets ready for its close-up

New York Post

via Adam Bonislawski/ New York Post

Everyone loves a water view, but, as the saying goes, God isn’t building any more beachfront property.

And so, as New York’s waterfront has emerged from its industrial past as a prime location for residential real estate, builders have steadily moved farther and farther afield in search of new spots for development.

Lately, they’ve made their way to Staten Island.

The city’s least populous borough, Staten Island has often been an afterthought in discussions of New York real estate. But with several hundred million dollars in commercial and residential development slated for the area, the island — and its Manhattan-facing north shore, in particular — is having a moment.

“It’s part of the larger story of outer borough waterfront development,” says David Barry, president of Ironstate Development, which is in the midst of converting The Homeport, a former US naval base in the north shore’s Stapleton neighborhood.

ENTER YOUR URL: Ironstate Development is transforming Stapleton’s erstwhile naval base into a mixed-use project (its courtyard above) called Urban Ready Living. Photo: Concrete

ENTER YOUR URL: Ironstate Development is transforming Stapleton’s erstwhile naval base into a mixed-use project (its courtyard above) called Urban Ready Living.
Photo: Concrete

The mixed-use development, named URL [Urban Ready Living], will feature 30,000 square feet of retail along with 900 rental apartments — studios from $1,600; one-bedrooms from $2,000; two-bedrooms from $2,700 — which will start leasing next summer. In addition, the city is investing $32 million for road improvements and a new waterfront esplanade at the site. Ironstate is also planning similar projects in Jersey City and Stamford, Conn.

“You’ve seen it in Brooklyn and Queens and Jersey City, and now Staten Island,” Barry says. “We’re in a period of time where waterfronts are turning over from industrial to residential, commercial and recreational — Staten Island is part of that progression.”

The Homeport development sits two railway stops south of the borough’s St. George neighborhood, home to the Staten Island Ferry terminal and the emerging epicenter of the island’s waterfront development.

Indeed, the waterfront district is where Triangle Equities’ plans to develop Lighthouse Point, a $200 million mixed-use project. Commencing this fall, it will include roughly 100 rental units, 85,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and entertainment space and a 160-room hotel.

Also in the area is Empire Outlets, a one-million-square-foot retail development by BFC Partners which recently won city council approval. Slated for completion in 2016, the project will include up to 125 outlet retailers as well as a 200-room hotel and 40,000 square feet of restaurant space.

And St. George is soon to be the home of the New York Wheel, a 630-foot-tall Ferris wheel that will be the tallest such structure in the world when it opens in 2016.

“We’re the last waterfront in the city to be developed,” says John Pitera, managing partner at Staten Island real estate firm Casandra Properties, leasing representative for Homeport and Empire Outlets.

“Prices are very reasonable, and projects like Homeport and Empire Outlets and the New York Wheel are huge draws for investors and residents.”

Casandra also handles leasing for The View, a 40-unit rental building from Madison Realty Capital at 224 Richmond Terrace, just north of the ferry terminal. The building finished leasing around eight months ago, Pitera says, with its one- and two-bedroom units going for between $1,700 and $3,800 a month.


The 224 Richmond Terrace site was originally owned by Staten Island developer Lieb Puretz, who launched a slew of residential projects for the St. George waterfront during last decade’s real estate boom, but had to sell in the aftermath of the 2008 crash.


SEE S.I.: Meadow Partners’ new Accolade building — in the gated Bay Street Landing complex — is set to open in the fall with prices ranging from $325,000 to more than $1 million. Photo: Erik Freeland

SEE S.I.: Meadow Partners’ new Accolade building — in the gated Bay Street Landing complex — is set to open in the fall with prices ranging from $325,000 to more than $1 million.
Photo: Erik Freeland

Puretz might have been a bit too far ahead of his time, but more recent developments, like Meadow PartnersAccolade building, are going great guns. The condo building in the gated Bay Street Landing complex is due to open this fall and officially launched sales last month, by which time it had already sold roughly 30 percent of its 101 units pre-construction. Prices for studios, one-, two- and three-bedrooms range from $325,000 to over $1 million.

With features like a fitness center, pet spa, children’s playroom and golf simulator, the development offers a “lifestyle package on par with buildings in Manhattan or Brooklyn,” says Jackie Urgo, president at The Marketing Directors, which is handling sales for the building.

And then, of course, there’s the matter of money. Prices in the building average around $330 per square foot, less than a quarter of the $1,364 per square foot Manhattan apartments averaged in the first quarter of 2014, according to numbers from appraiser Miller Samuel.

The promise of a bargain lured John Tully and his wife, Laura, to Staten Island. Currently renting a one-bedroom in Greenwich Village, the couple decided to buy a two-bedroom at the Accolade after surveying prices around the rest of the city.

“We love [Greenwich Village], but real estate prices in Manhattan have gotten pretty high,” Tully says, noting that Brooklyn prices have hit similarly stratospheric levels.

“Once we visited, we were pretty impressed,” he says. “The proximity to the ferry, the unobstructed waterfront views, the amenities — and most importantly we saw it as a good investment opportunity for our first [home] purchase as a married couple.”

It didn’t hurt, Tully adds, that his wife is originally from Staten Island. “So we knew the area well and were comfortable with the surroundings.”

Tully, who works in finance, says he’s reasonably comfortable with adding a ferry ride to his daily commute to Midtown. While it certainly won’t be as convenient as his current downtown situation, he expects he’ll be able to make it from the Accolade to his office in under an hour.

And Staten Island Ferry service — the lone mass transit link between the island and the rest of the city — is expanding. Last month ferries began running every half-hour on weekends until 2 a.m. Previously it had shifted to hourly service after 7 p.m. Beginning May 1, 2015, service is scheduled to increase to at least every half-hour around the clock, seven days a week.

Also expanding are local shopping options, notes Lester Petracca, president of Triangle Equities. In addition to lining up amenities such as restaurants and dinner theater aimed at ferry-going tourists, his firm’s Lighthouse Point project is currently targeting several supermarkets and drugstores as potential retail tenants.

For his part, Tully says he’s looking forward quaffing a few beers at Flagship Brewing Company, a Staten Island tap room and brewery that opened last month at 40 Minthorne St., a short walk from his new home.

He notes, though, that for him the appeal of Staten Island’s north shore is at least as much a matter of anticipation as it is the area’s current reality.

“It’s more the outlook of what’s to come than what’s already there,” Tully says.


Staten Island’s North Shore poised for major new developments

via The Real Deal

A rendering of the ferris wheel in Staten Island

Private investors will spend nearly $1 billion over the next decade into transforming Staten Island’s North Shore from a sleepy outpost into a bustling urban center, the New York Times reported. Among the projects in the pipeline are the world’s tallest Ferris wheel, an outlet mall and a 200-room hotel. A major residential complex by Ironstate Development is set to break ground in June in the Stapleton neighborhood near the Staten Island Ferry terminal.

The Ironstate project’s first $140 million phase will include two buildings with 27,000 square feet of retail space and 571 rental units. Rents will range from $1,200 for a studio to $2,600 for a two-bedroom apartment.

“Staten Island is losing a lot of young people because there are no options to attract them,” David Barry, president of Ironstate, told the Times. “You can’t have old housing stock and expect to attract your best and brightest.”

Another project close to the terminal is Lighthouse Point, a $250 million waterfront plaza being built by Triangle Equities that will include 53,000 square feet of retail space as well as a 164-room hotel and 96 housing units.

“We really believe that this is a transformational moment for the North Shore of Staten Island,” Seth Pinsky, president of the city’s Economic Development Corporation, told the Times. “Staten Island is entering into a golden age.”

The city has already invested over $200 million in public funds on projects such as the restoration of the ferry terminal and the waterfront. [NYT]  –Hiten Samtani

Staten Island suddenly shifts into high gear

via Amanda Fung/ Crain’s New York Business.com

True, the world’s largest Ferris wheel and the city’s first outlet mall are both coming to the North Shore of Staten Island, but the even more surprising news is that they will have lots of company.

In fact, several big developments are set to transform long-underutilized areas that lie between the Staten Island Ferry Terminal and Stapleton, along the harbor, into a bustling waterfront community. Among them is a 286,000-square-foot project including a hotel and housing that Queens-based Triangle Equities plans to build on an erstwhile Coast Guard site. Less than a mile north, plans are taking shape to turn a seven-acre decommissioned U.S. naval base site known as Homeport along the waterfront in Stapleton into another mixed-use development with housing and stores.

“We are seeing more and more creative spark and economic development move into Staten Island,” said David Barry, president of Ironstate Development, the New Jersey-based developer tapped last year by the city to develop the Homeport site.

Homeport will be the first project to take shape. Mr. Barry expects work to get underway on the $115 million first phase, with 520 rental apartments, in the first quarter of next year. He hopes to finalize his construction financing by year’s end. When complete, the $150 million property will have 900 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail space, plus a public plaza.

“We are very excited,” said Mr. Barry, who started scouting Staten Island for building sites four years ago. “We expect our project to be well received.”

Nearby, smaller efforts have already prospered. Brooklyn-based BFC Partners, one of the first developers to spot opportunity on postrecession Staten Island, recently finished leasing its 91-unit rental building called The Rail, less than a year after putting the units on the market. The six-story building on Bay and Prospect streets, across from the Paramount Theater, features apartments ranging from $700-a-month studios to $1,600-a-month three-bedrooms. Prices are on par with those in comparable buildings in the area, noted Joseph Ferrara, principal at BFC Partners, whose first project on Staten Island was a 105-unit senior housing complex that opened in April.

On top of providing housing for young professionals at deep discounts to Manhattan prices, BFC signed up a big retailer. It is Deal$, which inked a 10-year lease for 10,000 square feet at the base of The Rail. The store opened earlier this year, and business has been brisk.

‘Better retailers’

“When we attract more people, then we will get better retailers,” said Mr. Ferrara, who hopes that the arrival of Deal$ will draw enough traffic to help landlords fill up some of the many vacancies along Bay Street, one of the island’s main shopping strips. The Rail is 100 feet from the Stapleton stop on the Staten Island Railroad, which in turn is just two stops from the ferry terminal, and several stops in the other direction from the island’s ocean beaches. Stapleton is the same stop that will serve Homeport visitors when it is complete.

“I want the North Shore to exist without cars, like a Battery Park City,” said Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro.

Realizing such a dream would throw the borough’s door open to those roughly 2 million tourists who come over on the Staten Island Ferry each year but who rarely leave the ferry building.

In with the outlet

BFC Partners‘ largest and latest development on the island, a 350,000-square-foot outlet mall to be known as Harbor Commons, will certainly help get people onto the sidewalks of the borough. Boasting 100 stores and a 200-room hotel, it will rise on a city-owned site just south of the home of the Staten Island Yankees, St. George’s Richmond County Bank Ballpark. And so will the Ferris wheel, with its 36 capsules that can carry a total of 1,440 passengers, when it opens in early 2016 just north of the ballpark. The Ferris wheel and outlet mall are expected to bring a combined $480 million in private investment into the borough.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ferry terminal, Triangle Equities is expected to start building its $105 million mixed-use project by 2014.

“The North Shore has been ignored for 30 to 40 years,” said Donald Capoccia, managing principal and founder of BFC Partners. “We want to enliven the area and create an urban environment.”

Read more: http://www.crainsnewyork.com/article/20121021/REAL_ESTATE/310219979#ixzz2A96IhfwU


By Linda O’Flanagan


Madison Realty Capital has taken over a distressed Staten Island condominiumn with plans to finish the building work and market it as a rental.

Joshua Zegen, co-founder and managing member of the institutionally backed investment firm, said he believes the area around the St George building is in line for a renaissance.

“This submarket has become an exciting part of the New York City waterfront, but remains somewhat overlooked by investors,” Zegen explained.

“We identified a great opportunity to access this well-located property at an attractive basis through the senior debt, and now we’re putting the finishing touches on construction and marketing it as a rental.

“Our vertically integrated platform, which incorporates construction management, asset management, and property management in-house, will enable us to seamlessly execute our strategy for maximizing value. Given the local fundamentals and the high quality of these units, we expect the leasing effort to yield strong results.”

Several development plans are already underway in the area. The city has issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the waterfront parcels near the St. George Ferry Terminal now being used for parking.

Called a “potential game-changer” for Staten Island, Mayor Michael Bloomberg has said the development of the 6.7 acre site will be a catalyst for the further revitalization of the North Shore,
as well as the entire Island.

Talks among the local community have envisioned everything from a glamourous shopping mall, to hotels and theaters, as well as shops and apartments.

The Homeport, a 35-acre decommissioned U.S. Naval Base in Staten Island, is already being re-developed as a mixed-use residential community under the New Stapleton Waterfront Development Plan.

And lronstate Development Company is transforming 7-acres into rental housing and retail stores with the city throwing in another $33 million for road improvements and a new waterfront esplanade.

The Marketing Directors is currently selling homes in The Pointe, a new collection of one- and two-bedroom condos at 155 Bay Street. Managing director Jacquline Urgo said, “Coupled with our attractive prices and a location that’s a Manhattan commuter’s dream, we believe this exciting residential offering will appeal to everyone from current renters moving up to home ownership to empty nesters looking to scale down to a more manageable, maintenance-free lifestyle. ”

MRC plans to finish work on 224 Richmond Terrace, known officially as The View, and launch its leasing effort soon, with Casandra Properties handling leasing for both the residential and retail portions of the property.
The original owner planned it as a condo, but defaulted on its construction financing in 2009, after which the original lender filed a foreclosure action.

MRC previously purchased the non-performing first mortgage for $8.4 million (approximately 66% of the unpaid principal balance and 52% of the payoff balance including interest) from Bank of New York Mellon, and has now taken title by completing foreclosure proceedings.

Construction is substantially complete, according to Zegen, with only some interior installations and cosmetic detailing to be done.
The building rises 11 stories above the waterfront and features unobstructed views of the Manhattan skyline and the Statue of Liberty.

In addition to the 40 apartments, The View also offers approximately 5,000 s/f of retail space and a community cepter, and benefits from a 15-year 421a tax abatement.

T’he high-quality units were originally intended for sale to Financial District commuters.