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 >>>>


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/ – 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 (, 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.


All Aboard the Lighthouse Boat Tour!

Lighthouse-Boat-Tour-2Join the National Lighthouse Museum in their continuing series of Lighthouse Boat Tours on Saturday, September 12, 2015 from 11 am to 2 pm.

The tour will depart from Staten Island Home Port, 355 Front Street, Staten Island, NY for a cruise up the East River, passing through Hell’s Gate to Long Island Sound. The cruise will go as far as Execution Rocks Lighthouse and learn of its gruesome history. The Stepping Stones Light is not to be missed. This is a memorable three hour cruise with knowledgeable presenters sharing little known facts about the lighthouses we’ll see.

Bring your own snacks or purchase refreshments on board. Rain or Shine Cost: Adults $60.00 Seniors $50.00 children $40.00

To purchase tickets:  or by calling 718-390-0400

Tickets can be purchased at the Lighthouse Museum site – 200 Promenade @ Lighthouse Point (behind St. George Post Office) Staten Island, NY 10301

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 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.

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.


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

fast company logo




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.


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

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.”

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