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Projects & Proposals > Staten Island > Stapleton Printer Friendly Version
Stapleton Waterfront - Approved!
Overview | Existing Context | Proposed Actions | Public Review

  Update October 25, 2006:
On October 25, 2006 the City Council adopted the Stapleton zoning changes as modified by the City Planning Commission (see PDF Document the CPC reports). The zoning changes are now in effect.

Stapleton Waterfront
The Department of City Planning (DCP) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC) propose creation of the Special Stapleton Waterfront District and related actions to facilitate redevelopment of the former U.S. Navy Homeport and surrounding area on the north shore of Staten Island. The redevelopment plan, including construction of an almost mile-long esplanade along New York Harbor, stems from recommendations made in 2004 by Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Task Force on Homeport Redevelopment.

The New Stapleton Waterfront (Illustrative)
Stapleton Waterfront Locator Map
Locator Map

Stapleton is one of Staten Island’s most walkable urban communities with a town center dating back to the early 19th century. The community’s history is strongly identified with the waterfront. Ferry service in the area dates to 1752. Commodore Cornelius Vanderbilt, who was born in 1794 on the family farm in Stapleton, started running ferries out of Stapleton and built an international steamship and transportation empire that included Grand Central Station. During WWII both the U.S. Army and the U.S. Navy used the Stapleton waterfront as the New York State Port of Embarkation. After the war, the waterfront fell into disrepair as the shipping industry moved to New Jersey.  For decades, the community has had insufficient waterfront access, and when the U.S. Navy established a homeport in Stapleton in 1990, the community was virtually cut off from the waterfront.

In 1995, after the Homeport was decommissioned as a naval base, New York City took ownership of the 35-acre site, including the 1,410-foot pier. In 2003, Mayor Bloomberg formed the Task Force on Homeport Redevelopment to envision a new future for the site and reconnect the community with the waterfront. The task force included local elected officials, community representatives, local business owners and residents, the Mayor’s office and city agencies. Over the course of several community meetings, the task force considered different development scenarios for the site.  

81 Water Street, a notable building in the Stapleton town center
81 Water Street, a notable building in the Stapleton town center
Since the Navy established the Homeport in the 1990s, Stapleton has had virtually no access to the waterfront.
Since the Navy established the Homeport in the 1990s, Stapleton has had virtually no access to the waterfront

Task Force Recommendations
In 2004, the Task Force on Homeport Redevelopment made its final recommendations to the Mayor. PDF Document Recommendations include development of an almost mile-long waterfront esplanade running the length of the site, residential units (sites A, B3, and B5), banquet hall and waterfront restaurant (B1), sports complex (B2), ground-floor retail and farmers market (B3); and a major economic use such as a movie studio or office space (B4). Mayor Bloomberg backed these recommendations and kick-started the efforts by budgeting $66 million for the project for the public improvements, including the construction of the esplanade and open spaces.

Stapleton will be transformed from a manufacturing area to an active mixed-use extension of the Stapleton town center.
Stapleton will be transformed from a manufacturing area to an active mixed-use extension of the Stapleton town center.
Task Force Recommendations
Stapleton Waterfront Recommendations
PDF Document View a larger image.

In addition to the esplanade, two open spaces would be developed to link the esplanade and upland Front Street and extend the connections to the historic core of Stapleton with street improvements. Pier Place would be located near Baltic Street and would provide a public gathering space at the foot of the 1,410-foot naval pier. The pier is expected to be restricted to Navy use for the foreseeable future. The other proposed open space, the Cove, would be located between Canal and Water Streets and designed to emphasize the connection between the Stapleton town center, which is just west of the site, and the waterfront. The esplanade and open spaces would offer passive recreation including walkways, garden and picnic areas, and waterfront viewing platforms to take advantage of the beautiful views of the Manhattan and Brooklyn skylines and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Active recreation opportunities would include fishing platforms, volleyball and bocce courts, playgrounds, bicycle and walking pathways, and a kayak launch.

Views from the Stapleton Waterfront
View of Manhattan skyline from Stapleton waterfront
Manhattan Skyline
Views of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge from the Stapleton waterfront
Verrazano Narrows Bridge

Plan Implementation
To implement the Task Force’s recommendations, several land use actions are required including a zoning text amendment to create the Special Stapleton Waterfront District, a zoning map amendment to rezone the project area, mapping and demapping of city streets, and disposition of city-owned property.     

A consultant team led by engineers Weidlinger Associates and landscape architects/planners Wallace, Roberts & Todd are to design the public improvements including the new esplanade, open spaces, roadways, streetscapes and other elements. EDC will oversee construction of the streets and preparation of the site for development, including razing the Navy buildings and construction of the public open spaces and esplanade. EDC will issue RFPs for the development parcels in late 2006. Preparation of the site and construction of the esplanade and streets are expected to begin in 2006-07.

Overview | Existing Context | Proposed Actions | Public Review

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