FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 12, 2011
MAYOR BLOOMBERG ANNOUNCES THE CITY IS SEEKING TO REDEVELOP MORE THAN 14 ACRES OF STATEN ISLAND WATERFRONT
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel and New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky today announced that the City is seeking responses from developers for the purchase or ground lease and redevelopment of two City-owned parcels located on the St. George Waterfront on Staten Island. The City is issuing a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the two sites in order to help determine the feasibility for long-term development, potential uses and necessary infrastructure investments in the two parcels, which occupy prominent waterfront locations near the St. George Ferry Terminal. Both sites are currently used as parking for the Richmond County Bank Ballpark and the St. George Ferry Terminal, yet represent enormous potential for economic development that would benefit St. George and all of Staten Island.
“In order to continue building for the future, it is imperative that we seek out new and innovative ways to create jobs and additional opportunities for the residents of St. George and Staten Island, while also making the island a top destination for visitors,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “The potential to develop these sites while maintaining the availability of parking –combined with projects at the Homeport, Howland Hook, and at the Ferry Terminal – will be a catalyst for the further revitalization of the North Shore, as well as the entire island.”
“Further revitalizing the City’s economy, both on Staten Island and across the five boroughs, is a top priority of this administration,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “In order to fully capitalize on the enormous potential that exists in St. George, we must explore all options for job creation and continued economic development. With this RFEI we will begin to move in this direction, which will provide tremendous benefits to the people of Staten Island and the entire City.”
“This is a critical first step towards unlocking the significant economic development potential of these sites,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “Improving waterfront access and creating good jobs for New Yorkers are priorities of the Bloomberg Administration, and the responses we receive to this RFEI can help us to take an important step forward in accomplishing both of these goals on Staten Island."
“Our waterfront is one of our best assets, and I am pleased that Mayor Bloomberg and the NYCEDC have been proactive in helping to improve and develop waterfront sites,” said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. “These land parcels are perfectly located for retail space, which could draw both residents and the 1.5 million visitors that ride our Ferry each year. The land has prime New York City views, and unlimited possibility. I look forward to reviewing the RFEI results, and to the continued revitalization of our waterfront.”
“The St. George area is our downtown Staten Island with panoramic waterfront views of the Manhattan skyline, Brooklyn, Bayonne and Jersey City. However, thousands of tourists ride aboard the Staten Island ferry annually without venturing out of the ferry terminal. The development of the St. George Waterfront can help promote tourism and boost our economy,” said City Council Member Debi Rose. “I recognize this as the first step in the footprint of economic development for the St. George Waterfront. I urge Staten Island developers who have great ideas for developing this area to submit a RFEI. A decision on whether or not to proceed with a RFP will be determined by the information provided in response to this RFEI.”
“The lack of commercial development on Staten Island’s waterfront has been a squandered opportunity for decades, most especially in St. George with its panoramic views of Jersey City, Manhattan and Brooklyn,” said Congressman Michael Grimm. “I am confident that this proposal is a key first-step in turning that enormous potential into a reality.”
“I express my gratitude to the Bloomberg Administration for releasing this RFEI that will help jumpstart economic development in the St. George area, which is primed for an economic revival,” said State Senator Diane Savino.
“Responsible development of these two sites is crucial for a vibrant downtown Staten Island as well as for bringing jobs to this area, both in construction projects and long term use,” said Assemblyman Matthew Titone.
The RFEI is structured around specific development goals that will have a positive impact Staten Island, and responses will be evaluated on how they meet these goals. They include: overall economic impact on Staten Island, job creation, improved waterfront and pedestrian connections, and support of existing amenities and attractions. Proposals must include the replacement of all publicly available parking, the addition of any new parking required by the proposed development, and a description of as well as timeline for necessary infrastructure improvements. The two sites combined will provide more than 14 acres of potential waterfront development, with the site to the north of the ballpark totaling approximately 7.4 acres and the site to the south approximately 6.7 acres.
St. George is the borough’s civic center with Borough Hall, the St. George Public Library and the Richmond County Courthouse. It is also a major commercial center and known as Staten Island’s downtown, attracting people with its proximity to the ferry and growing art scene. The neighborhood and adjacent communities such as Tompkinsville and Stapleton are home to over 12,000 workers in financial, legal, communications and other professional fields. St. George also provides an opportunity to attract thousands of additional visitors who live throughout the New York metropolitan region. The Staten Island Ferry is the third most popular tourist attraction in New York City and thousands of spectators visit the Richmond County Bank Ballpark each year. However, too few of these visitors leave the Ferry Terminal or Ballpark for dining and entertainment, resulting in a largely untapped market for these activities.
The appropriate development of the two sites could greatly contribute to economic growth of St. George and Staten Island, as outlined in comprehensive planning efforts such as Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and the upcoming North Shore 2030 report. Launched in May 2011, WAVES 2020 is a sustainable blueprint for New York City’s waterfront and waterways. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects, including the development of more than 50 acres of new waterfront parks, creation of 14 new waterfront esplanades and introduction of new commuter ferry service; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond. The 130 action agenda projects are expected to create 13,000 construction jobs and at least 3,400 permanent maritime and industrial jobs. It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.
The City’s soon to be released North Shore 2030 report will identify strategies that build upon the North Shore’s unique assets to help create jobs, increase waterfront access, improve mobility and strengthen neighborhoods. It will be the result of a two-year effort involving City and State agencies, elected officials, local stakeholders and over two hundred residents and business owners to craft a twenty year vision for a diverse, thriving and connected waterfront community.
To obtain a copy of the complete RFEI, please visit www.nycedc.com/rfp. Responses are due on November 10, 2011 at 4 p.m. To view an image of the two sites included in the RFEI, go to http://www.nycedc.com/PressRoom/PressImages/Pages/
Stu Loeser/Andrew Brent (212) 788-2958
Patrick Muncie/Kyle Sklerov (Economic Development Corporation)
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