For Immediate Release
November 13, 2018
Rachaele Raynoff, Joe Marvilli – email@example.com (212) 720-3471
Strategy will Enliven and Strengthen Corridor with Affordable Housing and New Businesses; Spur 1,800 New Homes and Add Roughly 1,000 New Jobs
Nov. 13, 2018 – City Planning Commission (CPC) Chair Marisa Lago announced that the CPC today launched public review for the land use portion of the Bay Street Corridor Neighborhood Plan. The Plan seeks to update zoning for a half-mile stretch of Bay Street to encourage transit-oriented development that could bring at least 1,800 new homes, at least one quarter of them expected to be permanently affordable, and around 1,000 new jobs.
“Imagine the Bay Street Corridor that stretches from St. George to Stapleton as a walkable, vibrant live-work-play community that supports jobs and, for the first time, housing, including affordable housing. As we begin the public review of the Bay Street Corridor Neighborhood Plan, we want to hear from Staten Islanders about their vision for an even better North Shore for themselves, their children and grandchildren,” Chair Marisa Lago said.
“Developed through extensive community engagement, the Bay Street Corridor Neighborhood Plan is focused on creating opportunities for good jobs, space to support new and existing businesses, and affordable homes that will anchor this dynamic community. We look forward to working together with our partners in the community to solidify and advance a comprehensive, coordinated approach to neighborhood investments that will serve Staten Islanders for generations to come,” New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development (HPD) Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer said.
“The City’s plan for the Bay Street Corridor has the potential to create economic opportunity for Staten Islanders for years to come. And that kind of impact will only come from a robust collaboration with the community and local elected officials. We’re proud to work with our partner agencies to begin this process, which has the potential to shape the future of the North Shore,” said James Patchett, President and CEO, New York City Economic Development Corporation (EDC).
“We’ve invested in the potential of Downtown Staten Island with initiatives that revitalize key commercial corridors, like our Neighborhood 360° grant program, and the City is continuing to support local needs through the Bay Street Corridor Neighborhood Plan,” said Gregg Bishop, Commissioner of the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). “The public review process that began today is an important next step in working with the Staten Island community to build a more vibrant neighborhood.”
“The Bay Street Corridor Neighborhood Plan captures a vision for a vital corner of the North Shore designed to engage Staten Islanders,” said DOT Commissioner Polly Trottenberg. “For DOT, that plan will include new bike lanes and pedestrian access points along a beautiful waterfront roadway that serves as a critical passage to our iconic Staten Island Ferry. With traffic safety our prime concern, we look forward to working side by side with community leaders and our sister agencies — City Planning, HPD, and EDC — to also increase access to affordable housing and business, spurring economic growth and increasing quality-of-life.”
“We are delighted that the City’s proposal to rezone Bay Street is moving forward. This plan makes room for significant amounts of new housing and a much needed revitalization of the Bay Street business district. The Van Duzer Street Area Civic Association will continue to push to ensure community benefits, including infrastructure improvements, are part of the final plan,” said Peter Lisi, Vice President, Van Duzer Street Area Civic Association.
“We are excited to be moving forward with the hard work of planning for the future of the North Shore. The landscape in Staten Island is changing in many ways and we are looking forward to the continued conversations about what our growing community wants and needs,” Gena Mimozo, Deputy Director of Staten Island Arts said.
"As the Staten Island Organizer for Transportation Alternatives and a resident of the Bay St. Corridor, I look forward to continuing to work with city planners as we foster a healthier, more active and livable downtown — one with infrastructure that encourages walking and biking as alternatives to getting around,” said Rose Uscianowski, Staten Island Organizer, Transportation Alternatives.
The proposal aims to turn this part of Bay Street into a vibrant connector to the town centers of St. George, Tompkinsville and Stapleton. Through new zoning, the plan will foster a healthy mixed-use downtown environment for the borough. Current zoning prohibits residential development as well as many commercial and retail uses, limiting job growth and opportunity.
Flanked predominately by residential districts, the corridor serves as the principal connection between St. George, Stapleton and the Verrazano Bridge. It is located between two railway stations, and offers access to 20 bus routes.
The Plan seeks to increase the availability and type of housing on Staten Island’s North Shore, and provide for greater stability for existing residents through enhanced preservation and tenant advocacy. It seeks to spur the creation of an estimated 1,800 mixed-income apartments. Through the City’s Mandatory Inclusionary Housing (MIH) program, at least one quarter of those homes are expected to be permanently affordable, without City subsidy. Public and private investments could create additional and more deeply affordable homes with immediate access to jobs and transit.
In tandem with the land use changes, City agencies are working to address key infrastructure, economic development, workforce and community needs. This approach is consistent with Housing New York principles, which call for investments in neighborhoods where new housing growth is proposed.
HPD also released today a Draft Housing Plan, which codifies a set of strategies to maintain and improve existing housing by financing and safeguarding affordability and needed improvements, protect tenants, support homeowners, develop new affordable housing opportunities, and promote safe and healthy housing. HPD will seek feedback on the plan as part of the public review of the rezoning proposal.
The concept of a “downtown” along Bay Street evolved from the North Shore 2030 Report, released in December 2011. Guiding principles for the proposal beginning public review today have been refined through robust engagement between City agencies and a Bay Street Corridor Plan Local Advisory Committee (LAC). The LAC was comprised of area stakeholders, including representatives of Councilmember Debi Rose, Borough President James Oddo, Community Board 1 members, religious leaders, civic representatives, business representatives and other interested community parties.
The proposal is the result of over three years of outreach with the North Shore community and elected officials, including numerous public workshops and engagement at local events. Several meetings featured a physical, three-dimensional model of Bay Street to enable the public to shape future buildings to match the area’s topography and preserve waterfront views.
As a result, the Plan proposes a new Bay Street Corridor Special District, which will set a maximum building height for most of the corridor between six and eight stories, contributing to the feeling of openness, especially where the street curves. While preserving views, limited opportunities will be provided for buildings of 12 to 14 stories on select, appropriate sites, including near rail stations and Tompkinsville Park. The zoning changes also require commercial ground floor use along the corridor, creating a pedestrian-friendly experience. Three visual corridors will be established in zoning as visual extensions of Swan Street, Grant Street and Clinton Street, where development will be prohibited in order to protect the views of the Stapleton waterfront and New York Harbor.
To encourage a lively downtown, zoning changes will also facilitate about 47,000 square feet of community facility space and roughly 275,000 square feet of commercial uses, including retail, office and restaurant space. This additional commercial space will support existing and new businesses, offering economic opportunities that could create around 1,000 new jobs. Parking requirements will be adjusted to encourage small-scale businesses that serve the local community. The proposal includes the transfer of a vacant building at 55 Stuyvesant Place from the Department of Citywide Administrative Services (DCAS) to the EDC. EDC will repurpose the site for a creative tech hub that will provide good-paying jobs to the growing population of St. George and Stapleton.
The proposal also allows the future disposition of the DSNY Sanitation Garage at 539 Jersey St./100 Brook St. by HPD for affordable housing development. HPD intends to facilitate redevelopment of the site for mixed-uses, including affordable housing, retail and community facility space.
The City is matching proposed land use changes with strategic investments in services, infrastructure and community resources. Specifically:
City agencies continue to work to prioritize key public investments that will support a thriving community. More information will be shared as it becomes available as the proposed zoning changes proceed through public review.
The launch of the seven-month public review process starts the clock. Staten Island Community Board 1 has 60 days to review the proposal, after which it will go to the Borough President, back to the City Planning Commission and ultimately to the City Council as part of the City’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). For further information on the zoning proposal or the ULURP time table, please visit the Department of City Planning website.