The North Shore Renaissance

In October 2013, New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose successfully secured the largest economic development project to ever come to Staten Island. The project, totaling hundreds of millions of dollars in investments, was reached after months of negotiating and community input.

 

“This is the largest economic development project to ever come to Staten Island. In fact, it is the largest observation wheel in the world and New York City’s first outlet mall,” said Councilwoman Rose, upon securing a deal that not only approved the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, but also ensured that all Staten Islanders would benefit. “I started this process wanting these projects to be a ‘win-win’ benefitting Staten Island and, I am happy to stand here today and say the elusive ‘win-win’ has been achieved.”

 

With the concerns of North Shore residents well in mind, Councilwoman Rose was able to secure an additional $100 million in investments from the city, ensure that the project was built using 100% union labor and helped deliver three brand new Staten Island Ferry boats which will be in service starting in 2019.

 

With approval of this project, the North Shore of Staten Island will have the world’s tallest observation wheel on its waterfront, at 625-feet-tall, and will also have the first high-end outlet mall located in New York City, with up to 125 retailers, eating and drinking establishments, and a 200-room hotel with catering facility. The project will generate more than 1,150 construction jobs and 1,350 permanent jobs.  It also will generate more than $101 million in return to the City.

 

In addition, the Councilwoman’s deal secured the following benefits for Staten Islanders:

 

  • A $1,000,000 traffic mitigation fund;

  • $700,000 for a Planning Study for the replacement of the Cromwell Recreation Center;

  • Commuter parking levels maintained throughout construction of the project;

  • Parking rates will be capped;

  • 100% union hiring for The Wheel and Outlet Mall;

  • More than 1,150 construction jobs and 1,350 permanent jobs generated, mostly for Staten Islanders; 

  • $500,000 for capacity building for M/WBE contractors;

  • NYC support for the activation of the North Shore Right of Way (ROW);

  • Supports to ensure public access to Bay St. Landing;

  • $2 million for repair to the Richmond Terrace Esplanade and aesthetic upgrades;

  • $750,000 for the development of a Staten Island Greenway Trail from the Verrazano Bridge to the Goethals Bridge;

  • Plans for a private ferry service adjacent to the development area;

  • $35 million in City Capital funds for  new ferries;

  • Plans for a ferry service to Snug Harbor; 

  • A Comprehensive Signage Plan for the Staten Island Ferry and its Ferry Terminals (up to $200,000);

  • Improved signage plans for ‘Kiss & Ride’ and improved NYPD enforcement of the area;

  • A Welcome Center and kiosks in the ferry terminals;

  • Wi-Fi service in the ferry terminals and on the ferry;

  • Complementary ridership for Staten Island school children on The Wheel; 

  • Free use of space in the Wheel Terminal Building for community group meetings;

  • Formation of a Community Association Advisory Board;

  • $75,000 for the creation of a Jersey Street LDC; 

  • Rezoning of the New Brighton community from manufacturing;

  • New pedestrian crossings with countdown clocks in St. George;

  • $11 million to implement 24/7 ferry with 30-minute wait time;

  • Siting of an Eco Dock near the Homeport; and

  • Aesthetic Improvements for St. George and Jersey Street Corridors.

 

Now that the projects have been approved, residents can now look forward to an enhanced waterfront over the next few years. In addition to the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, residents can look forward to new waterfront parks, hotels, the Homeport development, the National Lighthouse Museum and Lighthouse Point, which will house retailers, restaurants and a cinema.  This is an exciting time to live on Staten Island and these projects will only make our community an even better place to live, work and enjoy.