Category Archives: Staten Island

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

 

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CAN A NEW $150 MILLION DEVELOPMENT TURN STATEN ISLAND INTO A GENUINE RESIDENTIAL DESTINATION? HMM.

BY CAITLIN MOSCATELLO

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.

FULL ARTICLE

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In Stapleton, Holding the Old and New Together

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via GABBY WARSHAWER/ The Wall Street Journal

New development and historic preservation are often considered uneasy bedfellows, but both are thriving in Staten Island’s Stapleton neighborhood.

Developers recently broke ground on a large waterfront project that will have around 900 units of housing. Community groups in the area, meanwhile, are campaigning to protect and maintain the area’s historic housing stock.

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This summer, ground was broken on a $150 million development on the waterfront that was part of a decommissioned Navy homeport. In addition to about 900 housing units, the project by New Jersey-based Ironstate Development will also include store spaces and parking. The city will be putting $32 million into improving infrastructure in the area and building out an esplanade.

“We see this as part of a macro trend of industrial, riverfront properties turning from industrial to mixed-use,” said David Barry, the president of Ironstate Development, which has constructed mixed-use waterfront developments in Hoboken and Long Branch, N.J.

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Tide turns as groundbreaking at Staten Island’s old home port ushers in $1B boom

via Jillian Jorgensen/ SILive.com

6-21-2013 1-29-12 PMSTATEN 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.

READ MORE AT SILIVE.COM

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NY1 Online: Developer Talks About Rebuilding At Stapleton Homeport

David Barry of Ironstate Development Company, interviewed onNY 1 about the company’s mixed-use redevelopment project on Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront.

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NY1 VIDEO: Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront is going look much different in just a few years with several development projects in the works. One that is already underway is the mixed-use development of the former Stapleton Homeport, which was briefly occupied by the Navy — but that ended in 1994 as part of a nationwide defense downsizing effort. Nearly two years ago, a deal was reached to build 900 units of housing and 35,000-square-feet of retail space on the site. NY1′s Bree Driscoll sat down with Dave Barry, the president of Ironstate Development Company, to talk about the project.

View the video here

 

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A Borough Seeks the Spotlight

NY TIMESThe New York Times features Ironstate Development in a story on the significant redevelopment efforts underway along Staten Island’s north shore waterfront. Read it HERE! 

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An Ironclad Growth Plan

BARRY BROTHERS MAKE IRONSTATE A SUCCESS BY STICKING TO DEVELOPMENT STRATEGY

By Joshua Burd

Ironstate Development principals David, left, and Michael Barry at the site of 18 Park, a 422-unit residential building in Jersey City.

 

 

 

The ability to stick to a plan has always been a key strength of David and Michael Barry. Like their father and grandfather, who founded the development business they now lead, the brothers have stayed atop the industry by staying true to a strategy of building their multifamily and mixed-use projects around the state’s bustling urban centers.

But that hasn’t stopped Ironstate Development from evolving under the brothers’ watch. In recent years, the firm has become a player in the region’s hotel market, and the Barrys are now expanding its reach beyond traditional hubs like Hoboken and Jersey City.

“We’re not single-family homebuilders, we’re not suburban office builders, we’re not strip mall builders or any of those things,” David Barry said from his firm’s Hoboken office. “So when you talk about what we do, which is building multifamily at scale, you need places that are going to accommodate that.”

Multifamily has weathered the storms of the troubled real estate market, helping to expand Ironstate’s pipeline and portfolio in recent years. The development firm of about 50, which descends from the family’s Applied Housing Co., has added more than 1,600 residential units, 55,000 square feet of retail and two hotels since 2007.

The Barrys’ firm now owns and manages more than 6,000 residential units, and has a $1 billion project pipeline that includes another 7,100 units, according to the firm. Its upcoming projects also include 193,500 square feet of retail and some 200 hotel rooms.

Ironstate stuck to its core markets during the recession, completing the signature W Hoboken Hotel and the 93-unit Berkshire, in Hoboken, and large joint venture apartment projects like 225 Grand and 50 Columbus, in Jersey City. The firm also built and opened a luxury rental building in Harrison during the downturn, in what was the first phase of a redevelopment project with the Pegasus Group.

“On the rental side, the economics were still there,” Michael Barry said, noting that the apartment market is “somewhat countercyclical” to condominiums. “So even though the market had fallen apart across the board, there are still opportunities for good, well-placed development, particularly in the rental sector.”

But with space in those areas running low, Ironstate has looked toward new markets to extend its large-scale, transit-centric brand of development. In the past three years, the firm has stepped into the five boroughs of New York, where it now has seven properties or sites under development. That includes a $150 million redevelopment project on Staten Island, where plans call for transforming a former naval base into a waterfront village with 900 residential units and 30,000 square feet of retail.

The firm opened a Manhattan office in February, given that the city “fits that mold and (is) an area where we can leverage our expertise in a profitable fashion,” Michael Barry said.

Despite being third-generation developers, David and Michael Barry said the business was never meant to be a dynasty. The South Orange natives became active with what was Applied Development Co. in the early 1990s, with David joining after a stint as a practicing attorney and Michael after finishing graduate school.

They effectively took the reins and formed Ironstate in 2001 after their father, Joseph Barry, retired as head of the company. And while their work often overlaps, each brother as an owner has his own role: as president of Ironstate Development, David spearheads the firm’s pipeline, while Michael oversees construction and management of the firm’s portfolio as president of Ironstate Holdings LLC.

But together, the Barrys have built the firm’s reputation for creativity and a cutting-edge approach, industry colleagues say, and Ironstate has become a sought-after partner for other developers. For instance, by year’s end, Ironstate and Edison-based Mack-Cali Realty Corp. will break ground on a three-tower rental project of more than 2,000 units on the Jersey City waterfront.

Mack-Cali CEO Mitchell Hersh, whose firm primarily develops office buildings, said the Barrys “bring a great deal of local market knowledge and experience to the table,” plus the ability to put their own equity capital into the project.

Ironstate also is partnering with Kushner Real Estate Group, in Bridgewater, on three upcoming projects totaling 1,500 apartment units in Jersey City. Jonathan Kushner, the firm’s president, said the relationship goes back about seven years, fueled in part by the Barrys’ “forward-thinking” approach and pulse on the market.

“In terms of apartment design and layouts, unit sizes and curb appeal, amenity spaces, lobby designs — they’re always on top of it, and they’re always ahead of the market,” Kushner said.

The brothers also try to guide their residential projects using their hospitality experience, from revamping management systems to putting art in the lobbies.

They have had plenty of practice in recent years, they said: Aside from the W Hoboken, Ironstate in 2009 opened the Bungalow, a boutique hotel that’s part of the ongoing Pier Village development in Long Branch. The firm also recently acquired the former Cooper Square Hotel, in Manhattan, and is renovating it in partnership with hotelier Andre Balazs. Meanwhile, in Harrison, Ironstate is preparing to break ground on a new 136-room hotel, part of its venture with Pegasus.

The Barrys attribute their success in part to how they manage volume, through a close circle of about 10 key executives, and refusal to stray from their expertise in development. Instead, Ironstate brings in professionals in construction, architecture and marketing to cover those project phases.

Such was the case in the early 2000s, when Ironstate set out to build the W Hoboken, one of its first hotel projects. Robert Siegel, the architect, recalled that the brothers hired a prominent consultant for Starwood’s W brand to complement their own experience in the city. Ironstate also allowed his design firm — Gwathmey, Siegel, Kaufman & Associates — to take the creative lead in the 27-story tower.

That sort of collaboration helps lead to success, Siegel said.

“A lot of it has to do with being intelligent enough to find the good opportunities to pursue, and then having the confidence to work with people to make it happen,” he said. “They’re great at that.”

 

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Development Plans In Place For Staten Island Waterfront

By: Amanda Farinacci

Try walking along Front Street in Stapleton.

It’s not easy. The sidewalks that do exist are crumbling and many sections along the busy strip don’t even have them, forcing pedestrians into the street.

“It needs work,” says Tom McKnighty with the New York State Economic Development Council. “It does not have sidewalks, it does not have trees, it does not have lighting.”

Now, as part of the redevelopment of the Staten Island Homeport, that’s about to change.

Front Street borders the long-abandoned 36-acre site, once the home of the U.S. Navy. As part of an aggressive redevelopment plan for the long-abandoned site, infrastructure improvements have finally begun.

For the next several months, crews will be working underground on sewers and water mains. Next year, they will repave streets, add lights and plant trees.

“It’ll make a place that’s more pedestrian-friendly, it’ll be a better place for drivers and it’ll help establish a place for the new development,” McKnighty says.

The city’s Economic Development Corporation has teamed up with Ironstate Development to build 900 units of housing in phases, including 35,000 square feet of retail space and improved waterfront access.

By the end of the year, the city says it expects to begin work on the waterfront esplanade, a roughly three-acre site officials say will eventually look a little something like the recently redeveloped East River Park on Manhattan’s lower east side:

“It’s gonna be planted areas, it’s gonna be seating, it’s gonna be a walking path,” McKnighty says. “There’s gonna be opportunity for active recreation. It’s gonna be a waterfront park.”

Ironstate will begin construction of the first 450 units of housing later this year. In the meantime, the developer is already talking to potential tenants, both island-based businesses and national chains, about the retail space.

“They’re very excited about the waterfront location and about the esplanade and how it will all come together,” says Michael Darata of Ironstate Development.

While Ironstate says it hasn’t signed any tenants yet, it says it expects to very soon.

CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO >>>

It’s been a long time coming but there’s movement on converting a sprawling stretch of Staten Island waterfront into the island’s newest place to live and shop, years after the Navy set sail from the site.

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Staten Island Homeport Site Made A Long Voyage Towards Redevelopment

By Amanda Farinacci/NY 1

NY1′s week-long coverage of major Staten Island stories in the last two decades continues with a look at the Staten Island Homeport, which has had its share of stops and starts over the years but now is finally moving ahead towards redevelopment. Borough reporter Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.

The buildings have been knocked down, and now the Staten Island Homeport looks like a shell of its former self. The site at Stapleton is finally being readied for a long-awaited redevelopment plan, to turn the sprawling 36-acre waterfront space into a housing and commercial community aimed at young professionals.

“Now is the time to start believing. There is a lot of momentum behind development in Staten Island, all over the island, but at Homeport we’re confident that this project is moving forward,” said Seth Pinsky of the Economic Development Corporation.

For two short years, the Staten Island Homeport was home to the United States Navy. That all ended in 1994, when the Navy set sail as part of a nationwide defense downsizing effort.

In the 18 years that have passed, the city flirted with a number of ideas for the site, including a motor racetrack and a port for gambling ships.

Arnie’s Bagelicious moved in in 1995 but closed three years later, when actor Danny Aiello suggested the site for a film and TV studio. That plan fell apart as well.

“I’m a little surprised that at this juncture when we’re moving at a pretty good clip why the brakes are being put on,” said then-Congressman Vito Fossella in 2002.

The brakes stayed on until 2009, when the city’s Economic Development Corporation announced a partnership with Ironstate Development to build 900 units of housing in phases, along with 35,000-square-feet of retail space ideally featuring mom-and-pop shops.

“We’re really pushing hard to get this thing done,” David Barry of Ironstate Development said in January.

In the next several months, the city will begin work on the portion of the site it has pledged to develop. There will be a groundbreaking on infrastructure improvements like roads and a waterfront esplanade:

“I said Staten Island will be measured by that important strip of land from Borough Hall to the [Verrazano-Narrows] Bridge. Facing that waterfront, that will define who we are and what we’re all about at some point in the future,” said former Staten Island Borough President Guy Molinari.

It looks like that future is almost here, as tenants could move in as soon as 2013. CLICK HERE FOR VIDEO >>>

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Naval Home Port in Stapleton being razed

Via Virginia N. Sherry/SI LIVE

Demolition is underway at the Home Port site on Stapleton's waterfront. Ironstate Development Company expects it to be completed by mid-February.

STATEN ISLAND — STAPLETON — The long-awaited transformation of the Stapleton waterfront is under way at the 35-acre Home Port, the decommissioned U.S. Naval base.

Ironstate Development Company, the Hoboken-based private developer, is taking the lead with a $150 million project on seven acres of the site. The first phase will see the construction of about 450 rental apartments and 25,000 square feet of street-level retail space.

Ironstate expects demolition to be completed, and the site cleared, by mid-February. Construction is planned to start in late summer, and the first housing units ready for leasing and occupancy in Fall 2013.

The second phase of the project calls for another 450 apartments and an additional 5,000 square feet of retail space.

The city will spend $33 million for major road reconstruction and improvements, and the creation of a waterfront esplanade. The open space will include walking paths, lawns and landscaped areas, and a new public launch site for non-motorized boats, plus docking for historic vessels, according to the city’s Economic Development Corporation.

ABOUT IRONSTATE

Ironstate Development Company specializes in the development of residential and commercial real estate, and currently owns and manages over 6,000 housing units. Its projects include:

  • The Shipyard, Hoboken, N.J.: 1,160 residences, 65,000 square feet of retail shops, a one-acre park, ferry stop and marina on the Hudson river-front.
  • Port Liberte, Jersey City, N.J.: A 1,650-unit waterfront condominium facing the Statue of Liberty.
  • Pier Village, Long Branch, N.J.: A “Victorian-inspired village,” with 543 luxury rental units, a boutique hotel, and 100,000-plus square feet of entertainment and retail shops, including a beach club, gourmet restaurants and boutiques on the oceanfront.
  • The W Hoboken Hotel & Residences, Hoboken, N.J.: A 25-story hotel with 225 guest rooms and 40 condominium residences on the waterfront.

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Staten Island Homeport Demolition Nears Completion

via Amanda Farinacci/ NY1

A worn American flag still hangs at the Staten Island Homeport, and that’s about the only thing that’s left of the sprawling 36-acre waterfront property once owned by the U.S. Navy.

The long-abandoned site now looks like a junkyard. Construction crews have been working since last month to demolish the old buildings that once stood there to make way for the new ones to come.

Things are underway here. We’re really excited about it,” says David Barry of Ironstate Development.

It’s all part of an aggressive plan to turn the space into a Staten Island destination. Under a partnership between the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Ironstate Development, 900 units of housing will be built in phases and aimed at attracting young professionals.

Ideally featuring mom and pop shops and established Staten Island businesses, the space will allow for 35,000 square feet of retail space.

It will also include waterfront access, infrastructure improvements and an esplanade to be paid for by the city.

“We’ve been working really hard on this, working seven days a week, about 18 hours a day. They start at seven in the morning, they finish up late at night, so it’s not 24/7, but it’s close to that, and you know we’re really pushing hard to get this thing done,” says Barry.

The project has been met with much criticism. Many doubt the city’s ability to build up the home port space because the site has a long history of stops and starts, but the developer says the demolition equipment is proof enough that the city will make good on its word.

“We’re two stops from the Staten Island Ferry, it’s direct access into Manhattan, it’s just, it’s got beautiful views, great access, it’s gonna have a great neighborhood,” says Barry.

Once demolition is complete, it will take about three weeks to fully remove all of the debris from the site. Then the developer will spend a couple of months refining the site’s plans.

Construction is expected to begin sometime this summer.

CLICK HERE TO WATCH VIDEO

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