NY1 VIDEO: While a lot of attention is being put on development projects in St. George including the NY Wheel and Empire Outlets, another development project just down the shoreline is getting closer to completion. The project is transforming 36 acres on the former Stapleton Homeport into a sustainable waterfront community. It will include 900 units of housing and 35,000 square feet of retail space. NY1’s Bree Driscollsits down with Dave Barry who is the President of Ironstate Development Company.
Tag Archives: Staten Island Homeport
via Adam Bonislawski/ New York Post
Today’s NY POST report on Staten Island real estate features Ironstate Development.
Everyone loves a water view, but, as the saying goes, God isn’t building any more beachfront property.
And so, as New York’s waterfront has emerged from its industrial past as a prime location for residential real estate, builders have steadily moved farther and farther afield in search of new spots for development.
Lately, they’ve made their way to Staten Island.
The city’s least populous borough, Staten Island has often been an afterthought in discussions of New York real estate. But with several hundred million dollars in commercial and residential development slated for the area, the island — and its Manhattan-facing north shore, in particular — is having a moment.
“It’s part of the larger story of outer borough waterfront development,” says David Barry, president of Ironstate Development, which is in the midst of converting The Homeport, a former US naval base in the north shore’s Stapleton neighborhood.
The mixed-use development, namedURL [Urban Ready Living], will feature 30,000 square feet of retail along with 900 rental apartments — studios from $1,600; one-bedrooms from $2,000; two-bedrooms from $2,700 — which will start leasing next summer. In addition, the city is investing $32 million for road improvements and a new waterfront esplanade at the site. Ironstate is also planning similar projects in Jersey City and Stamford, Conn.
“You’ve seen it in Brooklyn and Queens and Jersey City, and now Staten Island,” Barry says. “We’re in a period of time where waterfronts are turning over from industrial to residential, commercial and recreational — Staten Island is part of that progression.”
The Homeport development sits two railway stops south of the borough’s St. George neighborhood, home to the Staten Island Ferry terminal and the emerging epicenter of the island’s waterfront development.
CAN A NEW $150 MILLION DEVELOPMENT TURN STATEN ISLAND INTO A GENUINE RESIDENTIAL DESTINATION? HMM.
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?
That’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.
STATEN 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.
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.
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.