LATEST NEWS

Gentrification Takes The Ferry To Staten Island

The once stigmatized island gets the gentrification treatment.

By Jeff Vasishta November 1, 2016

There are two main stereotypes about Staten Island: On one hand it’s filled with imposing housing projects. On the other, generations of Italian families, the extreme clichés—body building dudes with the Italian flag in the bedroom wall—are plentiful. Well, now there’s going to be a third—waterfront restaurants, luxury condos and box chain stores. Yes, gentrification is taking the ferry over to Shaolin.

Related: Study Shows That Six Percent Creative Workers Is The Tipping Point For Gentrification Of Cities

At the core of the Staten Island’s make-over is a $1.3 billion private development around the ferry terminal. Urby Staten Island by Hoboken based Ironstate Development aims to bring a little bit of Bushwick to Staten Island without the Brooklyn prices. Businesses are local and artisanal. Stores like Lola Star, a Coney Island clothing shop, or Coffeed, a Queens originated coffee chain have moved in. Now complete, its website says “hundreds of thousands of square feet (will be) dedicated to residential and retail purposes, intertwined with open spaces and pathways designed to encourage pedestrian activity and public gatherings.” Current rents are $1,508 for studios, $1,933 for one-bedrooms, and $2,507 for two-bedrooms. So much for the pricing, which is actually right around the same as Bedstuy or Crown Heights.

“The North Shore is the Hoboken of the future. You’ve never seen something like Urby on Staten Island before, and I think the developers landed a goldmine when they put Urby where they did,” new resident Kate Rodal, told silive.com.

Developer Dave Barry of Ironstate told silive.com: ”I think Urby is the shot in the arm that is going to revive the North Shore. …The North Shore of Staten Island has the potential to be linked to the cultural landscape of New York City,” he said. “People went to Williamsburg and Hoboken and then to places like Long Island City. …Staten Island’s North Shore is a part of that same story.”

“Stapleton is in need of revitalization,” he added. “It’s an area that has been plagued by crime and general lack of amenities and quality retail. Urby is a sizable project and it’s just the type of thing that will bring new people to the area,”

Other developments of note include Empire Outlets in St. George, a mall and entertainment complex as well as the New York Wheel—a 630-foot-tall Ferris wheel inspired, surely by the London Eye. With beautification projects in Stapleton financed by the city to the tune of $32 million (parks, benches, fountains) replacing soulless parking lots, Staten Island’s make-over is in full swing. The outlets give a reason for the hordes of foreign tourists taking ferry trips to the Statue of Liberty, to take a look around and spend some cash.

Fix-up fever appears to have engulfed the island. Lighthouse Point, due for completion in the Summer of 2019, is a mixed-use complex planned for St. George which will build retail and apartment buildings into the brick campus of the United States Lighthouse Service Depot, where Fresnel lenses were located. Part of the complex will include 12-story, 116-unit apartment tower with stores, offices and restaurants at its base. There will also be a hotel whose lobby incorporates one of the lighthouse buildings.

A New York Yimby search shows projects such as Lighthouse Point’s 12-story, 175 room Westin Hotel well underway along with a three-story, 197,000 square-foot retail space/movie theater in Charleston, S.I.in the works.

With an expanded ferry service, additional condo developments and cash spent on international advertising, the stigma of Shaolin could be about to shift.

Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

ABOUT THE AUTHOR Jeff Vasishta

Jeff is a writer, husband and father but not necessarily in that order. As a music journalist he counts Prince, Beyonce and Quincy Jones amongst those he’s interviewed. He's also owned and flipped homes in Brooklyn, NJ, CT and PA.

  • AGORAFY
    Stefano Boeri, the architect mastermind behind the famous plant-covered skyscrapers, is now designing Forest Cities in Liuzhou, China. #ForestCity #China https://goo.gl/PsTUwv
  • AGORAFY
    Auction is the second scheduled in a month for a One57 unit and it could set a NYC foreclosure record. #BillionairesRow #Foreclosures https://goo.gl/NZ3zqD
  • AGORAFY
    Once a couch-surfing website, Airbnb moves on to luxury properties, further disrupting hospitality industry. #Airbnb #Luxury https://goo.gl/7TpLk6
Four Countries To Retire In With $200K In Savings—And How Much Real Estate Costs There
Ever dreamed of retiring abroad? You know, affordable healthcare, better climate, more positive news—becoming an expat seems like an enticing option, especially one you no…
While Other Real Estate Platforms Start Charging Agents $3-Per-Day Exposure Fee, Agorafy Remains Accessible To All
Real Estate searching platform are always finding news ways to diversify their revenues models. Case in point—on Tuesday July 18, Streeteasy, one of New York…
Is Real Estate Crowdfunding The Fix That Urban Housing In America Really Needs?
Saving money for a down payment? One can only hope. Most millennial in their twenties or thirties are mortified that they might never be able…
Brooklyn And Queens’ Real Estate Sub-Markets Continue Their Ascent To The New Heights
So, the sales prices in Brooklyn and Queens hit record highs. Again. Just like they did in December 2016 and at the end of this…
The Economy Of Car Services And Delivery Apps Might Be Making NYC Less Eco-Friendly
Living in an eco-friendly neighborhood is a good thing. And, as it always the case with the good things, it also costs more. High rents…
Building Communities: What The U.S. Developers Should Learn From Soho China
As our world emerges into the new period of globalization and technology, some of the most important by-products of this process are buildings that have…
Five Reasons Why All Entrepreneurs Must Keep Their Eyes On China
It is hard to overestimate the importance of Chinese influence on the modern global economy. Carving out a place in Chinese market and winning over…
Airbnb Up Their Game With A New Luxury Tier Featuring Mansions And Villas
Airbnb is about to seriously up their game. First, the company started testing a new service called Select in an attempt to push accommodation listings…