You can’t find homes like this in Manhattan–you’re going to have to venture over into Staten Island. This freestanding Victorian, which occupies a large corner lot with a front and back yard, can be found at 309 Guyon Avenue in the neighborhood of Oakwood. Both the interior and exterior have been well preserved, with a turret and framework on the outside and fireplaces galore inside. The second floor holds four bedrooms, and there’s a finished attic on top of that. It’s up for grabs at a price just under $1.5 million.
6sqft’s ongoing series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, Will Ellis takes us through the relics and ruins of Staten Island’s Arthur Kill Road. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
Step into the New York section of any bookstore these days and you’ll likely see front and center “Abandoned NYC” by Will Ellis, which puts together three years of his photography and research on 16 of the city’s “most beautiful and mysterious abandoned spaces.” Will’s latest photographic essay is titled “Arthur Kill Road,” an eerily handsome exploration of the “quiet corners” and “remote edges” of Staten Island. He decided to focus on this thoroughfare as it winds through some of the NYC’s most sparsely populated areas, including the defunct waterfront, remnants of historic architecture, and desolate industrial complexes. Here, as Ellis describes it, “the fabric of the city dissolves, and the past is laid bare through the natural process of decay.”
Although High Line Park visionary Robert Hammond recently expressed remorse for failing to develop a park that was “for the neighborhood”—not the ultra-wealthy that have infiltrated the blocks directly surrounding the elevated marvel—other cities continue to see nothing but financial opportunity in thrusting parkland upward. 6sqft recently reported on Newark, NJ, which will soon break ground on their own version of the High Line in hopes of revitalizing their long-burdened downtown, and now the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) has announced that Port Richmond is angling for their own High Line magic atop .53 miles of abandoned North Shore rail line.
Go-to affordable housing firm Aufgang Architects and developer Arker Companies revealed renderings for a six-story, 67-unit building along Staten Island‘s Stapleton waterfront back in 2014. The under-construction project at 533 Bay Street, which offers low-income apartments for those 62 years of age and older, is now accepting applications for 44 of its units–three $686/month studios and 41 $737/month one-bedrooms, available to seniors earning up to 50 percent of the area media income. In addition to living in a brand-new building, residents will be in an up-and-coming area, where just a block away the massive rental development Urby is underway (the project boasts NYC’s first residential urban farm, as well as tons of retail space).
This freestanding Victorian home was built at 204 Richmond Terrace on the Staten Island waterfront way back in the 1870s. Impressively, it still stands today and has hit the market for $2 million. Lots of historic details, like a curving staircase, fireplaces and wood carvings, can be found inside. Buyers also have some options upon purchase: the zoning allows for an expansion to the home, or they could replace the existing structure with a multi-story building of at least 10 apartments, retail and parking (but we’ve gotta say, we prefer what stands).
In early October, the New York Wheel welcomed its four massive legs at the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal in Sunset Park—the first physical components of the project to find their way to NYC. Now another milestone has been met, as Friday marked the first delivery of parts to the official Staten Island construction site. According a press release, two of the wheel’s four pedestals have been unloaded, and another two will arrive later this week.
Despite its opening being pushed to April 2018, the New York Wheel is marking a major milestone–the arrival of its first physical components. According to a press release, the Staten Island Ferris wheel’s four legs arrive today to the South Brooklyn Marine Terminal (SBMT). When complete, the 60-story, 630-foot wheel will be the world’s tallest, so it makes sense that each leg weighs in at a whopping 500 tons and measures 18 feet wide and 275 feet tall.
With subway plans stalling and bus service failing, planners are turning their sites to alternate modes of urban transportation such as ferries and aerial gondolas. The latter has picked up steam over the past year thanks to the East River Skyway, which would run along the Brooklyn waterfront and into Manhattan, and it looks like the transit-starved folks over on Staten Island have taken note. Earlier this year, the Staten Island Economic Development Corporation launched a conceptual design competition for an aerial tramway that would better connect the borough to surrounding areas. As Untapped tells us, the winning proposal is a line that runs parallel to the Bayonne Bridge from Elm Park to the Hudson-Bergen Light Rail in Bayonne.
Though the New York Wheel got its first shipment of crane parts last month, its opening has been pushed back from late 2017 to April of 2018, reports DNAinfo. Construction on the $580 million Staten Island Ferris wheel is still on track to finish up next year, at which time it will resemble the renderings, but “the wheel requires rigorous testing and commissioning that must be conducted to the highest standards,” said its CEO Rich Marin.
This is not the first time the project has been delayed, and it’s also been plagued by financial issues (it went $300 million over budget) and legal battles, but the developers are still optimistic. In fact, they’re projecting that the attraction will be more lucrative than the Empire State Building’s observation deck and bring in more than four million visitors during its first year. But is a giant Ferris wheel enough to revitalize an entire borough, especially the one that’s for so many years been the black sheep of NYC?
6sqft recently brought you the history of Bowery Bay Beach, once referred to as the “Coney Island of Queens.” But over on Staten Island, there was another amusement destination that rivaled its Brooklyn counterpart.
South Beach is a waterfront community on the eastern shore behind the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. The hidden gem is currently an up-and-coming neighborhood for families, with an array of small businesses, ethnic restaurants, and quaint streets. And in the summer months, the two-mile stretch of beaches comes alive. But aside from its current livability, South Beach has a rich history. In the early 20th century, the neighborhood was full of summer bungalows thanks to a beachfront lined with amusements, theaters, arcade games, and rides. Families came from Manhattan, Sandy Hook, and elsewhere to enjoy the festive resort community and the Franklin D. Roosevelt Boardwalk, known as the “Riviera of New York City.”
New York is fortunate to not only have two Major League Baseball teams, but two Minor League teams—the Mets-affiliated Brooklyn Cyclones and the Yankees-affiliated Staten Island Yankees. The latter is based right near the Staten Island Ferry in St. George, and for 15 years, it’s been a team for Yankees players who are tuning up after rehab or future Major League players to get their start. Unlike the Major Leagues, the SI team has a shorter season that runs from mid-June until September, and the focus at games is all about the entertainment factor. This is where John D’Agostino comes in.
John grew up a Staten Island Yankees fan, but now serves as the team’s Director of Entertainment, where he’s responsible for making sure every game has a range of fun programming that gets fans laughing and cheering. 6sqft recently spoke with John to learn all about baseball on Staten Island and why more New Yorkers should hop on the ferry and head to a game!
Urban farms are nothing new to NYC, but the first one at a residential building is taking shape at Staten Island‘s Urby. The $250 million, 900-unit rental development is located on the borough’s North Shore waterfront, just minutes from the ferry, and is a collaboration between Ironstate Development and Dutch architecture and design firm Concrete. There will be 35,000 square feet of retail space, and though the units are quite nice and modern, it’s the health-centric amenities that really set this LEED-certified project apart.
Urby will offer an outdoor pool, a two-story fitness center, filtered communal well, landscaped courtyards with fire pits, a rooftop apiary with beehives, a 300-car garage with electric car chargers, and access to a waterfront esplanade. In the food department, there’s one of the city’s largest urban farms, which is employing New York’s first farmer-in-residence, as well as an on-site bodega, cafe, and communal test kitchen.
Courtesy of Anderson Transport Edinburgh
It’s really no secret that the Bronx and Staten Island have been the boroughs slowest to gentrify and bring in New Yorkers looking for that hip factor. But apparently their affordable prices are starting to outweigh their longer commutes and less urban makeups. The latest report from the Real Estate Board of New York says that home-sales prices in these boroughs rose 35 percent in the first quarter of 2016, much steeper than the rest of the city. According to the Post, these new home buyers are selling property for a higher price in Manhattan or Brooklyn, then “cashing out” to buy cheaper pads in Staten Island or the Bronx. Plus, taxes are lower than in other suburban areas like Westchester or Jersey. This new trend got us wondering, if you had to relocate to the Bronx or Staten Island, which would you choose?
Earlier this year, after a decade of delays, Triangle Equities received $16.5 million in state subsidies for their three-acre mixed-use development on Staten Island known as Lighthouse Point. They also partnered with real estate investment fund Lubert Adler LLP to secure another large sum of private financing, before breaking ground last month. With construction underway, Yimby uncovered new renderings that show the residential, retail, and commercial components of the $200 million development. As 6sqft previously reported, “Along with the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, and New Stapleton Waterfront, Lighthouse Point is a key element of NYCEDC’s ongoing efforts to transform the St. George waterfront into a vibrant community.”
In the Arthur Kill waterway, wedged between Staten Island and New Jersey, the Arthur Kill Ship Graveyard is the final home of over two dozen harbor vessels that had their best years in the city’s golden age of shipping. There were once as many as 400 of the ghostly crafts left to the wiles of entropy in the waterway, but according to Atlas Obscura, only 25 or so remain, picked over for their useful parts. Seven minutes of eerie and fascinating drone video footage offers a close-up view of the “urban marine cemetery” and the rusted metal hulls of once-useful tugboats and other harbor ships as they slowly sink into the silent, murky waters.
Rendering via Nancy Owens Studio
Over a year ago, 6sqft shared the news that Staten Island’s abandoned farm colony was set to undergo a massive rehabilitation that included a large senior housing building and a massive public park. And just yesterday, the City Council approved the New York City Economic Development Corporation’s plan to sell 45 of the site’s 96 acres to Staten Island developer Raymond Masucci for $1, according to the Times.
Mr. Masucci will pour $91 million into the project, dubbed Landmark Colony, rehabilitating five crumbling Dutch Revival-style structures, tearing down five more but saving their stones for reuse, preserving a 112-year-old dormitory “as a stabilized ruin,” constructing 344 condominiums for the 55 and older crowd, and designing 17 acres of public outdoor space.
Following a slew of recent headlines–Anthony’s Bourdain’s food and retail market headed for the SuperPier, the mega-market coming to Essex Crossing that will be one of the largest in the world, and Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s seafood-themed food hall planned for the South Street Seaport–6sqft recently posed the question: Is the city’s food hall obsession about to burst? Though the votes were divided, the trend has shown no signs of slowing down, especially considering that it’s now making its way over to the often-forgotten borough of Staten Island, with perhaps the most gimmicky name we’ve heard yet.
Curbed reports that the team behind Gansevoort Market has partnered with Empire Outlets developers BFC Partners to open a locally curated food market by late 2017. Dubbed MRKTPL, the hall will span 15,000 square feet of indoor and outdoor space that will “tie together the history of the New York Harbor with modern communal spaces to eat and gather,” as per the press release.
Despite controversy, several delays, and a $30 million crowdfunding attempt, the New York Wheel is projecting major first-year revenue. According to The Real Deal, developers of the 630-foot Staten Island ferris wheel expect to bring in a staggering $127.85 million in 2017, a figure that will make it more lucrative than the Empire State Building’s observation deck, which raked in $111.5 million last year. Of the total revenue, $96 million is projected to come from admission fees (which come in at $35 a person, as compared to the Empire State Building’s $32); $10 million from sponsorships; and $8.7 million from gift shop sales. And if you’re impressed by these numbers, annual revenue will likely grow to $166.52 million by 2021!
It’s only a matter of time before Staten Island gets pinned as the next Brooklyn. As new developments pop up along the northern tip, the oft-forgotten borough is seeing the tides turn in its favor. Today the Times ran a piece on some of the biggest projects coming to the island, and unlike those popping up in Manhattan, this bunch is far more focused on livability and community building. Moreover, with rooftop beehives, shared vegetable gardens, small-batch espresso, pet spas, artisanal shops shilling specialty olive oils, and cheese caves in the pipeline, Staten Island is also starting to sound a lot like some of the city’s most hipster-run areas. In fact, in casting its net for local testimonials, the Times was able to find Ridgewood and Bushwick refugees that have already high-tailed it southwest. And it’s no wonder, with real estate being offered at just a fraction of the price—one couple in the story closed on a house with “numerous porches and six bedrooms, for $620,000″—it’s only a matter of time before we turn to our significant others and say, “Let’s move to Staten Island!”
Hold on to your hats, folks! After countless delays, the New York Wheel is finally back on track. Architizer reports that workers are gearing up to break ground tomorrow, April 16th, on what is slated to become the world’s tallest observation wheel. Providing panoramic views of New York Harbor and the cityscape beyond, the 630-foot wheel located at the tip of St. George on northern Staten Island is primed to become one of the most epic ways to experience New York City.