The year 2014 was a time of exciting developments across Staten Island’s North Shore. Last year, Staten Island made national and worldwide headlines through the announcement of the plans for the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets, while locally, a number of small businesses opened up in vacant storefronts across the North Shore that contribute both vitality and service to Staten Island residents and visitors. It has been so exciting to see Staten Island’s North Shore come alive through the revitalization efforts. I am so excited to see what 2015 will bring!
Below is my personal 2014 “top-ten” list in regards to the blog posts and videos that I researched and shared with you through my website and North Shore Buzz. They represent important North Shore developments as well as some unforgettable personal moments that were worth sharing with my clients and readers. I hope you share in my excitement of what 2014 has brought Staten Island and look forward to an exciting 2015!
North Shore Developments
- Accolade Condos– Located in the heart of St. George, The Accolade Condos consists of a 101-unit building that offers a combination of studio, 1, 2, and 3 bedroom condominiums. These condominiums are currently for sale and offer elegance, convenience, extraordinary amenities and stunning views. Their prime location in downtown St. George and near the Staten Island Ferry and Verrazano Bridge make them an appealing and convenient choice and are a perfect fit for anyone looking for quick access to Manhattan along with all of the other conveniences and benefits of city living. Their slogan reads, “a step above, a world apart,” and nothing could ring more true for these luxury condominiums.
- National Lighthouse Museum– Since October of 2013, I have been covering the efforts of the National Lighthouse Museum to finally have a home on Staten Island’s North Shore. This year, major headway was made, and the museum is finally settling in at its new home located adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry. The museum will be one feature of Lighthouse Point, a development that will include 100 residential units, a hotel, a variety of retail shops and dining options, open space and parking. I can’t wait to see how the museum is able to celebrate and enhance the historical significance and maritime heritage of lighthouses throughout the United States- right here on Staten Island!
- North Shore Plaza– BFC Partners, the developers of Empire Outlets, just announced last week that they have great plans in store for a Mariners Harbor apartment complex. The developers plan to buy and rehabilitate the Mitchell-Lama Arlington Terrace Apartments, rename it North Shore Plaza, provide significant upgrades, and make it more affordable for residents to live there. The upgrades will provide increased stability and quality of life improvements to over 500 families, adding to the bright future of the vibrant and diverse Mariners Harbor community. I can’t wait to see how this project unfolds!
- Ferry Terminal/Culture Lounge– If you’re one of the thousands of commuters that board the Staten Island Ferry each day, chances are you’ve seen the transformation that has taken place over the past few months. New restaurants, new exhibits, and a sneak-peek as to what commuters and tourists have to look forward to in the near future… the Ferry terminal has been transformed from a drab waiting area to a bright, clean transportation gateway. One of my favorite new additions to the ferry terminal is the Culture Lounge, located along the strip of restaurants and storefronts. Sponsored by Staten Island Arts, the Culture Lounge serves as their new office, gallery and shop, and is being called a meeting place and a project space for both international and local artists- from visual artists, poets, musicians, writers and performers- to display their artistic projects. Not only does the new terminal provide a beautiful view of the harbor, and improved transportation connections to bus, subway, train and car; but hopefully, it will draw more tourists out of the terminal and into the heart of Staten Island. There is so much to see here!
- URL Building- Exciting things are happening in Stapleton, as acres of neglected waterfront are transformed into a thriving, vibrant community. As the New Stapleton Waterfront Development Plan is set into motion, so is the construction of a new housing development, a public esplanade, and other public features including pedestrian pathways, improved transportation and a public boat launching site. The old Homeport will soon become the site of a new, multi-use, residential community, retail space, and mile-long esplanade. As a Staten Island Realtor, I can’t think of a better way to revive a neighborhood than by drawing in young artists and professionals with modern, functional, sustainable and affordable housing like Urban Ready Living can provide. Combine these features with stunning views of the Manhattan skyline, Upper New York Bay and the towering Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, and you have a sought-after piece of New York City, right here on Staten Island’s North Shore!
- Empire Outlets- This year, it was confirmed that Nordstrom’s Rack is scheduled to open in fall 2016 as one of the anchor stores for Empire Outlets. In addition to Nordstrom Rack, there has been speculation that Dolce and Gabana, Gucci and Kate Spade may be some of the other retailers that will occupy the space. Even more exciting, however, is that construction has finally begun. As of December 1st the 300 parking spaces in Lot A, located next to the terminal, will be unavailable until the construction of Empire Outlets is completed. To accommodate commuters, 800 monthly parking permits will be offered for all spaces in lots B and C, and five temporary parking lots will have shuttle service to the terminal. The five remote lots will compensate for any losses of the 300 parking spaces, and are located at 680 Richmond Terrace, 22 Academy Place, 475 Bay Street, 40 Prospect Street, and 355 Front Street. Shuttle service times will be posted at each of the lots. Once the project is complete, parking lots designated for commuter use will be available in the newly constructed parking garage.
Featured on North Shore Buzz
7. Staten Island Makerspace– This past year I posted two blogs and featured a video on North Shore Buzz highlighting Staten Island Makerspace, Staten Island’s first small business incubator. Sponsored by the NYCEDC, Makerspace takes the “do it yourself” idea to a whole new level as it gives both skilled craftspeople and hobbyists the opportunity to make their ideas come to life. What was once a metal shop has been transformed into a creative community workspace for artists, craftspeople, makers, and hobbyists… and has certainly made headlines! Makerspace has proven to be as creative and inspiring as promised, drawing in hundreds of individuals with classes, workshops, events and celebrations. Check out their website for a list of upcoming workshops and classes, open to all ages and skill levels. Use Makerspace to “dream, create, make!”
8. Flagship Brewing Company– Of all the things that I have covered this year, highlighting new businesses was perhaps my favorite. New businesses are opening up everywhere on Staten Island, especially in the North Shore waterfront neighborhoods of St. George, Stapleton and Tompkinsville. My favorite new business happens to be Flagship Brewing Company, the first brewery to open on Staten Island in over 50 years! Owned and operated by three Staten Island childhood friends, the Flagship Brewing Company brings a unique product and a unique atmosphere back to Staten Island’s North Shore. Located at 38-40 Minthorne Street, Flagship Brewery is in the heart of Staten Island’s North Shore. I have loved watching this story unfold, and this episode of North Shore Buzz gave my viewers a sneak-peek of what so many Staten Islanders now love about Staten Island’s newest attraction.
9. The New York Wheel- One of the highlights of my career was the opportunity to interview Richard Marin, developer of the New York Wheel. In this exclusive interview, which can be accessed on North Shore Buzz here, I was honored to learn the intricate details of the wheel’s construction, design and future plans. Never before have I had such an opportunity- I was in awe as I viewed rendered photographs and listened to how Mr. Marin’s vision has become a reality for Staten Island. What a way to start 2014!
10. Lessons learned from my granddaughter– The most important memories I have, and the ones I will cherish for years to come, are those I have experienced with my family and loved ones. This year has been a rollercoaster of highs and lows. All of these experiences have caused me to reflect on what is truly important. My favorite blog post from 2014 includes the lessons I have learned from my granddaughter. Now that I have two granddaughters, I look forward to many more memories and moments to reflect on my many blessings. I hope you will take the time to learn the lessons that all of our children can teach us: to slow down, enjoy the beauty around you, play, and seek out the opportunities every new day holds. It is these lessons that will propel me into 2015.
What are your goals for the upcoming year? If one of them involves buying a home or any Staten Island real estate, look no further than Staten Island’s North Shore Expert! My website is full of useful information for potential home buyers and Staten Island residents alike. I look forward to bringing you the latest Staten Island news, and getting a chance to put you in a new home.
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Happy New Year!