empire outlets

The Best Places for Holiday Shopping on Staten Island’s North Shore

We can hardly believe the holiday shopping season is upon us! Friends, family, co-workers; it seems like every year our lists grow a little bit longer. While some shoppers will instantly flock to their laptops in search of the best deal, Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty likes to keep it local. Some of our favorite places for unique gift-giving options are conveniently located right in the heart of the bustling north shore of our borough. So, if you’re looking to cross some names off your holiday shopping list then check out these recommendations for the best places for holiday shopping on Staten Island’s north shore.

Forest Avenue Shopping Center, Port Richmond

Located at the corner of Forest & Barrett Aves., this retail space originally opened in 1957. An open shopping mall, with over 800 parking spaces, Forest Avenue Shopping Center is home to about 20 retailers. In 2015, the area was completely renovated providing shoppers with a beautiful new façade to enjoy as they shop. PetSmart, TJ Maxx, Party City, and Michaels Craft stores are just a few of the fantastic stores in this development. Work up an appetite searching for deals? Trust us, you’ve come to the right place! This complex offers an array of restaurants where you can grab lunch before resuming your holiday shopping marathon.

Empire Outlets, St. George

Right outside the Staten Island Ferry terminal lies an oasis of more than 350,000 sq. feet of retail space in New York City’s first outlet mall. Empire Outlets features over 100 designer stores and 3.5 acres of outdoor green space. Tenants include such notable retailers as H&M, Nordstrom Rack, Nike Factory, and Gap Inc.’s subsidiaries Banana Republic and Old Navy. Even Ebenezer Scrooge would agree that the deals at Empire Outlets simply can’t be beat!

Wicked Stitches, West Brighton

Wicked Stitches in West Brighton embroiders monograms and other designs on any item you bring into their store, without having to buy one of their items first. So, if you want a personal item you own already to be embroidered, they can do it for you. Wicked Stitches also allows you to buy from their line of products to embroider for gifts this holiday season. Monograms start at $5 and up. It’s the perfect place to purchase a custom gift this holiday for a friend or business owner.

Richmond Hood Company, West Brighton

Staten Island is an obscurely special place. It’s New York City without a question, but it’s also a proper small island community. The Richmond Hood Company’s goal is to showcase and celebrate this unique cultural blend while offering a nice mix of footwear, apparel, eyewear, accessories, and skate goods. This specialty shop sells products that are hard to find and represent the local flavor with their selection of t-shirts, hoodies & gifts representing the whole island.

Hall of Frames, Grasmere

Is there an art lover on your list? Hall of Frames in Grasmere sells local artists’ paintings in the store. You can also buy the art in a custom-made frame. If you don’t want to buy the original painting, you can buy a print of the painting instead. Stocking stuffers rejoice, the store also sells other local business items including soaps, scarves, and jewelry.

Honor Wines, St. George

Honor Wines is a family-owned wine shop that specializes in organic small-batch, delicious, unique wines. The establishment’s knowledgeable and approachable staff will be only too happy to assist you with selecting the perfect bottle of spirits to take to your holiday party or to give as a holiday gift. Bonus tip, the store hosts a meet and greet every Friday where friends and neighbors can sample some of the store’s unique stock. Buy a bottle as a gift and take one home for yourself.

Gifted, West Brighton: Gifted is a kaleidoscope of curious trinkets, classic toys, handmade jewelry, small-batch sweets, bath & body products, men’s grooming gifts, scented candles, tabletop gifts, and fashion accessories. The store is a celebration of all seasons, traditions and occasions – including the holidays! They offer great gifts for men, women and children. In addition, Gifted ships nationwide and offers in-store pickup. You can’t beat the convenience or the selection at this north shore treasure.

As your dedicated Staten Island Licensed Real Estate Broker, Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty wants to help you get to know and support our local small business owners. So, get out there and enjoy the season in some of these north shore establishments that will undoubtedly have the perfect presents for everyone on your list!

Find a great deal or unique gift at one of these locations? Message us or tag us on one of our social media handles. We wish all of our friends and followers a Happy Holiday from Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty, 4 Minthorne Street, Staten Island N.Y.10301 Today! Office: #718-702-6848 or #917-414-0847

More about Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty

Buying or selling a home is an exciting yet stressful time, so finding the right realty is an extremely important decision. We believe that there are two kinds of Real Estate professionals: those who understand the emotional and financial complexity of selling and buying a home, and those who don’t. If the idea of buying or selling a home is perplexing to you, look no further: we work with integrity and knowledge to guarantee that your experience is unmatched.

Don’t hesitate to contact us on Facebook or Twitter, and be sure to visit our about page. Holly can also be reached by email Holly@WiesnerOlivieri.com. Find out why our clients keep recommending us as their Staten Island Real Estate company of choice!

I look forward to meeting up with you soon!

7 Developments On Staten Island’s North Shore That We’re Excited About

2015 has been an exciting year so far for Staten Island’s North Shore. With developments happening just about everywhere, it is hard to keep up-to-date with all of the progress and changes. As I launch my own business, Holly’s Staten Island Buzz Realty Inc.,  one of my goals is to keep you informed about the “buzz” on Staten Island’s North Shore.

Back in January 2014, I posted about Developments on Staten Island’s North Shore. Below are some updates on those exciting projects & more:

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, offering elegance, convenience, extraordinary amenities and stunning views.

I recently discovered that the Accolade Condos is over 90% sold out, and this is without a grand opening! Buyers from Staten Island, Manhattan, Brooklyn and outside the city have been taking advantage of the fine amenities Bay Street Landing offers. For more information about the Accolade Condos, click here. If interested in a private showing, don’t hesitate to contact me.

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New York Wheel and Empire Outlets Approved

It’s Official! Plans approved for development on Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront


It is literally the “biggest” thing to happen to Staten Island; the New York City Council’s approval to bring the world’s largest observation wheel (the New York Wheel) and the city’s only outlet mall (Empire Outlets) to Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront.

On October 31, the City Council unanimously approved the tourist attraction, voting in support of the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, as well as city funded improvements for the neighborhood. I can’t think of a better time to buy a home on Staten Island’s North Shore, or a more exciting time to live here.

The Projects

Construction of the New York Wheel is set to begin sometime soon, with hopes that it will open on July 4, 2016. The 625-foot New York Wheel will consist of 36 capsules seating 40 passengers each, and will offer a 38-minute ride and spectacular view of the New York City skyline, downtown Manhattan, and New Jersey.

The wheel’s terminal building will include retail and restaurant space, as well as a 4-D theatre and exhibition space about New York City history, alternative energy and environmental sustainability. The site will also contain a 950-space parking garage with a green roof with recreational areas, gardens, a playground, wind turbines and solar panels.

Hopes are, it will make the North Shore a destination- not only for tourists riding on the Staten Island Ferry, but for Staten Island residents as well.

Meanwhile, Empire Outlets (a separate project from the wheel, although they share much of the same space) is also set to be complete in 2016. The outlet mall, designed by SHoP Architects, will contain 340,000 square feet of retail (with up to 125 designer outlet retailers) in a multi-leveled complex located adjacent to the New York Wheel and Richmond County Ballpark. The mall is allegedly interesting high-end stores like Coach, Restoration Hardware, Michael Kors, Nordstrom Rack, and Brooks Brothers.

Empire Outlets will also house a 200-room hotel and a 40,000-square-foot food and beverage deck that will provide extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline. In addition, the developers of Empire Outlets (BFC Partners) will build a 1,250-space structured parking garage below the retail and hotel area, and a “green” rooftop.

Win-Win for Staten Island and its residents


The proposals for the wheel and outlet complex didn’t come without controversy and concerns as to how the projects would affect Staten Islanders, and if the current Staten Island infrastructure would be able to support such a large undertaking. But that all seemed to be resolved through negotiations.

Among the benefits the plan will bring to the borough include a $51 million city investment on Staten Island. Some of these improvements include a million-dollar traffic mitigation fund, repairs to Richmond Terrace (including its esplanade), and to replace the Cromwell Center. Other projects include a Greenway trail study, free ridership on the New York Wheel to NYC school children for the first year, and plans for ferry service to Snug Harbor. In addition, about $35 million in capital will be allocated by the DOT for Staten Island Ferry terminal design and new ferries.

Staten Island Pride in the Project

Another potential deal-breaker was resolved through negotiations between the City Council and BFC Partners in regards to unionized labor. The City Council may have rejected the proposal for Empire Outlets, as BFC Partners initially refused to sign a project labor agreement for 100 percent union labor. However, North Shore representatives secured a last-minute commitment from BFC Projects ensuring that unionized labor be used in the construction of the outlet mall. Further, an agreement from the Building Trades was made to hire mainly Staten Islanders.

In the end, the projects will generate good, quality, and much needed jobs for Staten Islanders. Both the New York Wheel and the Empire Outlets are sure to encapsulate the spirit of Staten Island and the people who reside here.

The National Lighthouse Museum


On a related note, just this September I wrote about the National Lighthouse Museum looking to Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront as the location for their national museum (you can read about it here). Part of the revival of the Staten Island North Shore includes the renovation of an abandoned waterfront property adjacent to the Staten Island Ferry. This waterfront area, which happens to be the site of the Nation’s oldest recognized lighthouse operation, will hopefully house the National Lighthouse Museum, as long as enough funds are raised to secure the space for the museum.

To date, the museum only needs to raise $50,000 more in funds in order for the New York City Economic Development Corporation to lease the space to them. The December 10, 2013 deadline is approaching and museum supporters have turned to Staten Islanders to help them reach their goal.

In fact, their request is specific, asking 50 people to donate $1,000 each to raise the remaining $50,000. With their donation, contributors will have a piece of the Lighthouse Museum (a lighthouse model from anywhere around the country or world) permanently displayed with their name, family’s name or business’ name on the museum’s “Wall of Lights.”  For more information on how you can support the National Lighthouse Museum, visit their website. Otherwise, Staten Island could miss out on showcasing a large part of our history through this museum.

Nevertheless, the North Shore renaissance is well underway, and I cannot wait to see what the next two years will bring! Make sure to check out “The St. George Renaissance” video just released!  Feel the energy and excitement and live the North Shore revitalization!

If all of this news has you interested in buying a home here, look no further than my website for listings, neighborhood information, attractions, and other helpful information about the home-buying process. I would love to meet with you to discuss your options and why NOW is the best time to buy a home on Staten Island.

You can also connect with me on Facebook or Twitter I hope to meet up with you soon!

SINY North Shore Buzz – The St. George Renaissance

Join SINY North Shore expert Holly Wiesner Olivieri as she interviews people, businesses and homes in Staten Island’s North Shore community.

Take a tour of downtown Staten Island

From the Staten Island Yankees to the revitalization of the North Shore, St.George is the talk of the town. In this episode of North Shore Buzz, Holly Wiesner Olivieri takes us on a tour of Staten Island’s central hub; St.George. Informational and upbeat, this short video highlights the history, attractions, and exciting future of Staten Island’s “downtown.”

Whether you are looking to move to Staten Island or have been a lifelong resident, this video will surely motivate you to head downtown for a visit. St.George is known for its unique and bustling atmosphere, and Holly emphasizes the neighborhood’s main attractions while shedding some light on its best-kept secrets.

Offering insight on the upcoming transformation of Staten Island’s North Shore, Holly outlines the new and exciting contributions St.George will have to offer tourists and Staten Island residents alike; including the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets and Lighthouse Point.

Come visit St.George, and see why many are calling it home.

Bringing Staten Island to New Heights

Empire_Outlets_Aerial_Rendering (1)

With the revitalization of the North Shore in full swing, there is always something going on in the borough that has the community talking. One of the hottest topics of late is the proposed New York wheel and outlet malls, and is just another reason why so many people have become increasingly interested in Staten Island, specifically, St. George.

If you are looking to move to an up-and-coming area that provides an urban feel in a predominantly suburban area, there is no doubt that St. George is the place to look. Besides the fact that this area is already bustling with great restaurants, arts and culture, history and attractions, the addition of a new tourist attraction and an outlet mall only adds to the excitement.

For anyone looking to buy a home on Staten Island, being informed about the new additions to this North Shore community is a MUST. Here is what residents have to look forward to in the near future.

World’s Tallest Ferris Wheel 

Chances are if you live on Staten Island or are interested in buying a home here, you’ve already heard of the proposed plans for the world’s tallest Ferris wheel. Already named the “New York Wheel,” the proposed observation wheel towers over 600 feet tall, rising above both the London Eye and the Singapore Flyer.  The wheel will consist of 36 capsules seating 40 passengers each, and will offer a 38-minute ride and spectacular view of the New York City skyline, downtown Manhattan, and New Jersey.

Towering over the Staten Island Ferry terminal, the wheel hopes to offer more than just a ride and a view. Hopes are it will make the North Shore a destination for both residents and tourists alike. The proposed design of the structure will include green recreational space for the public to enjoy during the day, and at night it will light up over the harbor- serving as an illuminated beacon showcasing New York City’s most suburban borough.

Empire Outlets- A New Shopping Destination

Another project is also underway, and its construction will accompany that of the New York Wheel. Shoppers weary of traveling to Long Island, New Jersey or all the way upstate to Woodbury Commons can get excited about New York City’s only outlet mall, planning to open in 2016.

Located at the site of the parking lot near the ferry terminal, this structure will consist of a retail and hotel complex, and will include restaurants, café’s, and nearly ½ million square feet of outlet malls. Empire Outlets (formerly Harbor Commons), will provide shoppers with high-end stores such as Nike, Adidas and Coach (although the final list of retailers hasn’t officially been revealed to the public).

A New Look for the North Shore

Since the announcement last year, plans for the wheel and the outlets has been altered a few times. Redesigns for the project include more green space for public use, as well as ample parking for commuters who use the Staten Island Ferry on a daily basis.

Where will this “green space” be? The observation wheel’s terminal building will include a multi-leveled structure that will house several facilities, including parking and an 8-acre rooftop lawn.  The majority of the space will include open green lawns, terraced landscaping, waterfall features, and winding pathways. The space will be open for public use for anything from picnicking, walking or simply relaxing and enjoying the view. The green space will also feature a display of solar and wind turbines, which will be used to power a portion of the wheel terminal.

All of this will be located among the retail outlets and the wheel itself, adjacent to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark, providing a “new look” for this section of the North Shore.

Making Staten Island a Destination

Developers and officials supporting the new attractions hope that the wheel and adjacent outlets will draw tourists from the ferry terminal out into the borough before their return trip to Manhattan. It will also attract people into the area, giving visitors a chance to experience all of the culture, history, great eats and attractions the borough has to offer.

Zipcars will allow tourists coming off the ferry a quick and convenient ride to Snug Harbor, the Alice Austen House, the Staten Island Zoo, Fort Wadsworth, Historic Richmond Town, the boardwalk, beaches and parks, and many, many other area attractions.

As a Staten Island realtor, I am truly excited to tell my clients about all that this neighborhood currently offers, as well as its promising future. St. George is experiencing recent growth that is outpacing other areas of New York City and the revitalization of the area promises to add even more to an already thriving area.

If you are interested in buying a home on Staten Island, what a great time to get started! Take this as an opportunity to witness all of the excitement unfold and see what a great place Staten Island can be. I would love to show you some beautiful real estate properties in St. George and the surrounding areas, and discuss the many advantages to buying a home in this up-and-coming area. Check my website for listings and links to the other wonderful and amazing things taking place on the North Shore.  Hope to meet you soon!



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