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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.

So, if you’re heading into Manhattan this holiday season to do some shopping or perhaps some ‘touristy’ things of your own, be sure to allot some extra time to check out what’s new in the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

A New Look

The new terminal provides beautiful views of the harbor, high ceilings, and a well-lit, open space. Replacement of the harbor side brick wall with a 40-foot glass wall allows for a perfect view of the ferry boat while it approaches the terminal. Transportation connections to bus, subway, train and car have been improved, allowing for a seamless commute.

Also on display in the ferry terminal are rendered photos of Empire Outlets, giving future shoppers a sneak-peek of the new outlet mall.

Restaurants and Cafés

Passengers at the ferry terminal can enjoy a wider variety of dining options as well. Below is a list of current eateries located in the ferry terminal.

  • Au Bon Pain
  • DQ Grill & Chill
  • Eat-a-Bagel Ferry
  • Island Soft Pretzel
  • Statue of Liberty Deli
  • Subway Restaurant
  • Wateredge

Opening soon in the terminal is a 24-hour restaurant, the River Dock Café, which will not only offer seafood and American fare, but views of Lady Liberty and the New York Harbor.

Leasing Office

Commuters interested in rental options in St. George can also take advantage of the convenience of the Empire Outlets leasing office being located in the Ferry terminal. Along with 30,000 square feet of retail space, the plans for Empire Outletalso include space for 900 rental apartments.

Living Roof

“Green” features have been included in the renovations of the terminal, specifically an 18,000 square-foot living roof. Located atop the terminal building, visitors and commuters can enjoy a view of living vegetation of local flora adjacent from the public viewing area.

The Culture Lounge

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.

One aspect of the Culture Lounge is the Artists Market, which is located at the forefront of the space. It offers a wide variety of unique, handmade goods, created by local artists, and all within a “New York Harbor” theme. Perfect for tourists looking to purchase authentic gifts and as a permanent gallery for local artists to display (and sell) their work.

Parking Updates

Along with the “new look” of the Ferry terminal, and all of the wonderful things it has to offer, commuters and tourists should also be aware of the parking changes that have recently taken place since construction for Empire Outlets has begun.

Currently, the 300 parking spaces in Lot A, located next to the terminal, will be unavailable for about two years, until the construction of Empire Outlets is completed. To accommodate commuters, 800 monthly parking permits will be offered for all spaces at 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.

As you can see, there is so much happening on Staten Island’s North Shore! If you are looking to buy a home or any Staten Island real estate and want to know more, please don’t hesitate to contact me on Facebook or Twitter. Even better, my website is full of helpful information about the different North Shore neighborhoods, local businesses, news and events. Don’t forget to check out North Shore Buzz for video interviews and home-buying tips.

I look forward to meeting up soon, and have an extraordinary day!

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