Work finally underway at Homeport

New Jersey-based developer is proceeding with plan for a $150 million mixed-use project on the former Naval base on Staten Island, after years of discussions.

 

By AMANDA FUNG

A former U.S. Naval base site on Staten Island will finally be transformed into a mixed-used development.

Redevelopment work has already begun, the city announced Friday morning. The news comes in the wake of the closing of the $11 million sale of a seven-acre parcel of the Homeport in the Stapleton section of Staten Island, just south of the St. George Ferry Terminal. The buyer was New Jersey-based Ironstate Development Co.

Ironstate will invest $150 million in the project, which will be made up of two buildings with 900 market-rate rental apartments, 30,000 square feet of ground-floor retail, 600 parking spaces and a public plaza. The LEED-certified buildings, four and five stories high, will meet the current zoning rules for the site. The new development will be within easy walking distance of the St. George Ferry Terminal.

The city plans to pour $32 million into the project for infrastructure improvements and the construction of a six-acre waterfront esplanade. Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro has also committed $1 million to improving the Staten Island Railway’s Stapleton station, which is adjacent to the new development.

“The reactivation of the Homeport, turning it into an exemplary green community, with public access to the waterfront, modern infrastructure, and rental housing options for young Staten Island professionals and others, will create positive momentum for Stapleton and other North Shore neighborhoods,” said Seth Pinsky, president of the city Economic Development Corp., in a statement.

Construction of the first phase of the project, which will consist of 450 units, is expected to begin next year and to be completed in 15 months. The start of the second, final phase will commence after the first is complete. Ironstate has begun demolishing three existing buildings on the site.

Ironstate was selected in 2009 to transform seven acres of the 36-acre Homeport after more than a decade of discussions to redevelop the site. The city took control of the site in 1995, when the base closed. At one time, Mayor Bloomberg envisioned building a restaurant, sports complex, banquet hall and farmer’s market, but responses to a 2007 requests for proposals from developers “were limited and deemed unsatisfactory,” the city said.

Ironstate, which specializes in urban community development, built the W Hoboken Hotel. Last year, the developer launched the first phase of Harrison Station, a project that will feature 2,600 luxury residences, 80,000 square feet of retail space and a hotel with a retail concourse on a 27-acre site adjacent to the PATH Station in Harrison, N.J.

 

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