“Things are underway here. We’re really excited about it,” says David Barry of Ironstate Development.
It’s all part of an aggressive plan to turn the space into a Staten Island destination. Under a partnership between the city’s Economic Development Corporation and Ironstate Development, 900 units of housing will be built in phases and aimed at attracting young professionals.
Ideally featuring mom and pop shops and established Staten Island businesses, the space will allow for 35,000 square feet of retail space.
It will also include waterfront access, infrastructure improvements and an esplanade to be paid for by the city.
“We’ve been working really hard on this, working seven days a week, about 18 hours a day. They start at seven in the morning, they finish up late at night, so it’s not 24/7, but it’s close to that, and you know we’re really pushing hard to get this thing done,” says Barry.
The project has been met with much criticism. Many doubt the city’s ability to build up the home port space because the site has a long history of stops and starts, but the developer says the demolition equipment is proof enough that the city will make good on its word.
“We’re two stops from the Staten Island Ferry, it’s direct access into Manhattan, it’s just, it’s got beautiful views, great access, it’s gonna have a great neighborhood,” says Barry.
Once demolition is complete, it will take about three weeks to fully remove all of the debris from the site. Then the developer will spend a couple of months refining the site’s plans.
Construction is expected to begin sometime this summer.