ST. GEORGES WATERFRONT AREA-SITE OF A REAL ESTATE BOOM NOT SEEN IN NEARLY A CENTURY— IS NOW HOME TO A MID-SIZED LUXURY APARTMENT COMPLEX AIMED DIRECTLY AT POTENTIAL BROOKLYN HEIGHTS AND WILLIAMSBURG BUYERS
Imagine living in a spacious, modern luxury home with spectacular views of the soaring Manhattan skyline and a charming outdoor terrace or basking in the sunshine. Although you have this escape – a retreat from the thrum of Manhattan – you can easily be a part of the “scene” if you’re yearning for that vibrant pace that keeps the city pulsating. Staten Island’s historic St. George area, home to the iconic St. George Theater, Snug Harbor cultural center and Richmond County Bank Ballpark, offers an ideal lifestyle for those who yearn for the best of both worlds. A short walk to the nearby St. George Ferry Terminal will whisk you off to downtown Manhattan or you can opt to remain local, embracing the community as you soak in the culture that has long been a part of St. George’s storied past.
Due to its proximity to Manhattan and inexpensive commute via the ferry, many real estate experts and investors believe that the St. George area has the potential to become another Hoboken, Jersey City, or Brooklyn Heights. The area also offers local train service to other parts of the island for those who yearn to explore our own borough’s vibe, and real estate prices have been rising more or less steadily since 2000. More than any other area of the borough, perhaps. St. George has seen its share of market booms and busts, and it’s easy to see evidence of both — in the latter case by the still-imposing edifices of Carrere and Hastings-designed New York Public Library branch, Borough Hall, and Richmond County Courthouse, all built in the 1910s, along with forgotten glories such as the profusion of spectacular hotels that once lined St, Mark’s Place— the greatest of which was Hotel Castleton, destroyed by fire in 1907.
The frenzy of real estate deals in and around the neighborhood in the last few years is only appropriate, given the history of the neighborhood. And no, it was not named for the famous dragon-slayer. but rather for George Law, who acquired a massive portion of the waterfront in the 19th century, relinquishing part of his rights onlv in exchange for this nomenclature canonization. Ego it seems, truly knows no bounds.
One of the more fascinating and evolving developments in the ongoing waterfront renaissance is The Pointe —a luxury condominium development at 155 Bay Street. its 57 spacious one-and two-bedroom residences feature such coveted comforts as stainless-steel kitchen appliances and baths embellished with high-end stone and ceramic tiles. The homes range from 962 to 1,255 square-feet, and are also equipped with hardwood floors, a private outdoor space, abundant closets, full-size washer and dryer, and on-site garage parking. Prices currently range from $335,000 to $475,000, with tax abatement and reasonable common charges. As anyone who has attended more than a handful of open houses in areas of the city offering water views will attest, these figures mark the low-end of such opportunities, and interest thus far has been brisk.
“The opening of The Pointe represents a renewed interest and reinvestment in St. Geroge, known as the gateway to Staten Island, as well as the extended Staten Island North Shore waterfront,” said Jacqueline Urgo, president of The Marketing Directors—the exclusive marketing and sales agent for the development.
The Pointe’s modern building was originally developed by another company in 2008, but the sales of the luxury residences were off to a slow start in the wake of the financial crisis. Unable to continue with the original plans. The project, though fully-operational. was no longer actively being marketed until recently when Meadow Partners—an international real estate investor and asset manager (with offices in New York City and London) purchased the property from the bank. Featuring an updated lobby and corridors the complex re-launched in March of this year.
“Buyer interest was high, and we already have 11 homes sold to date.” added Urgo. Initial buyers from Staten Island, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and New Jersey are lured by The Pointe’s proximity to the ferry—a key selling point, “We’re seeing a combination of younger buyers moving out of rentals and taking advantage of the attractive prices and historically-low interest rales, to empty-nesters who just want a maintenance-free lifestyle and to be closer to their children on the Island. We’re also seeing professionals who commute by ferry to downtown Manhattan.”
Industry insiders, investors, and residents see the the area evolving into a vibrant downtown neighborhood with chic shops, stylish restaurants, and galleries. This strong arts and entertainment fabric will soon be enhanced by a coming wave of modern public amenities and services, as work is underwav to transform the former U.S Navy Home Port site in nearby Stapleton into a vibrant new destination featuring 30,000 square-feet of street-level retail space and a public plaza. In addition, the city plans to invest $32 million for infrastructure improvements and construction of a new six-acre waterfront esplanade.
“Like most emerging neighborhoods, you need a combination of multiple committed developers, sound planning that combines quality housing, retail, amenities, public open space, and good timing. We’re seeing tangible signs of all of that today,” concluded Urgo.