The city is shelling out $400 million to build a sprawling park along the New York Bay in Staten Island in hopes to lure private businesses to invest in the borough.
The four-year plan, touted by Mayor Eric Adams and Councilwoman Kamillah Hanks as a recommitment to the North Shore, promises a two-mile waterfront park from the Bayonne Bridge to the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge, similar to the park on Manhattan’s west side.
Lawmakers hope that the 20-acre esplanade will attract nearly 8,000 new jobs and speed up the construction of thousands of housing units.
“When people come down here and see how beautiful the waterfront is, builders are going to realize that people are coming here and they’re going to build,” Adams said on Pier 1 Thursday morning.
“For so long, Staten Island has been denied and ignored and they had the title of the forgotten borough,” Adams said, adding, “I have made it clear on all my visits here: You are not forgotten in this administration.”
Construction is expected to start on the walkway this fall while the city tries to find funding for the rundown fishing pier at St. George Ferry Terminal and a new developer for the canceled New York Wheel.
Additional parts of the plan call for:
- The New York City Economic Development Corporation will “accelerate” the completion of the Lighthouse Point and Staten Island Urby housing projects.
- A new request for proposals on the 35-acre former U.S. Navy base in Stapleton to bring a school with 600 seats and 2,000 new mixed-income homes.
- The restoration of waterfront access to the three acres in front of where the Ferris wheel was planned on Banks Street after being damaged by severe weather.
Much of the plan relies on private businesses to see the potential and invest, but officials project a nearly $4 billion impact on the economy if it pans out.
News of the investment comes just days after Adams issued a dire warning over city finances as it pays billions of dollars to handle the migrant crisis in the Big Apple, telling city agencies they will soon have to slash their budgets by up to 15%.
But despite the expected budget gap, City Hall officials say the waterfront renovations and other similar projects will continue as planned.
The roadmap for Staten Island’s North Shore, named “Staten Island North Shore Action Plan: Building a Vibrant, Mixed-Use Waterfront Community, comes after a nearly two-year push by Hanks (D-North Shore).
“We deserve a publicly accessible waterfront that balances commerce, industry, housing for all income levels, and recreation,” she said. “Now we have an action plan which represents a framework that reflects what this community has been demanding for decades.”
The city has been trying to renovate the North Shore for years, but many of the projects either stalled or failed to live up to the promised potential.
Most notable was the…