Stapleton Homeport redevelopment plan approved

The future of the Stapleton Homeport. Image used with permission of the NYC EDC and the NYC IDA. All rights reserved.

Site includes former United States Navy base. On October 25, 2006, the City Council approved the comprehensive redevelopment plan for Staten Island’s Homeport, the 35-acre former United States Navy base located in Stapleton and owned by the City since 1995.

City Planning and the New York City Economic Development Corporation proposed five linked applications, including zoning map and text amendments, to achieve the plan recommended by Mayor Bloomberg’s Task Force on Homeport Redevelopment, a group of elected officials, community representatives, business owners, and residents formed in 2003 to develop a plan for the area’s redevelopment. The Task Force envisioned a waterfront esplanade running the length of the site and a mix of uses, including residential units, ground-floor retail, a sports complex, farmers market and a large economic generator, such as a movie studio or office complex. The final proposal included the 35-acre Homeport site and 18 mostly privately-owned lots west of Front Street, the city street forming the edge of Stapleton.

The rezoning altered the site’s manufacturing zoning to commercial zoning (M2-1 and M3-1 to C4-2) and created the Special Stapleton Waterfront District overlay to make the new zoning fit the unique context of the area. The special district contains eight sub-areas – the esplanade, public space and six development parcels – that lower the maximum building height allowed in the zone to 50 feet, except in one sub-area where 60 feet will be allowed to accommodate a proposed sports complex. The maximum base height was limited to 35 to 40 feet, with a decreased total floor area (from a 3.0 to 2.0 FAR) to match the reduced height restrictions. Non-residential ground floor space will not count toward the floor area limit.

The plan includes mandatory building locations aimed at creating a uniform streetscape along Front Street to match the characteristics of the Stapleton town center just west of the project area. Along Canal Street, Water Street and Prospect Street between the Staten Island Rapid Transit right-of-way and Front Street, the zoning prohibits ground floor residential uses in order to foster pedestrian activity and create a link between the town center and the new waterfront development. The mandatory building locations also frame the Cove, a public open space near the intersection of Canal and Water Streets, and Pier Place, a public open space near the intersection of Front, Wave, and Baltic Streets.

To implement the plan, the City will transfer sites to the EDC, which intends to demolish the existing structures, issue requests for proposals, and deliver the sites vacant to developers.

At the City Council’s Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee, EDC representatives explained that they hope to issue RFPs for large parts of the project in early 2007 and to break ground later that year. Council Member Michael McMahon, representing the district where the project is located, supported the plan. He commented that the area desperately needed revitalization.

The subcommittee and the full Land Use Committee approved, sending it to the full Council, which unanimously approved.

ULURP Process
Lead Agency:Dep’t Mayor Econ.Dev., EIS
Comm.Bd.: SI 1, App’d, 21-1-1
Boro. President: App’d
CPC: App’d, 12-0-0

Council: Stapleton Waterfront Development (C 060293 MMR – City map change); (N 060468 ZRR – text amendment); (C 060469 PPR – disposition of property); (C 060470 PRR – disposition of property); (N 060471 ZMR – map amendment) (Oct. 25, 2006). CITYADMIN

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