Building a 900-unit mixed use development on the Staten Island waterfront may seem like a risky move, but it may seem like an even riskier move once you hear developer David Barry's plan for luring tenants. Basically, the plan is: Manhattan is too expensive. Brooklyn (the cool parts) is too expensive. Where are all the hip youngsters going to go next? Staten Island, right? Right? Guys?
Barry's Ironstate is pouring $150 million into the URL Staten Island development, and their plan seems mostly to hinge on young people moving to the oft-overlooked borough, willingly, because it's cool now. "I don't want to pretend [URL Staten Island] is some artist commune, but at the same time, we're trying to figure out what makes the most sense allowing young artists and entrepreneurs to flourish — and what's going to resonate with that market," Barry told Fast Company. And he's got a point — if there's one thing that "artists" love, it's paying $1,600/month for a 400-square-foot studio in a building that looks like an office complex with the a big sign on top that says "[something] IS A CANVAS TO OUR IMAGINATION." In Staten Island. (Alternately, they can pay $2,000/month for a 550-square-foot one-bedroom or $2,400/month for a 700-square-foot two-bedroom. You know, affordability.)
And if all the artists and entrepreneurs aren't enticed by the
low prices to make Staten Island into the next Williamsburg/Red Hook/1960s East Village/etc. perhaps some fancy amenities will do the trick. Just a sampling of the bonuses that URL Staten Island will be offering, in rough order of desperateness (least to most), include: 4,000-square-foot gym with a yoga studio, a rooftop bee farm, an open kitchen where chefs will help residents cook gourmet meals (maybe), and a system where building staff helps you check in your AirBnB guests (seriously). There will also be "water wells" in the lobby, where residents can awkwardly meet each. Presumably, there will also be water available inside the apartments.
· One man's bold quest to lure cool New Yorkers to the city's least-hip borough [Fast Company]
· 900 New Apartments Headed For S.I.'s Stapleton Waterfront [Curbed]