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New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) today announced that it is seeking a developer for the purchase or long-term lease and development of an approximately 33 acre waterfront site in the Rossville section of Staten Island. The City-owned site, which includes 2,000 linear feet of shoreline along the Arthur Kill Channel, is the largest New York City-owned property available for maritime development, and one of the few remaining industrial waterfront properties in the entire region suitable for the shipping of bulk and break bulk goods. NYCEDC issued a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the site today, and responses must include the activation of at least a portion of the waterfront area with maritime industrial uses.
“Today, we begin the process of transforming an underutilized waterfront property into a center of maritime industrial activity -- a key goal of the Bloomberg Administration,” said New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky. “To this end, we look forward to seeing the responses to this RFEI and ultimately to paving the way for increased economic activity and good jobs for the residents of Staten Island.”
“This is an important step forward for Economic Development on Staten Island’s West Shore waterfront,” said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. “In this economy, Staten Island needs jobs-jobs-jobs – that’s what we hope will emerge from this RFEI.”
"Staten Island has a long and proud tradition in the maritime industries of New York City,” said Congressman Michael Grimm. “This proposal by the NYCEDC has the potential to expand on that tradition and create stable, good paying jobs for our community."
“Given the state of our economy, it is vitally important that we realize our port related economic opportunities here on Staten Island,” said Senator Andrew Lanza. “This land, if developed properly, can create decent high paying new jobs on Staten Island.”
“I am very excited to see the City moving forward with the redevelopment of this site, in particular with job creating maritime uses,” said Assemblyman Lou Tobacco. “The potential economic activity generated by the activation of this site will be a boon for this community.”
“From its earliest days, the maritime industry has been a central economic engine for New York City, the surrounding region, and the nation,” said Edward J. Kelly, Executive Director of the Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ. “The Maritime Association of the Port of NY/NJ has been a steady supporter of Mayor Bloomberg’s strong plans to sustain and expand the working maritime industry in our city, and we believe that NYCEDC’s action to place an RFEI for the important Rossville site will be a major step in ensuring that our maritime resources will be put to the best possible use. The West Shore of Staten Island is located in the crux of one of the world’s busiest maritime areas, and will surely be a magnet for a working maritime enterprise that will bring well-paying jobs to the area.”
“The new Rossville waterfront development site will attract water dependent businesses that will aid our economy and our environment, providing good paying maritime jobs and add to the working port which gets goods to market via water rather than road,” said Roland Lewis, President and CEO of the Metropolitan Waterfront Alliance. “It is a win win for New York City and the region.”
Located on the 35 foot deep Arthur Kill Channel, the Rossville site can support deep-sea and shallow draft vessels for international and domestic shipping. In addition, the site can also provide berthing space for auxiliary vessels such as tugs and barges.
The site has significant potential to expand maritime activity within the Port of New York and New Jersey, which is currently the third largest port in the United States and the largest port complex on the Atlantic Coast. According to a recent New York Shipping Association study, the Port supports over 270,000 jobs and $37 billion in economic activity. Commerce and trade in the port has increased significantly in recent years and, over the next decade growth is expected to continue. While an increase in demand for goods is expected, the port has a limited number of sites that can house new and significant marine transportation facilities. The site also has access to a major highway enabling multi-modal connectivity and efficient cargo logistics.
Currently, the site is mostly vacant, and responses must include plans for structural improvements, including the demolition of a pier, development of necessary maritime infrastructure and any plans for improved traffic changes. Respondents may also include a proposal for the non-waterfront portion of the site as long as it complements and supports the proposed maritime industrial development and adheres to existing zoning.
The appropriate development of the site could greatly contribute to economic growth on Staten Island, as outlined in comprehensive planning efforts such as the Waterfront Vision and Enhancement Strategy (WAVES) and the Working West Shore 2030 report. Launched in March 2011, WAVES is a citywide initiative launched by Mayor Bloomberg which will create a new sustainable blueprint for the City’s more than 500 miles of shoreline. WAVES has two core components: Vision 2020: The New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, which will establish long-term goals for the next decade and beyond, and the New York City Waterfront Action Agenda, which will set forth priority initiatives to be implemented within three years. Together, the initiatives will provide a blueprint for the City’s waterfront and waterways, and focus on the following categories: open space and recreation, the working waterfront, housing and economic development, natural habitats, climate change adaptation and waterborne transportation.
The Working West Shore 2030 report, published by NYCEDC and the New York City Department of City Planning in 2011, is a twenty year vision that aims to create jobs, increase waterfront access, improve mobility and strengthen neighborhoods. The report was the result of a two-year effort involving City and State agencies, elected officials, local stakeholders and hundreds of local residents. In order to jumpstart the West Shore 2030 vision, the City is focusing on 39 short-term initiatives, including this RFEI, which emphasize job growth and needed infrastructure in the West Shore of Staten Island.
By prioritizing maritime industrial uses in the RFEI, the activation of the waterfront site in Rossville is also part of the City’s recently announced 22 initiatives to strengthen the City’s industrial sector and help small industrial businesses stay and grow in New York City. In total, the 22 initiatives will revitalize, modernize, and preserve up to 9 million square feet of underutilized industrial space, and create and retain up to 30,000 direct and indirect industrial jobs, generate annual payroll earnings of more than $900 million and more than $150 million in City tax revenue.
The initiatives resulted from an inter-agency review of the City’s industrial policies, led by Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel, New York City Economic Development Corporation President Seth W. Pinsky, Department of Small Business Services Commissioner Robert W. Walsh and City Planning Commissioner Amanda M. Burden. The review found that while the City’s industrial sector has been declining in line with national trends of 8 percent annually over the past 10 years, there are certain subsectors showing stability and growth. As offshoring costs increase, it is anticipated that industrial activities will continue to grow nationwide. New York City in particular offers unique location-based advantages for industrial activity, including a population of about 8.4 million, access to a large workforce and highly-skilled labor, and one of the nation’s busiest ports based on import volume. The review also found that industrial businesses in the City are challenged by a lack of building stock appropriate for modern industrial uses, higher costs, and difficulty maneuvering City processes. Industrial sectors account for 16.3 percent of New York City’s overall private employment and more than 25 percent of employment outside of Manhattan, and industrial jobs have a mean wage of $64,000.
To obtain a copy of the complete RFEI, visit www.nycedc.com/rfp. Responses are due by January 18, 2012 at 4 p.m.
New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City's primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC's mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City's competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City's many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.