NYCEDC and Council Member Oddo Announce Plans to Transform a Historic 46-Acre Site on Brielle Avenue in Staten Island Into a Senior-Targeted Community
Staten Island-based NFC Associates, LLC Will Invest More Than $91 Million, Creating More Than 250 Construction Jobs and 41 Permanent Jobs
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) and Council Member James S. Oddo today announced plans for the redevelopment of a long-vacant 46-acre site located on Brielle Avenue in the Willowbrook neighborhood of Staten Island. NYCEDC has selected Staten Island-based NFC Associates LLC to create a new senior-targeted residential community on the site, which is located in both a protected Historic District owing to its history as the New York Farm Colony, and a Special Natural Area District due to its proximity to the 3,500-acre Staten Island Greenbelt. The development, to be called the Landmark Colony, will contain approximately 300 residential units, 17,000 square feet of commercial and/or community facility space including a recreation center, gardens, an outdoor theater, a central green space, and accessory parking. With its low density, extensive public open space for community events, and respectful adaptive reuse of key historic assets, the Landmark Colony will leverage the site’s extraordinary natural and historical context to create a vibrant community that represents more than $91 million in private investment. The project will also create over 250 construction jobs and 41 permanent jobs.
“The plans to transform this vacant site into a vibrant community represent another important step in the comprehensive strategy to drive economic development in Staten Island,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel. “In the coming years, hundreds of millions of dollars of investment and thousands of jobs will come to the borough, and help to create and sustain an environment where new communities and businesses can thrive.”
“The Landmark Colony project will rehabilitate a dilapidated area and create a facility that benefits the community while maintaining the integrity of this historic site,” said NYCEDC President Kyle Kimball. “This transformative project joins a number of others in the borough that will ensure Staten Island continues to grow and flourish for years to come.”
“Since my first year in office, back in 1999, I have made it my mission to find a use for Farm Colony that honors and protects its historic legacy, preserves the buildings that are worth saving, and allows the site to be used as a community asset,” said Council Member James S. Oddo. “I am happy to say that this plan will do all those things. It's been a long time, but sometimes good things are worth waiting for.”
“As a long-time local builder and resident, I am thrilled to be moving forward on the development of a new residential community at the former Farm Colony site. This historic site is one of Staten Island’s prized gems, with its lush 46 acres adjacent to the NYC Parks Department facilities and the Staten Island Greenbelt. Our plan is to revitalize this long-dormant property into a low-density community for seniors, featuring quality homes, vast open space, community gardens, arrested ruins, and lily and duck ponds,” said Raymond Masucci, principal of NFC Associates. “We intend to respect the site’s historic significance through the preservation and restoration of many of the historic buildings, rehabilitating the decaying, vandalized structures to create residential flats and lofts for senior living. New buildings with carriage homes and apartments will also be built on the site, along with community amenities such as dedicated open space and an amphitheater. The Landmark Colony will set a precedent for the re-use of one of Staten Island’s most sensitive, historical and natural areas. I look forward to continuing our cooperative efforts with EDC, as well as the Landmarks Preservation Commission and local elected officials, to create a new, successful residential community for our aging population.”
“This is the first real proposal that tackles the preservation and redevelopment of this important historic resource, and the Commission looks forward to working with NFC’s design team to develop an appropriate plan for the site,” said Landmarks Preservation Commission Chairman Robert B. Tierney.
“The New York Farm Colony is an excellent opportunity for redevelopment, and DCAS is pleased to support EDC’s designation of NFC Associates to repurpose this significant site in Staten Island for the benefit of the community,” said Edna Wells Handy, Commissioner of the Department of Citywide Administrative Services. “Having overseen the site as an environmental resource with special landmark status, we look forward to working collaboratively with EDC and developers until the property is conveyed.”
The Farm Colony, which operated from 1898 till 1975, provided room and board to economically disadvantaged persons in exchange for their labor. The site has been vacant for decades and previous attempts to develop it were never realized. Eleven buildings in a state of extreme disrepair remain of the original farm colony, and currently comprise the densest concentration of derelict structures anywhere in the five boroughs.
The Landmark Colony will utilize the on-site historic assets throughout its residential, commercial and community elements; five significant existing buildings (former dormitories and the Dining Hall) will be rehabilitated for occupancy. Ruins of two additional former dormitories will be stabilized and preserved in their current state to anchor extensive gardens, together forming a publicly accessible open space adjacent to an outdoor theater venue designed for public and private use. Additionally, Potter’s Field, a 1-acre open space, will be preserved and opened to the public as a memorial to farm colony residents who were buried on the site. Staten Island artists will be offered an opportunity to design and erect a monument fitting the area’s history and memory. Groundbreaking is anticipated for 2016.
The Landmark Colony design draws from the site’s situation bordering the Staten Island Greenbelt by incorporating a central, park‐like pedestrian infrastructure as well as a “green belt” spanning the site perimeter to physically and visually connect it with the surrounding area. The development will contain approximately 300 residential units in seven elevator buildings as period-inspired carriage houses, all with accessory parking. Additional amenities designed to serve both residents and visitors will include a recreation center, interconnected trails and paths for walking, bicycles and electric carts, multiple water features, and a community greenhouse and outdoor gardens inspired by the farm colony's legacy of permaculture.
All work, including demolition, alterations, stabilization and new construction will require approval from the Landmarks Preservation Commission.
“This is a happy ending to a long story at this site," said Borough President James P. Molinaro. "I can’t think of a better adaptive reuse. It’s great news for our community, our seniors, and our quality of life.”
"The Landmark Colony announced by the NYCEDC is a development plan that intends to bring vast community resources and temporary and permanent jobs to Staten Island,” said New York State Assembly Member Michael Cusick. “The project will create a beneficial community and revitalize a long-neglected area of our borough.”
The founder and principal of NFC Associates LLC, Raymond Masucci, is a long-time Staten Islander and real estate developer, builder and manager of hundreds of thousands of square feet of residential, commercial and office space in the borough. His projects have won numerous awards in recognition of his positive contributions to Staten Island’s built environment, including the Louis R. Miller Business Leadership award from the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce. Mr. Masucci’s most noted project is “The Tides at Charleston,” an award-winning residential waterfront community on Staten Island targeted to adults 55 and over, and New York City’s first active adult community. There, Mr. Masucci built a wind turbine, and many of the developer’s projects have included solar power. The Landmark Colony will incorporate sustainable design and construction methods, including solar power, landscaping irrigation from storm water retention basins, and the use of recycled materials.
The 46-acre Landmark Colony property is in close proximity to recreational amenities and institutions, such as the College of Staten Island, Sea View Hospital and Home Rehabilitation Center, and the Greenbelt Recreation Center. It is also nearby well-established residential communities, shopping and tourist destinations, such as the Staten Island Mall, Historic Richmondtown, and MTA Express Bus stops and the Staten Island Expressway.
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.