NYCEDC President and Staten Island Elected Officials Welcome Au Bon Pain to Staten Island
New Retail Shop Represents over $1 Million in Private Investment and More than 30 New Jobs for Staten Islanders
New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) President Seth W. Pinsky and Staten Island elected officials cut the ribbon today on the new Au Bon Pain cafe at the St. George Ferry Terminal in Staten Island. The ceremony included Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro, Congressman Michael E. McMahon, State Senator Diane J. Savino, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Councilwoman Deborah Rose, Au Bon Pain Regional Vice President Jeff Milliken, and Chief Operating Officer, Ferry Division of the Department of Transportation (DOT), James DeSimone. The 1820-square-foot Au Bon Pain is the first of six new retail shops at the Ferry Terminal that will open in the next few months. NYCEDC is leasing the spaces on behalf of the Department of Transportation which owns and operates the Ferry Terminal. The store represents an approximately $1 million private investment by Au Bon Pain and will employ 35 workers, 31 from Staten Island.
"With 65,000 ferry commuters and tourists passing through the terminal daily, we are pleased that, with the opening of the new Au Bon Pain, the St. George Terminal will at last have the quality amenities that it deserves," said NYCEDC President Pinsky. "We whole heartedly welcome Au Bon Pain to Staten Island."
"Commuters want a clean and on-time ferry, but something as simple as a good cup of coffee and a pastry can make the commute something to savor," said DOT Commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. "This opening is an important milestone as we enhance the ferry commuter experience with the kind of amenities that Staten Islanders deserve."
"We are proud that we were able to open our café at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal to serve the needs of the Island’s many commuters," said Au Bon Pain President and CEO Sue Morelli. "We have built a loyal following in the New York market through organic growth in Manhattan and throughout the region. Additionally, Au Bon Pain has many stores at transportation centers throughout the country, from train stations to airports. This new location is a natural fit for our brand and for our customers."
The new, 1,120-square-foot cafe will offer the fresh menu choices that Au Bon Pain is known for, including Au Bon Pain’s signature authentic artisan breads, scrumptious pastries, savory sandwiches, soups, salads and entrees. Preparation will be done in a 900-square-foot kitchen located nearby in the Ferry Terminal. In the coming months, Au Bon Pain will be joined by Statue of Liberty Deli, Island Pretzel, and Fresh Juice & Ice Cream Delight. In addition, NYCEDC is negotiating with a national sandwich chain and a well-known local food retailer from Brooklyn for two additional spaces.
Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro said, "I am thrilled that Staten Island commuters now have access to this wonderful dining option at the ferry terminal. I would like to commend NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky for his successful work in bringing retail back to the ferry terminal, and I look forward to many new stores opening in the near future."
"I am so happy to be able to announce today that the new St. George Terminal is open for business," said Representative McMahon. "There have been some bumps in the road regarding retail opportunities in our terminals, but today signifies the dawn of a new day, thanks in large part to the economic recovery funds secured for our district. I commend the staff of NYCEDC, under the leadership of Seth Pinksy, for working so diligently with Borough President Molinaro and me on bringing this to fruition."
State Senator Savino said, "I join my colleagues in welcoming Au Bon Pain to the St. George Ferry Terminal, as well as the 31 new jobs for Staten Island residents that the store is creating. Last year, when my office surveyed the opinions of ferry riders, one of the most common requests was the addition of retail stores and restaurants in the renovated terminal. We are happy to see that the passengers’ voices are being heard and look forward to the opening of many more retail outlets."
"I welcome Au Bon Pain to Staten Island," said Assemblyman Titone. "They are helping to fulfill the vision of the ferry terminal becoming a vital, bustling hub that serves more than just transportation needs."
"I offer a warm welcome to Au Bon Pain as it opens at the St. George Ferry Terminal," said Councilwoman Rose. "Staten Island commuters have waited patiently for the development of the ferry terminal concourse. I truly hope that this opening today begins a parade of diverse retail opportunities and varied services and amenities for Staten Island Ferry commuters and residents in the downtown area."
Funds for the $4 million basic fit-out of the Ferry Terminal retail spaces were provided by the Borough President, federal stimulus funds secured by Congressman McMahon and City capital funds. The St. George Ferry terminal underwent a major $123 million renovation in 2005 to improve operating efficiency and to make it more attractive to commuters and tourists. The renovations included floor to ceiling glass for panoramic views of the harbor, a row of clerestory windows in the renovated waiting room for added light, a pedestrian walkway that connects Richmond Terrace with the terminal entry, and stairs to all levels of the terminal. The renovations also included creating space for retail shops to serve the needs of ferry passengers. The renovations were overseen by NYCEDC on behalf of DOT. NYCEDC also manages the leasing of the retail space for DOT.
Au Bon Pain (the place of good bread) started in Boston more than 30 years ago as a bakery. It has since grown to more than 200 locations in the U.S. and abroad. It offers a wide array of fresh and delicious items created under the direction of Chef Thomas John. Au Bon Pain has been named the number one category concept by Fast Casual magazine, and is among "America’s Healthiest Restaurants" according to Health Magazine.
About the Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan
The Five Borough Economic Opportunity Plan is a comprehensive strategy to bring New York City through the current economic downturn as fast as possible. It focuses on three major areas: creating jobs for New Yorkers today, implementing a long-term vision for growing the city's economy, and building affordable, attractive neighborhoods in every borough. Taken together, the initiatives that the City has launched to achieve these goals will generate thousands of jobs and put New York City on a path to economic recovery and growth.
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 to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.