STAPLETON — The city has announced two projects it hopes will continue the revitalization of Staten Island's North Shore.
The city’s Economic Development Corporation announced this week its selection of the operator of the borough’s first business incubator, SI MakerSpace, and a retail competition to spur new businesses in Downtown Staten Island.
The “Staten Island Storefronts” contest will give cash prizes to businesses who open up stores in St. George, Tompkinsville, Stapleton and New Brighton, the EDC said.
“Staten Island’s first small business incubator, along with the Staten Island Storefronts retail competition, will attract new businesses to the North Shore and contribute to the area’s ongoing revitalization,” Seth Pinsky, president of the EDC, said in a statement.
The city will give out a total of $425,000 in prize money to store owners who sign at least three-year leases on ground floor retail spaces.
The prizes will be given on a first-come, first-served basis and will depend on the size of the store. Small scale and non-food stores can receive up to $25,000; food service applicants up to $50,000; and larger scale renters up to $75,000, the EDC said.
The Staten Island Storefronts project will aim to improve tourism and create jobs in Staten Island’s downtown, which for years was plagued with empty storefronts and a lack of food options.
The MakerSpace will offer memberships to their large workshop at 450 Front St. The workshop will have shared tools, workspace, a 3D printer and conference rooms.
“We are dedicated to providing the space, tools, and resources to support artists, organizations, inventors, entrepreneurs, and anyone who wants to make something or learn a new skill to contribute to the cultural and economic revitalization of our community,” co-directors of the MakerSpace, Scott Van Campen and DB Lampman, said in a statement.
At the MakerSpace, members will also have access to courses in welding, woodworking, sewing and jewelry-making, and business development programs will be in place.
Borough President James Molinaro said the new initiatives will help build on the success of those projects.
“Both of these new initiatives will help to build on the anticipated successes of large-scale projects such as the Homeport revitalization, Lighthouse Pointe and Empire Outlets,” he said.
The MakerSpace is slated to open in the fall and the "Staten Island Storefronts" competition will run until September 30, 2013.