STAPLETON — A long-vacant warehouse in an historic district in Stapleton will reopen as a tech incubator at the end of the year.
The former metal warehouse at 75 Clinton St., which has been empty for more than 10 years, was bought by real estate investor John Salis and is being transformed into a space for startups and entrepreneurs.
"There is a need for space and lot of tech guys," said Salis. "I'm hoping to keep these good brains in Staten Island. They don't have to take the ferry any more."
The building will officially reopen as Techbox in December with private offices, a conference room and communal open space.
Salis — who also owns a similar spot for artists — dedicated several studios on the bottom floor for visual artists and rehearsal space for musicians.
After his other spot, the Staten Island Artists Building, completely filled within six months, Salis said there's been a huge demand for more in the neighborhood.
"There's a vibrant community here of artists that are hungry for space, hungry to do things," he said.
Salis got the idea for a tech incubator when a tenant who rented a spot at the Staten Island Artist Building told him about lack of space for startups in the borough.
The new building also has a large open room in which Salis plans to host events for the neighborhood, like a place to buy recycled computers or for members to host workshops on coding.
And with a receptionist, original wood floors and a look that Salis said screams "startup," he wishes something like this existed when he started out.
"I wish I had a space like this when I was 20 years old with the ideas I had," Salis said.
"I would be in a different position right now. It's giving the opportunity to young entrepreneurs to succeed with not much overhead."