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City Wants to Turn St. George Building Into Media and Tech Hub

By Nicholas Rizzi | June 24, 2015 11:25am
 The city released request for proposals for 55 Stuyvesant Place to transform it into a tech or media hub.
The city released request for proposals for 55 Stuyvesant Place to transform it into a tech or media hub.
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DNAinfo/Nicholas Rizzi

ST. GEORGE — The city wants to turn a former Department of Health building in St. George into a hub for media and technology.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation asked for proposals to transform 55 Stuyvesant Place into a creative center for either media or technology uses.

The development is being called St. George Tech by Borough President James Oddo's office.

"When you tie everything that's happening already on the North Shore into what tech and creative industries are all about, you see it’s a perfect match," Oddo said.

"We think we have the ingredients. Obviously we recognize that Flatiron, parts of Brooklyn and downtown Manhattan are on a different plane, but we think there's something very unique happening along the corridor."

After Oddo heard that the Department of Health would vacate 55 Stuyvesant Place this year, he reached out to Deputy Mayor for Housing and Economic Development Alicia Glen to discuss turning the spot into the "epicenter of technology" in Staten Island — something Oddo has pushed to increase in the borough since he took office. 

Oddo said Glen was receptive to the idea.

“Staten Island is heating up," Glen said in a statement.

"With Borough President Oddo’s partnership, we’re leveraging our own buildings and creating new hubs that help drive the borough’s emerging tech and innovation economy."

Oddo hopes the building, built in 1935 and with 38,000 square feet of space, will serve as an anchor of an "innovation district" with the Bayley Seaton Hospital site in Stapleton also being converted to attract businesses.

In February, the Staten Island Advance reported that plans were being discussed to turn the site into the city's first "green" business center.

Oddo said the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets, the Bay Street Corridor rezoning and several other developments, have led to a huge amount of interest in the borough that the RFP can capitalize on.

"It's changed people's mindsets towards the North Shore and towards Staten Island," Oddo said.

"I really believe that people are seeing the potential of Staten Island and the potential of the North Shore. This is just another step in the direction of realizing that potential."

The deadline to submit proposals for the site is Sept. 24 and the EDC will hold an information session at the site on July 28 at noon.