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Huge Housing Project Will Starve SI Neighborhood of Parking, Neighbors Say

By Nicholas Rizzi | February 7, 2017 5:31pm
 Developers plan to build three buildings with nearly 400 apartments on Rosebank's waterfront.
Developers plan to build three buildings with nearly 400 apartments on Rosebank's waterfront.
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Department of City Planning

ROSEBANK — A plan to bring nearly 400 apartments to Rosebank's waterfront has its neighbors worried there won't be enough amenities to accommodate new tenants.

Residents pushed developers V Capital Management to add more parking spaces to the planned three-building development at 125 Edgewater St. that's expected to bring nearly 983 new people to the area.

"This is Staten Island, there's no way to get around the rest of the island [without a car]," John Guzzo, chairman of Community Board 1's Rosebank committee, said at a land use meeting Monday.

"You're going to create a white elephant that you and your corporation are going to be gone and Staten Islanders are going to be stuck with what you leave us."

Developers plan to build 13-, 12- and six-story apartment buildings on an 18-acre lot at 125 Edgewater St. with a public esplanade, parking garage and retail space.

The buildings will have a total of 371 units with 60 percent of them two- to three-bedrooms and 40 percent studios to one-bedroom, said Caroline Harris, of Pier 21 Development LLC who gave the presentation on the plans to the board.

Each building will have their own parking garage and the project will have a total of 346 spaces, enough for about 70 percent of residents, Harris said.

Developers expect many tenants either won't use a car or will rely on bicycles to get around, but longtime residents weren't convinced and worried the streets can't accommodate a large influx of new vehicles.

"This would work wonderfully in Queens or Manhattan or Brooklyn, but Staten Island doesn't have the infrastructure," Guzzo said.

"We have one train that goes in one direction."

Harris promised to look into adding more spots to the project and would let the board know during next week's meeting.

"If we designated certain spaces for compact cars, which are very popular, then we can have more spaces," Harris said.

"We're going to look at having more spaces than what we have now."

Aside from traffic woes, residents also complained there are not enough seats in the already overcrowded schools nearby for the new families and pushed developers to use union labor for the project — which they have not committed to doing yet.

Developers applied to the city to change the zoning of the lot from manufacturing to mixed-use last month. Monday night's meeting was part of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP) which is part of that process.

The development will be built in sections, starting with the first 13-story, 152-unit building. Construction of that is expected to finish in 2019.

They will then move on to a 12-story, 192-unit building and then a six-story, 26-unit building.

The plans also call for retail space in two buildings and a gym in one.

There will also be "visual corridors" between each of the buildings with views of the waterfront, with a nearly 9,000-square-foot public walkway along the water, Harris said.

The rezoning will be voted on by the Land Use committee and full board at their meetings on Feb. 15. Their recommendation is advisory.

The project will then move to the borough president, City Planning Commission, City Council and finally the mayor's office.

As part of the Mandatory Inclusionary Housing zoning plan, developers are required to set aside 20 to 40 percent of the units for affordable housing. Developers have not decided what income requirements they'll recommend for those apartments.

The rest of the units will be priced in line with similar projects nearby, like Urby Staten Island, developers said.