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Staten Island to Build $3.9M Waterfront Plaza Overlooking Ship Graveyard

By Nicholas Rizzi | August 31, 2017 2:47pm | Updated on September 1, 2017 10:33am
 Officials broke ground at a $3.93 million waterfront plaza overlooking the Kill Van Kull that has been decades in the making.
Officials broke ground at a $3.93 million waterfront plaza overlooking the Kill Van Kull that has been decades in the making.
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Councilwoman Debi Rose's Office

MARINERS HARBOR — The city broke ground on a $3.94 million waterfront plaza Thursday that will offer unobstructed views of the Kill Van Kull and a small ship graveyard.

The Van Name Van Pelt Plaza, at Van Pelt Avenue and Richmond Terrace, will be the borough's first waterfront plaza and will include a woodland path, a terrace overlooking the harbor and historical maps of the borough's North Shore, according to the Parks Department.

It's not the only ship graveyard on the island, as the most photographed one is in Rossville.

"I grew up here on the North Shore and my vision has always been to open up the waterfront so that people can enjoy it," said Councilwoman Debi Rose, who helped fund the project. "This is a dream come true to me."

The project, which won an NYC Public Design Commission award last year, will also feature a pedestrian walkway to connect it to nearby streets, the Parks Department said.

The plaza is expected to take more than a year to build and officials plan to host public art and maritime history events there, NY1 reported.

The push to turn the overgrown plot of land into a waterfront park started more than a decade ago by residents and it was finally taken over by the city in 2010, the Staten Island Advance reported.

The site used to be the location of three homes, but they were taken over by the city in the 1950s due to tax liens and eventually demolished in the 1960s, the Advance reported.

The city secured $2.9 million for the project in 2014 and held several public workshops for residents to give their input on the plaza.

The Parks Department completed the design for the project in 2015, but the procurement process was extended because even the lowest bids were over the $2.9 million budget, a spokeswoman for the agency said.

The agency had to put out another bid for the project again and increased the budget to $3.94 million, which was provided by Mayor Bill de Blasio and from $750,000 allocated by Rose in fiscal years 2013 and 2014.