NYC’s Next Big Waterfront Project
This winter, Triangle Equities will begin the $208M, 500k SF mixed-use Lighthouse Point next to the St. George Ferry Terminal. By summer 2019, it’ll be the live/work/play gateway to Staten Island for residents, tourists, and day-trippers alike. Take a look at how the fallow site will come alive.
We snapped Triangle Equities president Lester Petracca in front of the decaying gates that lead to the abandoned site (he’s the kid who always took the double-dog dare to knock on the door of the town’s haunted house where the old witch lived). Behind those gates are three acres on a steep hill (a 35-foot pitch) where Lester will build 85k SF of retail, restaurant, and entertainment space; a 94k SF residential tower; a 180-key hotel; and 7,000 SF of business-accelerator office space. It’ll also include an amphitheater, banquet hall, conference center, and 350 public parking spaces. Triangle Equities has invested $6M so far and has large banks and equity partners interested in coming into the project.
One of the three acres will be reserved for green space, under which the Staten Island Railway runs from the ferry terminal to the rest of the island (14 miles long, seven miles wide). Good thing Lester’s the king of developing in NYC’s tightest spaces; his company also developed Brooklyn’s Triangle Junction (the Target/Applebee’s shopping center) on Flatbush and is building Triangle Plaza Hub on 149th Street in the Bronx (where steel beams are just coming out of the ground). Use the numbers on the rendering above to follow along with our tour. (These are not paint by numbers. Please don't paint your screen.)
1) Shiny, Pretty, New Buildings
Behind Lester in the picture at top will be a 12-story, 100-unit apartment building, 22 of which will be affordable. And as we wind down the Bay Street hill toward the waterfront and the ferry terminal, a 62k SF retail building will sprout behind this wall. A relic of the land’s days as a Coast Guard post (it was ceded to the City of New York just over 20 years ago), the wall will remain as a requirement of the NYCEDC’s RFP. (Triangle Equities won the RFP in ’06 and closed the long-term lease just before Memorial Day weekend.)
2) Easy Pedestrian Access
These stairs lead directly from the Ferry Terminal Viaduct to Lighthouse Point, making it a true TOD for ferry, bus, and railway riders. (The last time we climbed stairs this vertical, there was a water slide at the top. Bring a tube, just in case.)
3) Cool & Creepy Vaults
Lester tells us he also plans to use some of the vaults on the property (from its earliest days as a lighthouse materials manufacturing facility) for retail, including dining.
4) Coast Guard Fixer-Uppers
The heart of the project will be a merchant village operating out of four super old Coast Guard buildings Triangle Equities is fixing up (they and the vaults total 26k SF). They need a lot of work, Lester tells us, so the first phase of development will incorporate the ground-up resi and retail buildings. But the historic buildings above will become curated shops (Triangle Equities is thinking a bakery, butcher, wine and cheese shop, and a bike shop). Retail also likely will include a grocery store and a gym, and Lester tells us he’s in talks with a dinner theater operator.
5) Upscale Hotel
On the left is a building the City will lease to the National Lighthouse Museum, which targets an opening of Aug. 7, the 225th anniversary of George Washington’s signature on the Lighthouses Act of 1789, which moved lighthouses from state to federal jurisdiction. This site was the US Lighthouse Services General Depot in the mid-1800s. The NYCEDC may put out an RFP soon on the center building, Lester tells us, and the building on the right is one of those that Lester’s fixing up. It’s in the green space between and behind these three that Triangle Equities will raise a luxury hotel, likely with a rooftop pool and lounge, which Lester believes will be only the second full-service flagged hotel on Staten Island.
The entire project boasts views of New York Harbor, Brooklyn, Manhattan, and the Verrazano Bridge (visible even on the foggiest of days).