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| Last Updated:21/02/2014

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City seeks developer for site of Sanitation garage on Jersey Street, fueling North Shore renaissance, 20 February 2014


Sanitation garage on Jersey Street in New Brighton has long been considered an eyesore and environmental hazard. (Advance file photo)


NEW BRIGHTON - The North Shore renaissance is spreading.


The future revitalization of Jersey Street took a step forward on Thursday when the city Economic Development Corp. released a Request for Expressions of Interest (RFEI) for the purchase and redevelopment of the Department of Sanitation garage there.


The garage has been a target of neighborhood ire for years.


City Councilwoman Debi Rose (D-North Shore) said the issuing of the RFEI and the subsequent redevelopment of the garage site is one of the many benefits that the New York Wheel/Empire Outlets project will bring to the North Shore community.


"We are on the verge of a new era that will see the development of a burgeoning business corridor along Jersey Street to complement the development taking place on the waterfront," she said. "I have said many times we are at the beginning of a renaissance for the North Shore of Staten Island, and there will be many more great things coming our way."


It is not yet known where a new Sanitation garage will be built to replace the Jersey Street facility. Department spokeswoman Kathy Dawkins said there is currently no design or construction money in the budget for such a project.


Elected officials and neighborhood activists have long considered the Jersey Street garage, at the corner of Victory Boulevard, to be an environmental blight on the community and a stumbling block to any plans to revitalize the Jersey Street corridor.


As part of its pitch to developers, the EDC notes in the RFEI that the Jersey Street location is less than a mile from the area near the Staten Island Ferry where hundreds of millions of investment dollars are being spent on a host of projects that proponents say will transform the North Shore into the "Gold Coast" gateway to Staten Island.


In addition to the Wheel/outlets complex, other projects in the area include the Lighthouse Pointe development, the redevelopment of the former Stapleton home port site, and the building of a new Supreme Court complex in St. George.


"It's fantastic," said James Prendamano, associate broker with St. George-based Cassandra Properties. "This is a direct result of the councilmember and the community board's vision to revitalize that area."


He also said that the issuing of the RFEI showed Mayor Bill de Blasio's "commitment to the community."


Prendamano added that the Jersey Street location "certainly can be spoken about in the same vein as the Wheel and outlets, the homeport and Lighthouse projects, and the courthouse. It all ties in."


Prendamano said that his firm would certainly make a formal proposal for the site.


In addition to laying the groundwork for another North Shore development boost, the RFEI is also the first step in removing what many consider to be a blight from the neighborhood.


"It is an eyesore," said Ms. Rose, "it is an environmental hazard. The [Sanitation] snow removal and other large vehicles that park near it create dangerous road conditions, and it is wholly inappropriate for it to be located in a densely populated neighborhood."


She added, "Local businesses have been stymied for decades because the Jersey Street garage drives away business."


Zoning on the 114,700 square-foot Jersey Street site would allow three- or four-story attached houses or small apartments to be built, in addition to grocery stores, restaurants, beauty parlors and other neighborhood retail outlets.


The area is part of the Hillsides Preservation District as well as a Lower Density Growth Management Area.


Respondents have until April 23 to submit proposals to the EDC.