Staten Island is going luxe. A billion dollar transformation is underway on the waterfront in St. George, where you’ll soon see a rival to Jersey City and Long Island City, but with the most impressive views of the Statue of Liberty and Manhattan.
That view is now going to be sixty stories up, thanks to the $500 million New York Wheel, which will be the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel, with three-dozen pods for up to 40 people each, as well as a full bar car and one for fine dining. The Wheel’s Terminal Building is its own 100,000-square-foot retail, restaurants, and exhibition space, featuring a 5-acre green roof, great lawn, playground, and pedestrian walkways with sweeping views of the waterfront.
Around the corner, the $200 million, multi-phase Lighthouse Point Development is going up along Bay Street. Plus, Pier 1, St. George’s 775-feet-long public space across from the terminal and the National Lighthouse Museum, is being turned into a recreational area with a marina, in addition to the 90-nights of live entertainment being programmed at the $29 million Richmond County Bank Ballpark, when the Staten Island Yankees aren’t playing at home.
St. George’s new lease on life began in 2005 with City Hall’s $130 million renovation of the Ferry Terminal, basically untouched since being rebuilt in 1951 after the original 1886 structure burned down. Today, the Terminal features floor-to-ceiling glass windows that bring in panoramic views of the harbor, and has become a tourist destination on its own.
The Pièce De Résistance
The $350 million Empire Outlets development, in St. George, on Staten Island will be the jewel of the crown. The vision of owner BFC Partners was to bring the 100+ stores shoppers are clamoring for, plus dozens of new food concepts, to create a shopping destination for the 75,000 people who come through daily on the Staten Island Ferry, creating a place for residents, commuters and the 6,000 daily tourists who come for the views.
This will be the only luxury outlet center for New York City modeled after the successful examples in Europe, with a closely curated selection of global luxury brands on top of all the great American names to present an unrivaled mix of fashion and lifestyle labels.
So far, the development has signed its anchors and national mainstays. Dennis Basso and Jewelers On Fifth have already signed up to be here, along with a new large-footprint concept from Nike. American anchor brands that have already leased space in Empire Outlets include Nordstrom Rack, H & M, Banana Republic, Gap Factory, Columbia Sportswear, and Toys ‘R’ Us.
The 350,000 square foot shopping mall will have a 20,000 square foot event space and 40,000 square feet of dining, featuring an artisan food and beverage hall by MRKTPL, plus outlets from Manhattan-based concepts – Mighty Quinn’s BBQ, Shake Shack by Danny Meyer, Two Boots Pizza, Wasabi Steak and Sushi to create a delicious mix that works for guests, commuters and the greater community. Empire Outlets will be the dining destination on Staten Island.
The city of St. George is changing, in terms of this new built environment, but also the culture; besides the St. George Theater and the Snug Harbor Culture Center downtown, there’s now College of Staten Island’s Technology Incubator, the new LaunchPads co-working space, and the former Department of Health building will re-open as a new media and tech center. Whole blocks are going high-rise and the density and mix are beyond impressive.
The 190-key hotel also part of Empire Outlets will be Staten Island’s first up-market lodging. The waterfront boutique hotel will provide extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline and will feature a full service spa and luxury amenities.
This waterfront district on St. George is putting Staten Island back on the map and Empire Outlets is becoming a real vibrant destination of its own. This project will redefine shopping on Staten Island and bring together arts, culture, sports, dining, experience, entertainment…. Empire Outlets, the only outlet centre in NYC.
Author: Faith Hope Consolo (FGI New York – Executive Member)
Recognized worldwide as the “Queen of Retail,” Faith Hope Consolo is renowned for her expertise as a consultant and retail broker who has been instrumental in revitalizing and sculpting retail corridors across the nation – and beyond. As Chairman of Douglas Elliman’s Retail Group, Ms. Consolo is responsible for the most successful commercial division of New York City’s largest residential real estate brokerage firm. Consolo also has shared her insights as a guest instructor at colleges, lecturer for professional organizations and keynote speaker at far-ranging conferences, The Faith Report, her quarterly on New York City’s real estate industry that’s been published since 1986, and her Huffington Post column, The Faithful Shopper. Her columns regularly appear weekly in Real Estate Weekly, The New York Real Estate Journal, and TotalFoodService, while her commentary goes around the world in commentary she provides to journalist about the retail industry and the real estate market.