Port Richmond Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA)

UPDATE: Successful Presentations of Findings and Recommendations for the Port Richmond BOA!

The NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) and the Northfield Community Local Development Corporation (NCLDC) presented draft recommendations for the Port Richmond Brownfield Opportunity Area at three public meetings in June, 2013. This framework considers long-term future development goals and short-term action items that encompass the community’s long term vision and BOA project objectives. These recommendations have been developed over an 18 month public engagement process.

The presentations were well attended by the community and we have been receiving positive feedback from residents, business owners, students and community leaders.

We’d like to extend our thanks to everyone who attended and provided feedback on the Port Richmond BOA and special thanks to the meeting organizers at the Mariners Harbor/Port Richmond Area Committee, the Port Richmond Board of Trade, the Port Richmond Anti Violence Task Force and Saint Phillip’s Church.

The presentation can be viewed or downloaded PDF Document here.

Introduction

Fober Park & Port Richmond Avenue Commercial district

Port Richmond Brownfield Opportunity Area (BOA)

The city’s North Shore 2030 Report recommended that the NYC Department of City Planning (DCP) work with the local community to craft a strategic plan for the Port Richmond area. In early 2012, DCP partnered with the Northfield Community Local Development Corporation (NCLDC) to work with the community to identify the action items necessary to implement the strategic plan. The goals of this plan would follow the recommendations of the North Shore 2030 Report which supported the creation of new retail services and jobs, strengthening the working waterfront, and providing needed amenities including open space and waterfront access. The planning process will consist of evaluating existing conditions -- such as land use, zoning, transportation, infrastructure, demographics, socioeconomics, market conditions and retail trends -- and result in a proposed zoning and infrastructure framework by summer 2013 to support these long-term goals for Staten Island’s North Shore.

This effort is funded by a grant from the New York State’s Department of State Brownfield Opportunity Area program. These grants support community-based planning efforts to identify neighborhood revitalization strategies and the redevelopment of underutilized potential brownfield sites.

The study area boundaries include Port Richmond Avenue from the Kill Van Kull waterfront to Beekman Street and the North Shore neighborhoods of Elm Park, Mariners Harbor and Arlington. The map below identifies the two key areas of research.

North Shore 2030

The Department of City Planning and the Economic Development Corporation released the North Shore 2030: Improving and Reconnecting the North Shore’s Unique and Historic Assets in December 2011, the culmination of a collaborative two-year effort among City and State agencies, over 200 local experts – residents, business leaders and civic stakeholders - to craft a vision for the North Shore of Staten Island. The final report details long-term recommendations necessary to meet the 2030 Vision that will guide public and private investment and land use decisions over the next 20 years.

Public Meetings

A principle component of the BOA work is public outreach and public participation in the planning process. Our goal is to reach community consensus on a vision for the future of these neighborhoods.

Open Houses

On September 13th and 15th, 2012, Northfield Community LDC and City Planning held Open Houses to present our research on the area’s existing conditions. The meeting was held on Port Richmond Avenue at the former Wexler’s Furniture Store, The gallery style open houses presented a series of maps with information on the area’s infrastructure, zoning, land uses, transportation systems, demographics, community facilities, natural features, open space and other aspects of the physical environmental and built environment for the entire Port Richmond study area. The goal of these Open Houses was to provide a baseline of information to all interested stakeholders and for the community to confirm this research and identify where additional information was needed. The Preservation League of Staten Island provided historic walking tours of Port Richmond Avenue during the events.

Open House image 1
Open House image 2

Community Visioning Exercises

In March 2013, three Community Visioning Workshops were held on Port Richmond Avenue at the United Cerebral Palsy Center. The sessions were well attended with a mix of residents, business owners, property owners and students participating in three exercises:

  • Waterfront Destination: with the goal of reconnecting Port Richmond avenue to the working waterfront, participants provided pros and cons for different hypothetical land use scenarios on the waterfront.
  • Commercial Core: in order to attract retailers and customers to Port Richmond Avenue, participants were asked to identify elements of the street, sidewalk design and buildings that helped make the street a destination as well as elements preventing the street from being more successful.
  • Southern Anchors: to better connect anchor businesses on the southern end of the study area to the commercial core on Port Richmond Avenue, participants matched land uses and density to places in the study area that they thought would strengthen retail and pedestrian activity.
Community Visioning Exercises image 1
Community Visioning Exercises image 1

Draft Recommendations

In June of 2013, Northfield Community LDC and City Planning presented the draft recommendations for sub-area A of the Port Richmond BOA at three community meetings. These meetings included Community District One’s Mariners Harbor/Port Richmond Area committee meeting, a meeting at Northfield Community LDC as a supplement to the Port Richmond Board of Trade meeting, and at the Port Richmond Anti-Violence Task Force Friendship Dinner.

PDF Document View the presentation

The Port Richmond BOA Steering Committee consists of representatives of civic organizations, elected officials, and public agencies with local perspectives and expertise in transportation, environmental, waterfront, residential and business issues. The Committee plays a key role in informing the study through steering committee meetings and one-on-one listening sessions with the project team. In addition, the Steering Committee assisted in outreach efforts to ensure their membership and the community at large was engaged in the North Shore planning effort.

The following organizations and agencies are represented on the Committee:

  • Office of Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro
  • Office of City Council Member Deborah Rose
  • Staten Island Community Board 1
  • Mayor’s Office of Environmental Remediation
  • New York City Economic Development Corporation
  • American Institute of Architects, Staten Island Chapter
  • El Centro del Immigrante
  • Elm Park Civic Association
  • Los Potrillos Restaurant
  • North Shore Waterfront Conservancy of Staten Island, INC
  • Port Richmond Civic Association
  • Preservation League of Staten Island
  • Staten Island Chamber of Commerce
  • Staten Island Economic Development Corporation
  • West Brighton Community Local Development Corporation

Program Purpose

The Brownfield Opportunity Areas (BOA) Program is a New York State Department of State, Office of Communities and Waterfronts grant program that provides funding assistance to communities for activities related to the creation of neighborhood revitalization plans for areas affected by multiple brownfield sites and economic distress. Through a community supported planning process, the BOA program is intended to help communities formulate effective strategies to return vacant and underutilized sites and areas back to productive use while simultaneously restoring environmental quality.  

The goal of the BOA program enables communities to:

  • Address the range of problems and community development opportunities created by a concentration of multiple brownfields
  • Build consensus and a shared community vision for the future of the area and the reuse and redevelopment of brownfield, vacant, abandoned, and underutilized sites
  • Develop the public-private sector partnerships necessary to leverage investment in clean-up and redevelopment of strategic sites for neighborhood revitalization

The program consists of three steps:

  • Step 1: Pre-Nomination Study
    Preliminary analysis of existing conditions and justification of study area boundaries
  • Step 2: Nomination
    In-depth analysis, including economic and market trends analysis, of existing conditions and concludes with recommendations to advance redevelopment of strategic sites and revitalize the area
  • Step 3: Implementation Strategy
    Exploration of the techniques and actions to implement the area-wide plan and compliance with SEQRA

In New York City, Brownfield Opportunity Area programs have been funded across the five boroughs. To learn more about the BOA program please visit the Department of State, Office of Communities & Waterfronts.