On Staten Island, the North Shore’s Nuisance is ‘Nothing’

Photo by Wikimedia Commons

The North Shore of Staten Island–believe it or not–once stood as a great commercial hub. Thriving maritime communities like Stapleton and Mariners Harbor once sustained local shops, motels and restuarants. But when the activity in New York Harbor slowed down, the area went from self-sufficient to deficient.

Now residents complain that there isn’t even a grocery store or coffee shop within a reasonable distance. To revitalize the underdeveloped neighborhoods of the North Shore, the NYC department of planning outlined its draft suggestions for the “North Shore 2030” plan in a public forum this week. The meeting drew business leaders, members of the maritime industry, environmentalists, community board members, government workers and of course, residents. The meeting allowed the various stakeholders to give feedback on the initial recommendations, which are part of the city’s North Shore Land Use and Transportation Study. The city expects to publish the study–one of the several examinations currently underway–at the end of this fall. While the recommendations are non-binding, city planners said it would guide their efforts in developing the North Shore.

The outline focused on six major areas:

• St. George – City planners envision St. George as a downtown community, with retail outlets, nightlife and entertainment.

• New Brighton – This area would serve as a link between St. George and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

• West Brighton – The West Brighton neighborhood would become a central location for job growth under the DOP plan.

• Port Richmond – The waterfront would remain an active site for maritime industries, but would support small shops and businesses inland.

• Mariners Harbor – Given its maritime roots, Mariners Harbor could promote its historical sites as tourist attractions.

• Jersey Street – A “revitalized retail corridor” would expand among the growing ethnic businesses in the area.

City planners believe that these areas have the potential to:
• Attract jobs
• Expand public access to the waterfront
• Preserve and maintain historical sites.
• Expand housing options.
• Reduce the time and difficulty of traveling across the North Shore
• Safeguard the vulnerable shoreline against climate change

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