From new multi-modal transit connections and a proposed tech campus to an influx of as many as 300,000 residents, a 50-year plan is outlining what the urban island could become.
(TNS) — STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Imagine a new Staten Island transportation system connected by a West Shore train line, aerial gondola system and new ferries.
Those modes of transportation can take you to a tech campus, a resort community on the water, a cultural hub, and a more urban "Staten Island City" with 150,000 new residential units to accommodate 300,000 future residents.
This is part of the 50-year vision for the future of Staten Island developed by a Manhattan-based architectural firm, CetraRuddy.
"Staten Island is already predicated to grow by 40,000 residents by 2040," said Eugene Flotteron, principal and owner of CetraRuddy, referring to why the company undertook the plan.
"However, with the right overall vision and planning, the borough has the potential to absorb upward of 400,000 residents without losing its distinctive suburban character," says the proposal.
The plan suggests that 150,0000 more residential units with a commercial center can be built on vacant parcels of land on the West Shore to accommodate 300,000 new residents.
"Right now the Island is more North/South-oriented, this could make it more East/West-oriented," said Flotteron, noting that he's a lifelong Staten Island resident. "This [the plan] can change the dialogue. ...We can create an example of what the 21st century modern city could be. It could be a smart city, a resilient city -- socially, economically..."
"There's a lot of land, especially on the west side of the Island, that is slowly being developed with companies like Amazon, and it's going to continue to grow on that side," said Flotteron.
The plan suggests that the rest of the borough would remain largely "suburban."
CetraRuddy brought in a transportation expert, who helped the company devise a plan for a new Island transportation system.
"This is a multi-modal transportation solution that expands on the ferry service, train service -- offering a west side rail line -- and urban gondolas. ... The gondolas would get you across Staten Island and connect you to Manhattan," said Flotteron, noting this isn't to be confused with the SIEDC's already proposed gondola system to connect Staten Island with Bayonne, N.J.
In addition, the plan calls for a resort community on the East Shore that would offer new restaurants, a marina, housing and tourism.
"The Great Creek Marina would be by Gateway National Park. ... This would be the opportunity for a more resort-like community, more taller buildings, more hospitality," said Flotteron.
The plan also calls for a cultural hub in the new Fresh Kills Park area, where an outdoor space for concerts could be built.
"There could be more outdoor arts and theater programs that could be built there," he said, noting this could attract tourism.
CentraRuddy also proposed a campus with "high-paying technology jobs" on the West Shore.
"This partnership will provide the diversity lacking from many technology hubs around the globe, fueling innovation here," said Flotteron.
"Our plan is just the beginning and it would evolve over the years," he added.
Flotteron said he will address the transportation aspects of the plan at the upcoming Staten Island Economic Development Corp. (SIEDC) Business Conference on Tuesday at the Hilton Garden Inn in Bloomfield.
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