Islanders surrounded by tourists seem to be the biggest fear since the unveiling of St. George’s new plans. What is it about tourists that put such a taste of disdain in our mouths? I bet the memory of walking with a huff under your breath behind a tourist with a camera popped into your mind. There are some contributions for Staten Island from these picture happy tourists:
The hope of having 4 million visitors per year to St. George provides an idea of a vast increase in value for the area. Tourists and even locals visiting the newly revitalization area, which includes The Wheel and Empire Outlets, will generate $480 million private investment, and create over 1,200 construction jobs and 1,250 permanent jobs. Plans also include a 130,000-square-foot hotel and banquet facility (courtesy of: nycedc).
Tourists create an attraction to businesses and investors to purchase storefront property because of the appeal of new income. Promotion of the neighborhood’s current entertainment and businesses will also boost St. George’s credibility.
Snug Harbor is a hidden gem in St. George. The plans do not have any involvement with Snug Harbor; but it will become more of an attraction. Although most of the galleries are free, the botanical garden has a small fee and provides an appeal to families searching for a unique charm.
Local restaurants will also see an increase in customers and families looking for a sit down lunch and/or dinner.
Pedestrian crossings are a nightmare. The increase of traffic from a tourist-friendly St. George promises an improvement in pedestrian and bicycle access and a $175 million plan to rebuild ramps in the terminal, stated by NYCDOT. This will be the largest funded rehabilitation project funded by ARRA.
Construction is expected to start in mid 2014 and be finalized in 2016. With the advanced plans in St. George we expect an increases in the real estate market.