Businesses Expand. Expand

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1 10 10 Ways Ways New New York York City Can City Help Can Staten Help Island Staten Businesses Island Businesses Expand Expand Staten Island businesses both large and small face a competitive disadvantage due to high tolls, a lack of transit access, inadequate infrastructure, and a significant cost of doing business compared to New Jersey. This report discusses ten specific issues which New York City government can help address and thus boost economic development in Staten Island. Staten Island Economic Development Corp.

2 Issue 1 - Faztec Industries Request to Purchase Vacant NYCDOT Land Faztec Industries currently operates an aggregate plant on the West Shore and has been attempting to purchase two adjacent sites which equal approximately 7 acres from NYCDOT. NYCEDC has considered the sale, but NYCDOT has placed a hold on the lots for potential future development which after five years has still not occurred. SIEDC requests that the City of New York engage Faztec Industries to lease or purchase the requested sites. It is expected that a site expansion would result in new jobs for the company and would be a major step forward for the West Shore Brownfield Opportunity Area and West Shore Business Improvement District. 1

3 Issue 2 - Villa Marin Buick/GMC Request to Extend Lease Villa Marin Buick/GMC leases a 1.17 acre parcel of land on Richmond Terrace from DCAS which is used as an outdoor showroom. DCAS, NYCEDC and City Planning will not allow them to purchase the land nor engage in a long-term lease due to policies regarding alienation of the waterfront. This uncertainty has led Buick/GMC to consider no longer supplying vehicles to Villa Marin Buick/GMC which would result in the closing of the operation. SIEDC requests that the City of New York deal with this issue directly as Villa Marin Buick/GMC has been a family owned business serving the local community for decades. Furthermore, there should be an effort to relax City Planning s waterfront alienation policies and lease/purchase rules in designated Industrial Business Zones throughout the city. 2

4 Issue 3 - Need to Designate Specific Strategic Sites for Development There are numerous privately owned sites throughout Staten Island which encounter serious development obstacles. Regulatory issues including permitting and inspections stall projects which could have remarkable economic benefit. The liquefied natural gas (LNG) tanks on Arthur Kill Road have stood unused and deteriorating for decades but limitations to removing the tanks and redeveloping the 66-acre property have stalled development on the site and in the immediate area. SIEDC requests that the City of New York work with local organizations and elected officials to designate priority locations where private developers are provided special assistance by NYCEDC to navigate through Department of Buildings, Department of Environmental Conservation, Department of Environmental Protection, Department of City Planning and other relevant agencies. 3

5 Issue 4 Inventory of All Developable Public Land Staten Island s industrial businesses are eager to expand their operations. However, because New York City agencies either own or have a hold placed on vacant lots on the North & West Shores, there is a significant negative impact on expansion opportunities. SIEDC requests that the City of New York develop an inventory of all vacant public land excluding protected parks and wetlands and develop a plan for releasing RFEIs for each site over a to-be-determined period. City-owned land represents an incredible opportunity for effective strategic partnerships which are essential to foster economic development in the borough. West Shore BOA/BID Area Charleston Section 4

6 Issue 5 Island Charter Wetland Swap Request Island Charter is a local bus company operating in the West Shore Business Improvement District. They have outgrown their existing site and are interested in expanding to adjacent lots. Island Charter owns Lot 1780 Block 270, a 1.3-acre wetland parcel behind the existing facility which cannot be used for any type of development. They want to purchase a 2.4 acre site with frontage on Edward Curry Avenue Block 1780 Lot 69 which is currently owned by the Parks Department and can be built on. SIEDC requests that the City of New York engage in a negotiation with Island Charter for the swap of the two parcels. The planned development on Lot 69 would allow for two 12,000 SF buildings and increase business and tenant opportunities. 5

7 Issue 6 - Sponsor or Fund the West Shore Rapid Transit Project For the past decade, SIEDC has been working to develop a rapid transit project to serve the West Shore of the borough. The system would create a comprehensive network to connect the entire island for the first time and create unprecedented economic development and transportation opportunities. With Staten Island s population growing faster than ever and road infrastructure strained, the time for mass transit improvements has come. SIEDC requests that the City of New York and especially the New York City Department of Transportation either sponsor or fund the Alterative Analysis study and the Environmental Impact Study which are required for the project to move forward. SIEDC has dedicated a remarkable amount of work, time and expertise to this proposal and the City of New York has the opportunity to make a revolutionary investment in the borough s future by advancing the project. 6

8 Issue 7 - Sales Tax Exemptions for Wholesalers and Distributors Aside from the Industrial Business Zones along the North and West Shores and the small federal HUB Zone in Stapleton, there are few incentivized areas in the borough. This is especially true for wholesalers and distributors who are located on non-incentivized but historically important commercial corridors such as Castleton Avenue, Jewett Avenue, Post Avenue and Port Richmond Avenue. These businesses encounter a competitive disadvantage because they do not qualify for most as-of-right incentives and they must charge sales tax to purchasers. SIEDC requests that the City of New York create incentivized zones on strategic corridors which eliminates or reduces the sales tax requirement for distributors or wholesalers who sell to local businesses or support local projects. 7

9 Issue 8 - Potential Expiration of the Design-Build Law The 2011 Design-Build law is set to expire at the end of The policy is credited with shaving years off large public infrastructure projects and is very important to Staten Island contractors and builders. The law allows a single development team to submit both the design and construction plans at the same time for certain state projects which saves time and money by linking multiple parts of a bid process. SIEDC requests that the City of New York work with the Governor s office to extend this bill and limit the strict union requirements that the language proposes. Many local contractors on Staten Island are non-union and should have an equal opportunity to bid on public projects. 8

10 Issue 9 The Lack of Staten Island Contractors Working on St. George Projects As the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets projects have been designated 100% union projects, various issues have arisen. Most significantly, local contractors who hire borough residents and provide a valuable tax base for the City of New York are prohibited from bidding and securing work on these massive projects. SIEDC requests that the New York City Economic Development Corporation demand that 25% of the $500 million+ project be set aside for local Staten Island firms both union and nonunion. 9

11 Issue 10 Lack of Referrals to Staten Island by NYCEDC NYCEDC promoted sites such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard and Brooklyn Army Terminal are booming, but when businesses outgrow these sites, they are not referred to other boroughs. There should be a well-publicized and effective program to refer these businesses to Industrial Business Zone providers in the other boroughs to help keep businesses in New York City. SIEDC requests that NYCEDC work with entities such as the Brooklyn Navy Yard to communicate more effectively with local IBZ providers when they cannot fill real estate requests. Additionally, programmatic funding should be allocated to develop a real estate and expansion service network to connect businesses seeking to relocate from established locations to new emerging markets especially those in Staten Island via IBZ providers. Rossville IBZ West Shore IBZ North Shore IBZ 10

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