Van Name/Van Pelt Plaza Community Workshop II

Save the Date: Van Name Van Pelt Plaza Community Workshop II

A continuing discussion of the next steps for the creation of NYC Parks newest Waterfront Plaza.

Wednesday November 19, 2013

7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

Faber Park House, 2175 Richmond Terrace

RSVP to 718.390.8016 or

Port Richmond Avenue’s “RETAIL SHOWCASE”

Thank you Tracey Porpora, Staten Island Advance!!!

By Tracey Porpora |
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 20, 2014 at 7:00 AM, updated October 20, 2014 at 7:09 AM

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Kathleen Sforza remembers sunny Saturday afternoons walking down Port Richmond Avenue as a kid.

“My mother would take me shopping on Port Richmond Avenue to Lobel’s, a children’s clothing store, and Tirone’s for my school shoes,” she said.

“As a teen-ager I’d go to Lerner’s there, and I used to go to one store that’s still there, Nats Men’s Shop,” added Ms. Sforza, economic and community development coordinator of the Northfield Community LDC.

Although many long-time Port Richmond businesses, such as Tirone’s Shoe Store, have closed, the commercial corridor, known in the past as the “Fifth Avenue of Staten Island,” has witnessed a return of diverse businesses.

And Ms. Sforza is trying to breathe new life into the once-bustling retail strip by filling several vacant storefronts along Port Richmond Avenue.

“I would like to see a new vibe mixed with the old vibe on Port Richmond Avenue. There are empty, beautiful storefronts … We have renovated storefronts that would be perfect for art galleries or more restaurants,” she says.

“I’m looking for business people with an entrepreneurial spirit who will use the web to draw people to the area,” added Ms. Sforza.

And the biggest lure to the area is rent prices that are much less costly than other Island-based major thoroughfares, like Hylan Boulevard and Forest Avenue, where, a 1,500-square-foot storefront could be as much as $6,000 rent per month.

“Rents here are much cheaper and we have great renovated storefronts,” said Ms. Sforza, who is hosting a Northfield Community LDC retail showcase of available storefronts on Thursday for merchants and Realtors.

Attendees will tour various properties via a trolly, including six to 10 storefronts where rents range from $800 for a booth in a shared space, to $1,500 for a 1,200-square-foot store. In addition, the tour will stop at several brownfield sites — properties where soil has been contaminated by manufacturing or other prior uses — that are zoned for development, she said.

“We have a bazaar space owner looking to rent to people who are just starting out in business, like a photographer or wedding planner, who just needs to pay one flat fee,” she said.

In addition to the retail showcase, Ms. Sforza has a “Discover Port Richmond” blog where she posts a mix of new and old photos of Port Richmond Avenue with hopes of attracting new businesses to the area.

The retail showcase on Thursday will begin at 10 a.m. 453 Port Richmond Ave. To reserve a spot on the tour, call Ms. Sforza at (718) 442-7351 ext. 225.

Remembering the Past, Living in the Present,


Looking Forward to the Future !!!

Kathleen Sforza
Economic & Community Development Coordinator

Northfield Community LDC

Phone:  718-442-7351 Ext. 225



Port Richmond Avenue’s “RETAIL SHOWCASE”

For Immediate Release:

Owners are showcasing their properties for Port Richmond Avenue’s


Join the tour of retail-ready commerical space. Learn about resoures available for small businesses and the exciting changes that are in store for Port Richmond!

WHERE/WHEN:  453 Port Richmond Avenue – Thursday, October 23, 2014 at 10:00 AM

Northfield Community LDC, with support from the NYC Department of Small Business Services, is showcasing a series of “move-in-ready” retail storefronts along the Port Richmond commercial corridor.

With a presentation by NYC Small Business Solution Center, perspective business owners will have an opportunity to hear about the resources and support this agency has to offer.

Businesses located in Port Richmond have the advantage of working with established organizations to help them grow and thrive. “Northfield Community LDC has provided much support to the Port Richmond Board of Trade over the past three decades and we welcome all those interested in locating their business here to attend this exciting showcase event. The Port Richmond Avenue commercial district has served many generations of Staten Island residents and we continue to nurture its current potential”, described Joan Catalano, Northfield Community LDC Executive Director.

Port Richmond commercial corridor, once known as the “Fifth Avenue of Staten Island”, is destined for a renaissance. We welcome entrepreneurs, local property owners, and real estate industry professionals to join us on our tour.

The event’s program is designed to attract new and diverse businesses to the neighborhood by simplifying entrepreneur’s search for retail space and providing property owners with a means of advertising their available commercial spaces. With the recent approval of the Ferris Wheel, the Empire Outlets, combined with the Staten Island Yankee Stadium, momentum is building for development of the North Shore waterfront. With views of the waterfront and the Bayonne Bridge, the Port Richmond Corridor is in an area rich in history. We are on the cusp of something extraordinary. With visions of artist galleries, coffee houses, restaurants, and stores along the hub, Port Richmond will someday be the go to place for cultural diversity.

Here are some of the Businesses we are looking for…
• Art galleries, coffee cafe, dance studio, gym, thrift shop or a goodwill store, variety shop, hardware store, furniture and home furnishing stores, catering hall, and restaurants.

Here are links to our Discover Port Richmond Facebook Page, Port Richmond Avenue’s “RETAIL SHOWCASE” Event Page, and Discover Port Richmond Blog:

For more information or to register for this event please call:
Kathleen Sforza
Phone:  718-442-7351, Ext. 225

New Jersey soil dump raises pollution concerns on Staten Island


New Jersey soil dump raises pollution concerns on Staten Island


By David Giambusso 5:14 p.m. | Jun. 12, 2014 follow this reporter
Opponents of New Jersey’s Rahway Arch Project told the City Council today that piling up as much as 29 feet of contaminated soil near a flood plain at the mouth of the Rahway River threatens to pollute parts of Staten Island.

The Rahway Arch site, in Carteret, N.J., is a former chemical byproduct waste disposal site owned by American Cyanamid which for decades served as a dumping ground for acidic sludge and aluminum sulfate.

In 2010, Rahway Arch Properties bought the site and ordered an environmental evaluation. The company decided to import two million tons of petroleum-laced soil that would be processed at a temporary, on-site facility and act as a cap for the toxic sludge beneath.

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy and ever-increasing threats of flooding in the area, New York City legislators and environmental leaders warned today that the soil and sludge from the Rahway Arch could drift into the Arthur Kill and onto western shore of Staten Island, causing significant air and water quality problems for residents in New York and New Jersey.

“Concerns by local residents about flooding, increased truck traffic and polluted runoff were ignored by the state of New Jersey in their quest to approve the project,” said Debbie Mans, executive director of NY/NJ Baykeeper, an environmental advocacy group. “The Christie administration even waived its own Flood Hazard Area Rules to permit the project.”

Officials from the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection were called to testify at today’s hearing—held jointly by the Council’s environmental protection and wetlands committees—but did not attend.

“This is unfortunate,” said Staten Island Councilwoman Deborah Rose, who chairs the wetlands committee. “It’s an affront because it impedes our ability to understand more about this project and how it will impact many of my constituents and residents of New York City.”

Bob Considine, a spokesman for the New Jersey D.E.P., said his office had provided extensive background to the Council and had numerous talks with officials regarding the project.

“D.E.P.’s sole role in the Rahway Arch project and other projects like it is to determine whether it meet’s the state’s environmental, engineering and technical standards and requirements, and not to appear at a meeting to possibly be perceived as an advocate or an opponent to a project,” Considine said in an email to Capital. “After thorough evaluation, D.E.P. has determined this project is an acceptable approach for eliminating the current contamination from the former American Cyanamid site to groundwater and the Rahway River.”

Those who did attend today’s hearing were universally against the project.

“We are entering a period where regulators don’t have the tools and in some cases don’t have the political will to do their jobs,” said Paul Gallay, president of Riverkeeper, a clean water advocacy group. “Do not let this happen without proper evaluation ahead of time.”

Kathleen Sforza, a member of the Northfield Community Local Development Corporation, a Staten Island group, said pollution from Rahway Arch threatens a Staten Island “rejuvenation” that is just starting to take hold.

“Staten Island already suffers from environmental contamination due to the long history of industrial land uses in New York and New Jersey,” she said. “New Jersey is not acting neighborly. Staten Island is trying to rejuvenate the waterfront … this is like a step backward.”

EastStar Environmental Group is the licensed site remediation professional (LSRP) for the Rahway Arch project. The group sent written testimony asserting the plan to import soil was designed to protect local waters from pollution by the toxic sludge already on the 125-acre property.

Albert Free, EastStar’s president, wrote that the imported soil would be used in a cement mixture to cap the facility and prevent more toxic emissions from the existing landfill.

“No solid, toxic or hazardous waste will be brought to the site,” Free wrote but added later that six polynuclear aromatic hydrocarbons would be part of the capping materials but would be “less than 40 percent of the average concentrations of these six compounds that already exist on the site today.”

That didn’t seem to comfort Linden, N.J., resident Judy England McCarthy who also testified today.

“It doesn’t make sense where you already have a pollutant and say you’re going to bring another pollutant in and cap it,” she told the committee members. “That’s not a recycling plant, that’s a dumping plant.”

She said public calls to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and the New Jersey D.E.P. to stop or at least better evaluate the project had fallen on deaf ears.

“They’re not interested in what we feel as citizens. They’re looking for immediate gratification. The money’s there for them now and morally that’s terrible,” McCarthy said. “Every year I pay my taxes. So where is the money going if not to represent me and my neighborhood.”

Plan could increase funding to clean contaminated Staten Island sites

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Staten Islanders could see more park lands and commercial real estate in former industrial areas along the North Shore if a bill to increase funding to clean these sites up becomes law.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) touted her bill’s potential Thursday afternoon at the Northfield Community Local Development Corporation’s Port Richmond office. She said the measure — Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act — would would increase funding available to municipalities and non-profits to clean up Brownfield sites — the federal government’s term for land contaminated from past industrial use. [Read more…]

Gillibrand, Savino, Titone, Northfield LDC, Staten Island Development Corporation Announce Bipartisan Bill To Help Revitalize Inactive, Contaminated Sites On Staten Island

Gillibrand’s BUILD Act Would Help Revitalize Staten Island Neighborhoods & Waterfronts, Provide New Tools and Resources to Cleanup and Rebuild Brownfield Sites

Staten Island – Standing with local community leaders in Port Richmond, U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand was joined today by New York State Senator Diane Savino, Assemblyman Matthew Titone, Councilwoman Debi Rose, Northfield Community Local Development Corporation (Northfield LDC) Executive Director Joan Catalano, and Staten Island Economic Development Corporation’s Steven Grillo to announce bipartisan federal legislation that would jumpstart development efforts and provide additional resources for contaminated brownfield sites in need of redevelopment. The Brownfields Utilization, Investment and Local Development (BUILD) Act would allow local municipalities and non-profit organizations, such as Northfield LDC and SIEDC, to access more funding, tools and resources as they work toward project completion and help create new jobs. Congressional authorization for the Brownfield program lapsed at the end of 2006, leaving economic development opportunities at risk of falling by the wayside. [Read more…]