According to the Staten Island Advance, the former Arthur Kill Correctional Facility is being sold to Broadway Stages, a premier TV, film and music video production company with 30 years in the business and ties to the major studios.  

When the Arthur Kill Correctional Facility was closed two years ago in a statewide cost-cutting move, employees were transferred to other facilities or lost their jobs and local businesses claimed a significant loss of revenue.  Vacant for these past two years, there were rumors of major retail chains interested in this site.  Of course, with retail comes traffic issues and alternative traffic patterns along the Arthur Kill Road corridor which is of concern to all residents.  

It is reported that Broadway Stages will build five sound stages on the 69-acre site.  Broadway Stages provides facilities and services to HBO, CBS, Warner Bros. and Universal Studios and will be creating 1,500 jobs.  Hopefully, these jobs will be made available to Staten Islanders.  

On another note, in addition to  the development of the New York Wheel/Empire Outlets in St. George on the North Shore, the SIEDC is launching a Business Improvement District (BID) on the West Shore in the Bloomfield and Chelsea sections.  The BID will look to bring infrastructure and road improvements to the area, in addition to security services, private sanitation and real estate marketing.  The SIEDC has also secured a $360,000 grant under the NY Department of State's Brownfield Opportunity Area program to study distressed or under-utilized West Shore land.  

As a Staten Islander, I feel development is needed to many of our industrial and manufacturing sites that are vacant and have been abandoned. Remembering the days of yore when industry thrived on the Island--the Gypsum Company on Richmond Terrace in New Brighton, where both of my grandfathers worked for many years, Procter and Gamble at Port Ivory in Arlington, the Wrigley Chewing Gum Factory in Rosebank on Edgewater St. to name a few, makes me nostalgic for industry to return, not only to Staten Island but to the United States.  As a new real estate salesperson many years ago, I showed a number of these sites and buildings and could not believe how well built they were, how they had not crumbled over the ages even though they were abandoned and neglected. As someone who can always see "new" in the "old", I showed these properties to people of vision who felt they could make these properties profitable and bring the wealth of industry back to Staten Island.  

I hope to see these new promised developments bring Staten Island into a new prosperous era.  It's about time!  What do you think?  

Posted by Joan Coogan on


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