Could a $150 million waterfront development make Staten Island cool?

One developer is boldly attempting to bring artists and entrepreneurs to the forgotten borough

As real-estate prices in Manhattan and Brooklyn reach mind-boggling levels, some folks are looking at property off the beaten path—way off. David Barry’s Ironstate Development Company is putting $150 million into Urban Ready Living (that’s URL for short—yes, really), a 900-unit, mixed-use project in Stapleton, Staten Island, just south of where the ferry connects commuters to the mainland in St. George.

To entice young Gothamites to the eternally mocked borough, Barry is banking on affordable-ish rents—starting at $1,600 per month for 400-square-foot studios and $2,000 for 550-square-foot one-bedrooms—and an array of amenities ranging from luxurious (an outdoor pool) and tech-friendly (keyless iPhone building entry) to aggressively trendy (a rooftop bee farm).

Meanwhile, the city is pouring $32 million into the development’s surrounding area in preparation for/desperate hope of an influx of visitors. (Not to mention the $580 million private investment to revitalize the borough with shops, a hotel and the world's biggest Ferris wheel.) Will the struggling artists and startup kids priced out of Williamsburg one day flock to S.I.? Yep, it sounds pretty ludicrous—but then again, so does paying $4,000 a month for a windowless shoebox in Manhattan.

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Editor: Marley Lynch (@marleyasinbob)

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