With four major private development projects set to transform Staten Island's north shore in the very near future, local leaders there are trying to make sure pedestrians can access them from one waterfront path. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
All eyes are on Staten Island's north shore—except at Bay Street Landing, where some say the water can be an eyesore.
That's because of the debris that still litters the promenade from Hurricane Sandy, and the pier that was damaged long before the storm.
"It's privately owned. It sustained so much damage, in the tens of millions of dollars worth of damage, that you have to ask the question: Is it correct to ask the homeowners here to foot the bill for it, or they can just put a fence around it and close it off?" says Leticia Remauro of Community Board 1.
Closing it off is not ideal, because the Bay Street Landing walkway and pier sit smack in the middle of contiguous plans for the Staten Island Homeport, Lighthouse Point and the Empire Outlet Mall and New York Wheel.
Those four projects are expected to bring big bucks and big tourists to Staten Island.
With this waterfront still in disrepair, Community Board 1 Chairwoman Leticia Remauro says she worries the area could be left out in the cold.
The community board has applied for Sandy relief funds to fix the pier, protect the area from flooding and for a greenway that would allow access from one end of the north shore to the other.
"The idea is to connect everything. We've got over a billion dollars of investment on this waterfront and if we don't think in a forward kind of way about how we can get people off the boat walking both north and south, then I think we're going to miss the boat, if you will," Remauro says.
It's only about a mile and half walk from the Homeport site to the site of the plans for the New York Wheel and Empire Outlet Mall.
Despite those projects all being built along the waterfront, there's currently no easy way to get from one shoreline point to the other.
"The city must support those investors by making it easy for tourists and commuters to find their way around," Remauro says.
The state is still reviewing the grant application for the North Shore Greenway.
In the meantime, local leaders are working with the city and residents to find a way to clean up the waterfront so it can be included in the north shore's transformation.