Redevelopment On S.I. May Remove Decrepit Oil Tanks
Two massive oil tanks on Staten Island's South Shore were never opened because of safety concerns, meaning they've sat there without purpose for more than 40 years, and now plans are finally in the works to demolish them, much to the relief of residents. NY1's Amanda Farinacci filed the following report.
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The two massive oil tanks are a familiar site on Staten Island's South Shore, visible from nearly everywhere. Some even joke they can be seen from outer space.
Rossville residents can’t quite say what they’re there for, though.
“I don't know. I have no idea,” said one resident.
That's because nothing has ever gone on at the liquefied natural gas tanks, or “LNG” tanks, since they were built more than 40 years ago.
Plans to use them were shelved after 40 people died in an explosion in 1973 at a nearby Bloomfield tank site.
A private developer bought them in the 1990s with the hope of redeveloping the site, but removing them isn't easy. It's costly and time consuming because of the thickness of the steel and concrete, so they've grown rusty and decrepit.
“It would be nice to see if this eyesore was eventually gone,” said one Staten Islander.
Residents may finally be getting their wish.
According to an agreement between City Councilman Vincent Ignizio, Borough President James Molinaro, the city's Economic Development Corporation and the tank's owner, the tanks will be razed by the end of the year.
The estimated $15 million price tag to remove them will be paid by the developer.
At the same time, the EDC is working to market the 33 acres of city land surrounding the tanks and redevelop that entire South Shore span, including the recently closed Arthur Kill Correctional Facility.
“The economic viability of that site is far greater than it’s ever been. That's why I think it's going to happen, and it's going to rejuvenate that whole area,” said Ignizio.
The land where the tanks now stand is currently zoned for manufacturing, and it's unclear exactly what will be built when the two tanks are demolished.
Still, residents say anything is better than what they've been looking at all these years.