"We're building for the future of this borough, even duringthese tough times for our economy," says Mayor Michael Bloomberg ina release. He adds that the courthouse project represents thecity's biggest capital investment for a building in the borough'shistory. Bloomberg was joined at the ceremonial groundbreaking bystate and city officials including state chief judge Judith S. Kayeand Staten Island borough president James P. Molinaro.

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Currently a municipal parking lot, the four-acre site willcontain the five-story courthouse building, a 660-car parkinggarage and a memorial green. The courthouse will replace facilitiescurrently housed in separate buildings at 67 Targee St., 18Richmond Terr., the Homeport and Borough Hall. It will contain sixcivil courtrooms and eight criminal courtrooms.

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The five-story parking garage will include 500 spaces availableto the public and 160 spaces for court personnel. Seventy-sevenadditional parking spaces will be made available on a section ofthe site that is being reserved for possible future development,according to a release. To minimize the impact of construction onthe St. George area and maximize the amount of available parkingspaces, the garage will be built first. Through January 2010--90additional public parking spaces will be made available in a vacantlot that was converted into a parking facility and is operated bythe city's department of transportation.

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The city is aiming for LEED silver certification on the newbuilding. It will feature three green roofs, solar panels, a stormwater detention system and a public open space for passiverecreation, along with a home for the Staten Island greenmarket.The building was designed by Polshek Partnership Architects.

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The addition of the memorial green reflects the site's role inthe city's history. For more than 50 years beginning in the late18th century, the courthouse site was home to the New York MarineHospital, also known as the Quarantine Hospital. In 2006, humanremains were discovered on the site's northernmost portion, aformer burial ground for mostly Irish and German immigrants whodied at the hospital. After the remains were discovered, the cityconvened the Staten Island Courthouse Memorial Green AdvisoryCommittee, which determined that the remains will be re-interredon-site. The committee will participate in the design of thememorial green that will be constructed where the remains wererecovered.

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When the new courthouse is completed, 18 Richmond Terr., alsoknown as the Staten Island Supreme Courthouse, will be retrofittedto accommodate Staten Island Family Court which will vacate itshome at 100 Richmond Terr.

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Paul Bubny

Paul Bubny is managing editor of Real Estate Forum and GlobeSt.com. He has been reporting on business since 1988 and on commercial real estate since 2007. He is based at ALM Real Estate Media Group's offices in New York City.