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NEW YORK CITY-The Bloomberg administration on Wednesday announced a developer for what will be the first phase of a long-discussed redevelopment of the Stapleton waterfront along Staten Island’s North Shore. Ironstate Development Co. will turn a decommissioned naval base into a $150-million mixed-use project.

Based in Hoboken, NJ, Ironstate will build two residential buildings of up to six stories each, totaling 800 rental units, along with stores and restaurants on the ground floor of the development and a waterfront esplanade. The city is putting up $33 million toward infrastructure improvements including major road reconstruction, according to a release.

Borough officials are hoping the project will help stem the exodus of young adults, according to published reports. A 2007 study commissioned by the Staten Island Economic Development Corp. reported that even as Staten Island was the city’s fastest-growing borough, its percentage of residents ages 18-34 was shrinking.

The former Homeport naval base was decommissioned in 1995. Based on the recommendations of a Stapleton waterfront task force, the city issued RFPs for residential and ground-floor retail development, a hotel with a banquet hall and restaurant and a sports complex. However, the New York City Economic Development Corp. deemed the responses “unsatisfactory,” the release states.

The site will now be developed in phases, beginning with the housing, retail and waterfront esplanade by Ironstate. Construction on that phase is expected to begin in 2011. Mayor Michael Bloomberg says in a statement that “this project will be a catalyst for the future revitalization of the Stapleton neighborhood and other North Shore communities.”

Although the Stapleton projects marks Ironstate’s first New York City project, it has a track record of waterfront development along the Hudson River Gold Coast and the Jersey Shore. Its recent projects include the Shipyard, a development of residences, retail shops, ferry stop and marina in Hoboken; and Port Liberte, a waterfront condominium community in Jersey City.

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