“Staten Island, of course, is the borough that so many New Yorkers regard as something to be held away, as if with a pair of tongs. It has never been cool enough, or attractive enough, or poor enough to capture the interests of the city’s liberal ruling class.”

December 3rd, 2011

The TImes on the redevelopment of the neglected and dilapidated North Shore of Staten Island.

A decommissioned naval base, Homeport was turned over to the New Jersey developer Ironstate, a company that was responsible for a lot of the revitalization in Hoboken and Jersey City.

Ironstate is to invest $150 million to create a 900-unit, low-rise rental apartment complex containing 30,000 square feet of retail space. In an effort to create that great ephemeral, character, only a few of the stores will belong to national chains. The city is supplying $32 million for infrastructure improvements. Much of that will go to create an esplanade and six-acre park, allowing the Bloomberg administration to prove that it isn’t interested merely in the prettiest girl at the party.

And people are leaving (myself included):

The truth is that people, or at least young people, have been leaving Staten Island over the past 20 or so years. A study released this year by the public policy organization the Center for an Urban Future showed that there were about 2,000 fewer people ages 20 to 34 living on Staten Island in 2009 than there were in 1990. In 1990, that demographic represented 25.3 percent of the population, while now it represents just less than 20 percent. At the same time, the number of people older than 65 has been rising. By 2030, Staten Island is expected to have the highest percentage of senior citizens of any of the five boroughs.

Richmond county shrugged?

And ouch:

Perhaps even more relevant, Staten Island is not an incubator of preciousness; it seems allergic to preciousness. Before there were artisanal-cheese mongers in Williamsburg there were painters, performance artists, tattoos, eccentrics, an alternative-culture elite. Staten Island has a lower share of residents with bachelor’s degrees than any borough except the Bronx.