Ferry service to connect Empire Outlets with Manhattan
New York City’s first outlet center may have just received a big city traffic boost.
New York Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that Fast Ferry service will be extended to Staten Island’s St. George Ferry Terminal, just a short stroll from the Empire Outlets center rising on the borough’s North Shore. Fast Ferry currently carries some 70,000 passengers a day.
The BFC Partners project will present 100 waterfront shops plus a collection of food and beverage options to visitors when it opens in April. The developer hopes that Fast Ferry will make visiting the outlets a quick and seamless experience for tourists. More than 60 million people visit New York City each year.
“Staten Island’s North Shore is rapidly transforming into one of New York City’s most vibrant communities, and [the] announcement that the NYC Fast Ferry will now service St. George only accelerates that transformation,” said BFC principal Joseph Ferrara in a statement.
Fast Ferry will run from St. George to Downtown Manhattan’s Battery Park/Vesey Street in approximately 18 minutes and then make a second stop at West 39th Street. The $2.75 fare is the same as a subway ride and is about 20 minutes quicker than taking the Staten Island Ferry.
“Time is the number one commodity so the fast ferry will be a game changer,” said James Prendamano, CEO of Casandra Properties, retail broker for the project.
Prendamano said that Staten Islanders annually generate about $5 billion in unmet retail demand. Having a deluxe retail destination in their own backyard will keep the money in the borough as residents will likely opt to shop on their side of the Hudson River.
Empire Outlets is currently 80% leased with brands like Nordstrom Rack, Banana Republic, Levi’s, Old Navy, Samsonite, H&M, Nike, Gap Factory, Columbia Sporting Goods, Crocs, G.H. Bass and Co., and U.S. Polo signed on.
There will be a 12,723-sq.-ft. outdoor dining space called MRKTPL that will offer more than 30 options. Some of the brands that will surround a beer garden in the space Mamoun’s Falafel, Shake Shack, Ghirardelli Chocolate, Haagen Dazs, and Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs.
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