New waterfront promenade, retail, dining, and cinema planned for Staten Island

Arthur Kill Road

New waterfront promenade, retail, dining, and cinema planned for Staten Island

The Riverside Galleria, a retail complex penned to sit alongside Arthur Kill Road in Staten Island, has been given a traffic plan that developers say will prevent backups and delays. Boasting a waterfront promenade, numerous green roofs, a multiplex cinema, restaurants, and cafes with outdoor terraces and retail outlets, the Riverside Galleria has been designed by Manhattan-based firm, STUDIO V Architecture, backed by developer Melohn Properties Inc.

The complex will occupy 457,000 square feet on 21 acres by the bank of the Arthur Kill straight between Staten Island and New Jersey, lying just below the Outerbridge Crossing. Traffic plans, now submitted with the project, propose three new roads to ease congestion.

“We only have 600-feet of frontage on Arthur Kill Road. The solution we have come up with, which we think will pull any type of traffic congestion off Arthur Kill Road, is to create a (network) of new streets that are connecting the two edges of our property where they touch Arthur Kill Road,” said the lead architect of the project, Nathaniel Zuelzke of STUDIO V Architecture.

“We have about 2,330 odd linear feet of new road that form a U-shape, and our project will front primarily onto these new roads, as well as a small section of Arthur Kill Road where we are keeping the Cole House,” he continued, adding that he plans for 300-foot-long lanes to be used for turning into the proposed road network.

“This will ensure there is no traffic backup on Arthur Kill Road, and will allow the existing two lanes to continue moving smoothly,” Zuelzke added.

Aside from easing traffic, parking is also on the agenda, with parking for more than 1,700 vehicles currently being planned.

James Prendamano, managing director of Casandra Properties who are the schemes leasing agents said, “STUDIO V has essentially built a park within the parking garage. They cut out retail above it and will have trees and greenery that will grow up from underneath in the parking through the first level of retail up into the center court,” said James Prendamano, managing director of Casandra Properties, leasing agents for the project.

Resiliency too has been factored into the design, especially with the center court area. “The Center Court will span from the lowest parking level to the street level to the upper level,” said Zuelzke. “It will be landscaped and will be part of the site’s storm water strategy, helping collect water and heavy rains, and bring that back to the landscape in a very controlled manner.”

Additionally, ten acres of wetland area will be preserved to act as a natural barrier, while esplanades will join observation areas where the public can look over the wetlands.

“I think the waterfront aspect is one of the most exciting aspects of the project. We also have an area we are calling the beach where you can really get down to the water itself, and we have an overlook deck with a view to the Outerbridge,said Zuelzke.

The wetlands won’t be the only space protected by the project either. The 19th-century Cole House in the vicinity is not landmarked, but STUDIO V has drafted plans presented to locals of the house serving as a meeting place, welcoming area or restaurant.

So far plans are still awaiting approval, however, Leo Chung of STUDIO V anticipates ground to break next year with the project being complete around 2019.

“We are seeking some waivers under the current zoning district (a manufacturing zone). More than 100,000 square feet of the retail isn’t allowed, and we are asking for a waiver for that,” said Chung.