STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. – Supporting and nurturing Staten Island’s “underlying community” is vital for successful development in the borough, posits real estate investor and developer George Christo.
“This is easily the best way to create a unique area that attracts like-minded residents,” affirms Christo, founder and CEO of Tompkinsville-headquartered DOORtoDOORrealty LLC.
“There are amazing neighborhoods around the globe that are renowned for their community personality. “From Austin to Harlem, Georgetown to Rodeo Drive, the New Orleans art district to Williamstown, a distinct personality is something that all great, flourishing neighborhoods have in common.”
IN A BLOG HE POSTED EARLIER IN THE YEAR, CHRISTO SHARED HIS THOUGHTS:
The personality of a borough attracts residents who self-identify with it. As an example, the North Shore of Staten Island is more like San Francisco with its hilly streets and bay water views. The area’s turn-of-the-century architecture gives it a historic edge and the entire North Shore faces the rising sun of every new day.
In this area, I’ve worked diligently to create a strong artistic community that embraces the vibe of the creative class and provides specialized, unique businesses and attractions for them to enjoy.
Recognizing the Natural Community in Your Borough
When deciding what kind of community to build in the borough you’re developing, it’s important to first consider the natural attributes of the area.
On Staten Island, you have a great stepping-stone to the hustle and bustle of New York City, which is very attractive to younger residents.
Residents take a ferry ride home rather than a train, giving them yet another unique talking point. Besides, the train system of New York on a rainy day beneath the city is depressing and costly — especially compared to the picturesque and free Staten Island Ferry.
Another distinctive Staten Island feature – that I recognized as a landmark to build the community around – is the Gerardi’s Farmer’s Market [on Richmond Terrace, New Brighton].
The building housing this market was underperforming two decades ago, but when it was offered to farmer Vincenzo Gerardi, it became a thriving farmer’s market. Gerardi has since purchased the surrounding properties and expanded his offerings to include landscaping, and gardening supplies and products.
As a developer, I was lucky in that Staten Island practically told me what kind of community it best lent itself to.
Staying true to the “bones” of Staten Island and fostering a community that would appreciate its history and beauty wasn’t without its challenges, but it was easier than it would have been to go against that underlying grain.
It may not be that easy for you, but keep in mind: You don’t have to have all the answers or come up with the greatest ideas. All you have to do is find people that can. Think of the world as a washing machine of ideas. Finding the key to your project is like finding the mysterious lost sock. It’s there, you know it is; you just have to find it.
Get started by waking up with the intention of taking advantage of each and every day.
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Marking its 100th anniversary in October 2015, the Staten Island Board of REALTORS® (SIBOR) is the largest not-for-profit professional and trade association in Staten Island, N.Y.
SIBOR exists to enhance the ability and opportunity of its members to conduct their business successfully and ethically, and promote the preservation of the public’s right to own, transfer and use real property.
Comprised of approximately 1,800 members, SIBOR serves real estate agents, brokers and affiliated professionals throughout the borough and surrounding areas.
SIBOR is the provider of the Staten Island Multiple Listing Service Inc. (SIMLS), which works as a clearinghouse through which more than 250 local real estate firms exchange information on properties they have listed for sale. Together, its members participate in over 3,000 real estate transactions every year.
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