The New York City Economic Development Corporation has announced a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the lease and operation of a cultural facility adjacent the St. George Ferry Terminal on Staten Island. Building 11, one of several buildings that housed the Coast Guard’s lighthouse operations from 1836 to 1966, was recently renovated by the city as part of a campaign to revitalize Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront.
The RFP calls for a tenant who will provide “cultural programming in the form of a museum, exhibition, gallery, performance space, or community facility” in hope of attracting some of the 2 million tourists who ride the ferry each year to visit the Island’s cultural attractions (rather than jumping onto the next ferry back to Manhattan). An initial lease of one and a half years will be offered to the winning proposal with renewal options for up to four years. The EDC will offer temporary programming during the RFP process. Council Member Debi Rose wrote in a statement, “This formerly underutilized gem will now serve as a draw to bring people off the ferry and also provide an opportunity for all of our cultural groups to showcase their work.”
In 2005, the NYCEDC sought to develop retail and housing in the area surrounding the Coast Guard buildings, citing the National Lighthouse Museum as a future tenant of Buildings 10 and 11. Plans for the Museum stalled due to fundraising issues. The mixed-use development, Lighthouse Point, was approved by the city early this year and will include 45,000 square feet of retail space and 172 residences. The National Lighthouse Museum plans to submit a proposal for Building 11.