Move over, Brooklyn. Staten Island is now home to a trendy new waterfront community that's giving the Kingsborough a run for its money. Dubbed Urby, the LEED-certified 900-unit rental complex by developers Ironstate and Dutch architecture firm Concrete boasts a unique array of amenities like a bodega that sells fresh produce from the on-site farm, a communal kitchen with a live-in chef, a pool that overlooks the waterfront, a COFFEED cafe, and even a rooftop bee colony. We hopped aboard the SI ferry yesterday for a sneak preview of this vibrant and verdant mini-village in Stapleton. Read on to see all of our photos and check out our video walkthrough here.
The first thing you’re probably wondering about Urby is what the commute is like. Our tour began at the Staten Island Ferry Terminal on the southern tip of Manhattan yesterday morning around 9:45am, and it took us about 40 minutes to complete the entire trip to Stapleton. The tour organizers did arrange a car service to pick us up from the ferry station in Staten Island, but if you did grab the train, it would only be two stops from the ferry to Urby’s doorstep. Not bad at all if you work in lower Manhattan, but it’d be a bit of a trek to get to other parts of the city. Urby says it will also begin running a shuttle to and from the ferry starting in the fall.
Still, with all that Urby has to offer, you might forget all about the travel time. The development’s two buildings are centered around a wide drive lined with its own 35,000-square-foot retail plaza that will include a 200-seat waterfront restaurant, a bodega, Lola Star boutique, Carter and Cavero, and a restaurant from the owners of Brooklyn’s famed Pearl Room. There is also a spacious COFFEED cafe with a cozy lounge that leads out onto the sprawling communal outdoor courtyard.
As our tour guide, Urby CEO Dave Barry, led us through these spaces, I found myself daydreaming about stepping off the train after a hard day of work, grabbing a frosty beer at the cafe and heading out to the pool for a few hours before taking advantage of the free cooking classes at the communal kitchen across the street (apparently, the recent empanada-making class was a hit).
The communal courtyard features a pool, lounging spaces that do double duty as a theater area, a farm, a play area, firepits, and plenty of soothing landscaping.
Urby’s farmer-in-residence, Zaro Bates, manages the 5,000-square-foot farm, which grows produce that is sold at Urby’s bodega.
The 5,100-square-foot gym, which overlooks the courtyard, is still in progress.
Urby’s chef-in-residence, Brendan Costello (formerly of Momofuku Ssam and Jeffrey’s Grocery), offers culinary classes and chef tastings at the communal kitchen.
Residences can also enjoy honey from their own private rooftop apiary.
But what about the apartments themselves? And the rents? Urby offers studios starting at $1,508, one-bedroom apartments starting at $1,933 and two-beds from: $2,507 (rates include 2 months free rent when signing a 14-month lease).
Ranging from 538 square feet for a studio to 599 square feet for a one-bed and 716 square feet for a two-bed, the units are not large, but what they lack in size, they make up for with open, efficient layouts, high ceilings and convenient built-in storage.
Photos: Yuka Yoneda for Inhabitat NYC, except where noted.