Staten Island resident rallies neighbors against Empire Outlets

November 14, 2013 12:26PM

Two weeks after the city approved the development of the Empire Outlets mall planned for Staten Island, a local activist is leading a fight against the BFC Partners project based on concerns over rising property taxes.

Resident Jason Harris is hosting three community meetings in which his fellow Staten dwellers can air grievances, among them the possibility of being priced out of their homes or being evicted.

His goal, he told DNAinfo, is to let developers and politicians know about residents’ worries over a changing North Shore before it’s too late. The changes also include the construction of the New York Wheel, a giant Ferris wheel that would become the world’s largest.

However, local leaders such as Community Board 1 chair Letitia Remauro have shown great enthusiasm for the projects. “The North Shore is just too flavorful, colorful and wonderful to become monochromatic,” Remauro told DNAinfo. “I will fight to make sure it always stays as vibrant and beautiful.”

The mall development is expected to include 80 stores and a 200-room hotel among its 1 million square feet of mixed-used space. [DNAinfo]Mark Maurer