For years Staten Island has been NYC’s forgotten borough. Long considered the city’s red-headed step-child, Staten Island has historically been a place few out-of-towners knew existed, and New Yorkers would avoid at all costs. The only thing Staten Island was famous for was an amazing view of the Verrazano Bridge, and the city dump. While its true, Staten Island is still home to the city dump, lifelong Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso have been in need of drastic change to bring some much-needed development to the island. Being a local business owner himself, Frank Camuso and others across different fields have spent years trying to bring up their business and attract people to their businesses. But with few other local attractions, restaurants, and other service industry establishments struggled to bring in new customers, aside from the local crowd. While the good food and service at Frank’s restaurant was able to sustain him fairly well, other businesses have been floundering – New Yorkers simply had few reasons to pay the $15+ toll fees of the Verrazano Bridge.
Frank Camuso can remember days throughout his youth when Staten Island was home to flourishing, small businesses of all kinds. But having lived here over the years he and his family have been devastated by some of the change that has befallen their home. From increased crime rates to drug and opiate epidemics sweeping the area, to local favorites going out of business every other day – people seem to be leaving at record rates. And while some are unaffected many of those left, are struggling every day. However, it seems in recent years all that is slowly changing, and those around the world are beginning to see all the possibilities that Staten Island has to offer – giving way to the prosperity and development that Staten Islanders like Frank Camuso have been hoping for.
One of the biggest and most successful companies in the world at the moment is Amazon. The brainchild of billionaire-techie, Jeff Bezos, the Amazon marketplace has revolutionized the way we shop in 2018 – offering users everything from groceries, snacks, and diapers, to flat-screen TV’s, smartphones, and pretty much anything you can think of, all delivered right to your door within a few days. As a company, Amazon has been making huge waves throughout the past year, and one of the biggest is bringing an855,000-square-foot, $100 million, fulfillment center to Staten Island’s western shore, at Matrix Global Logistics Park. While it may just be a warehouse and shipping center for Amazon’s infinite orders to pass through, the fulfillment center has been an amazing development for locals like Frank Camuso. Just to build the warehouse alone and get it in working order for the Fall 2018 launch, it took 700+ workers on-site every single day. And when it actually launches, the new Staten Island fulfillment center will create over 2200 new, full-time jobs, working alongside robots to process orders around the clock. These new jobs are a tremendous benefit to the borough, its citizens and its business-owners like Frank Camuso. Not only does this bring others around NYC and other areas to the island for work, but it puts money in the hands of Staten Islanders, and creates a huge boost to the local economy. Once construction is completed and space is launched, countless truckers will be passing through its grounds every day, as this is the main method Amazon goods are transported through. And this huge influx of visitors has to eat and shop somewhere, translating to huge dividends to business in the area. As far as employers go, Amazon is definitely one of the best; full-time employees can expect such perks as child-care, competitive salaries, benefits, 401(k), stock options, and even tuition grants for college.
Amazon isn’t the only big name to come to Staten Island either. German-based, multinational supermarket super-chain, Lindl is opening its first every US store and has chosen none other than Staten Island as their home! The megastore will be coming to the Staten Island Mall just before Christmas, and not only will it bring even more jobs to the area but provide locals with new and amazing healthy & organic food options that were few and far between on the island.