Staten Island Developers File Plans for Houses on Streets Named for Greed at Mount Manresa

An aerial view of cleared Mount Manresa site, image via Google MapsAn aerial view of cleared Mount Manresa site, image via Google Maps

In February, Politico New York reported that a judge would allow Staten Island Borough President James Oddo to choose street names that signified greed and deception for a new development on the site of the former Mount Manresa Jesuit Retreat, next to the approach for the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge. Now, the builders have filed plans for their sprawling townhouse project on Cupidity Drive, Avidita Place, and Fouberie Lane.

Cupidity and avidity are both synonyms for greed, and fouberie is defined as “deception” or “trickery.” The Savo Brothers, who are developing the project, argued in court papers that the names were “derogatory” and “an abuse of the respondent’s [Oddo’s] discretion.” But state Supreme Court Judge Philip Minardo ruled that Oddo could name the new streets whatever he liked.

The developers appealed the judge’s decision in April, according to DNAinfo, but it’s unclear whether they would be able to change the street names now that permit applications have been filed with the Department of Buildings.

Oddo, along with neighborhood group Committee to Save Mount Manresa, fought hard against the Savos’ plans for a 250-unit townhouse development on the sizable property near Fort Wadsworth. First, the Beep delayed construction by refusing to issue house numbers—until a judge compelled him to do so. Then he refused to pick any of the innocuous street names proposed by the developers, which included Timber Lane, Lazy Bird Lane, Lamb Run, and Ambert Heights Drive.

The building applications don’t list square footages for each house, but they do indicate the whole development would span 403,377 square feet of residential space. If the Savos are building 250 homes, the typical townhouse would measure 1,613 square feet. The single-family houses would range from two to three stories, and each one would come with a two-car garage.

So far, plans have been filed for 25 homes at 92-120 Cupidity Drive and 201-225 Avidita Place.

The Savo Brothers picked up the 15.4-acre site for $15 million in 2013. Back then, they told the Staten Island Advance that they were “very sensitive to the beauty of the site and the structures at the location.” But the firm ultimately demolished several historic buildings on the property, including the Jesuits’ Founders Hall, a chapel, and an 1860s water tower.

Mayor Bill de Blasio’s office asked the developer if they’d be interested in selling the site to the city to turn it into a park. Unsurprisingly, the Savos rejected the offer.

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2 Comments on "Staten Island Developers File Plans for Houses on Streets Named for Greed at Mount Manresa"

  1. Street names have already been called by him, and follow with location that must have been built.

  2. staten islander | August 17, 2016 at 10:31 am |

    Bloomberg administration is really to blame for this mess. They wouldn’t consider downzoning the property to R3X which would have only allowed detached 1 or 2 family homes.

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