South Beach, Staten Island
South Beach is a neighborhood on the East Shore of Staten Island, New York City, situated directly south of the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge. South Beach is bounded by New York Bay on the southeast, Seaview Avenue on the southwest, Laconia Avenue on the northwest, Reid and McClean Avenues on the north, and Lily Pond Avenue on the northeast. It is adjacent to Midland Beach to the southwest, Dongan Hills and Old Town/Concord to the northwest, and Fort Wadsworth and Rosebank to the northeast.
South Beach Wetlands
Location in New York City
|City||New York City|
|Community District||Staten Island 2|
|• Total||2.34 km2 (0.903 sq mi)|
|• Density||3,700/km2 (9,500/sq mi)|
|Neighborhood tabulation area|
|• Median income||$80,361|
|Area code||718, 347, 929, and 917|
South Beach contains a boardwalk with an eponymous beach on its southeastern coast. Directly east of the beach are two small islands, Hoffman Island and Swinburne Island. The northern part of South Beach is sometimes known as Arrochar.
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Once referred to as Graham Beach, the area was originally a summer beach colony consisting of many bungalows and tents. Located nearby was Warren Manor, a residential development that was demolished in the 1950s to make way for a proposed new City University of New York campus that was never built. By the early 20th century, many Italian-Americans, including immigrants, settled in the neighborhood, and their descendants still form the majority of the community's population. South Beach's development was helped by the construction of the South Beach Branch of the Staten Island Railway. With the construction of the railroad, small amusement parks and arcades, such as the Happyland Amusement Park, flourished there. The South Beach Boardwalk was also built through South Beach in 1935-1937.
Virtually all of the amusement parks had disappeared by the mid-20th century, with the last one, Beachland Amusements, closing in 2006. The City of New York built a public housing project in the neighborhood in 1949; it is one of three such developments south of the Staten Island Expressway. Service on the South Beach Branch was halted in 1953; by the 1980s the tracks of this line had been removed, and tract homes now stand on the original right-of-way in most places. Today, Railroad Avenue's name, the Robin Road Trestle, and the street grid are the only remaining pieces of evidence.
The neighborhood's principal thoroughfare was originally named Seaside Boulevard, and as its name suggested, it runs parallel to the shoreline, with the South Beach Boardwalk flanking it on the shoreward side. This roadway, which was the only portion of the "Shore Front Drive" proposed by Robert Moses to be actually built, was later renamed Father Capodanno Boulevard, after a Roman Catholic chaplain who was killed in action during the Vietnam War, and runs from near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge to Midland Beach.
Two hospitals, one an acute-care facility (the North Campus of Staten Island University Hospital), the other a state-run hospital for the mentally ill (the South Beach Psychiatric Center), where reports of mysterious deaths of juvenile patients originated during the later 20th century, stand at the southern edge of the neighborhood (sometimes reckoned as the separate locality. The location of the two hospitals was marshland as recently as the 1960s. What is now the Staten Island University Hospital was later constructed on part of the former Warren Manor property; Staten Island Hospital was relocated to the site from New Brighton in 1979; in 1989 this hospital merged with Richmond Memorial Hospital in Prince's Bay to form Staten Island University Hospital. Immediately to the east of Staten Island University Hospital is the South Beach Psychiatric Center, a state institution for the mentally ill which opened shortly after the aforementioned hospital did. Wild turkeys appeared on and near the grounds of this facility in the 1990s, and have since multiplied and spread to other Staten Island neighborhoods, having been sighted as far away as West Brighton on the island's central North Shore.
South Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Sandy. As a result, homeowners are negotiating whether to buy out their homes for demolition. After several homes were damaged, many local homeowners later elected to buy out their homes to be demolished, although a few residents plan on staying.
The southernmost tip of South Beach is called Ocean Breeze. Situated in a low-lying coastal area, Ocean Breeze often experiences the worst flood-related damage in all of Staten Island after heavy rain has fallen, and many of the neighborhood's side streets become impassable. Because of the flooding that results from the low-lying terrain, the New Creek bluebelt, which collects rainwater after storms, runs through the area.
For census purposes, the New York City government classifies South Beach as part of a larger neighborhood tabulation area called Old Town-Dongan Hills-South Beach. Based on data from the 2010 United States Census, the population of Old Town-Dongan Hills-South Beach was 24,835, a change of 1,818 (7.3%) from the 23,017 counted in 2000. Covering an area of 1,545.92 acres (625.61 ha), the neighborhood had a population density of 16.1 inhabitants per acre (10,300/sq mi; 4,000/km2). The racial makeup of the neighborhood was 74% (18,381) White, 3.1% (763) African American, 0.1% (36) Native American, 7.5% (1,860) Asian, 0% (9) Pacific Islander, 0.3% (69) from other races, and 1.4% (336) from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 13.6% (3,381) of the population.
The entirety of Community District 2, which comprises South Beach and other Mid-Island neighborhoods, had 134,657 inhabitants as of NYC Health's 2018 Community Health Profile, with an average life expectancy of 81.2 years.:2, 20 This is the same as the median life expectancy of 81.2 for all New York City neighborhoods.:53 (PDF p. 84) Most inhabitants are youth and middle-aged adults: 20% are between the ages of between 0–17, 25% between 25–44, and 29% between 45–64. The ratio of college-aged and elderly residents was lower, at 8% and 18% respectively.:2
As of 2017, the median household income in Community District 2 was $81,487, though the median income in South Beach individually was $80,361. In 2018, an estimated 14% of South Beach and Mid-Island residents lived in poverty, compared to 17% in all of Staten Island and 20% in all of New York City. One in sixteen residents (6%) were unemployed, compared to 6% in Staten Island and 9% in New York City. Rent burden, or the percentage of residents who have difficulty paying their rent, is 52% in South Beach and Mid-Island, compared to the boroughwide and citywide rates of 49% and 51% respectively. Based on this calculation, as of 2018[update], South Beach and Mid-Island are considered high-income relative to the rest of the city and not gentrifying.:7
Police and crimeEdit
South Beach and Mid-Island are patrolled by the 122nd Precinct of the NYPD, located at 2320 Hylan Boulevard. The 122nd Precinct ranked 2nd safest out of 69 patrol areas for per-capita crime in 2010, behind only the 123rd Precinct on Staten Island's South Shore. With a non-fatal assault rate of 40 per 100,000 people, South Beach and Mid-Island's rate of violent crimes per capita is less than that of the city as a whole. The incarceration rate of 253 per 100,000 people is lower than that of the city as a whole.:8
The 122nd Precinct has a lower crime rate than in the 1990s, with crimes across all categories having decreased by 91% between 1990 and 2018. The precinct saw 0 murders, 12 rapes, 43 robberies, 109 felony assaults, 89 burglaries, 315 grand larcenies, and 47 grand larcenies auto in 2018.
Preterm and teenage births are less common in South Beach and Mid-Island than in other places citywide. In South Beach and Mid-Island, there were 80 preterm births per 1,000 live births (compared to 87 per 1,000 citywide), and 6.8 teenage births per 1,000 live births (compared to 19.3 per 1,000 citywide).:11 South Beach and Mid-Island have a low population of residents who are uninsured. In 2018, this population of uninsured residents was estimated to be 4%, less than the citywide rate of 12%, though this was based on a small sample size.:14
The concentration of fine particulate matter, the deadliest type of air pollutant, in South Beach and Mid-Island is 0.0069 milligrams per cubic metre (6.9×10−9 oz/cu ft), less than the city average.:9 Fourteen percent of South Beach and Mid-Island residents are smokers, which is the same as the city average of 14% of residents being smokers.:13 In South Beach and Mid-Island, 24% of residents are obese, 9% are diabetic, and 26% have high blood pressure—compared to the citywide averages of 24%, 11%, and 28% respectively.:16 In addition, 19% of children are obese, compared to the citywide average of 20%.:12
Eighty-eight percent of residents eat some fruits and vegetables every day, which is about the same as the city's average of 87%. In 2018, 76% of residents described their health as "good," "very good," or "excellent," slightly less than the city's average of 78%.:13 For every supermarket in South Beach and Mid-Island, there are 7 bodegas.:10
Post office and ZIP codeEdit
South Beach is located within the ZIP Code 10305. The United States Postal Service does not operate a post office in South Beach, but the nearest post office is Rosebank Station at 567 Tompkins Avenue.
South Beach and Mid-Island generally have a similar rate of college-educated residents to the rest of the city. While 40% of residents age 25 and older have a college education or higher, 11% have less than a high school education and 49% are high school graduates or have some college education. By contrast, 39% of Staten Island residents and 43% of city residents have a college education or higher.:6 The percentage of South Beach and Mid-Island students excelling in math rose from 49% in 2000 to 65% in 2011, though reading achievement declined from 55% to 52% during the same time period.
South Beach and Mid-Island's rate of elementary school student absenteeism is lower than the rest of New York City. In South Beach and Mid-Island, 15% of elementary school students missed twenty or more days per school year, less than the citywide average of 20%.:24 (PDF p. 55):6 Additionally, 87% of high school students in South Beach and Mid-Island graduate on time, more than the citywide average of 75%.:6
The New York Public Library (NYPL)'s South Beach branch is located at 21–25 Robin Road, near Ocean Avenue and Father Capodanno Boulevard. The branch started operating out of a location on Sand Lane in the mid-20th century, but was destroyed in a 1989 fire. The South Beach branch reopened in 1990 and moved to its current one-story, 3,000-square-foot (280 m2) location on Robin Road in 2000.
South Beach is served by a number of local and express buses. The S78 and S79 SBS local buses and SIM1, SIM1C, SIM7 and SIM10 express buses stop along Hylan Boulevard. The S51, S81 and S52 local buses and SIM5, SIM6 and SIM9 express buses travel along Father Capodanno Boulevard.
South Beach was served by the X20 on its South Side and by the X18 on its North Side, but both were discontinued in 2010 by the MTA due to budget cuts. The SIM5X and SIM6X operated briefly from August to October 2018 due to low ridership. South Beach was also served by the Staten Island Railway's South Beach station until March 31, 1953.
- "NYC Planning | Community Profiles". communityprofiles.planning.nyc.gov. New York City Department of City Planning. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "South Beach neighborhood in New York". Retrieved March 18, 2019.
- "South Beach & Midland Beach". Retrieved 2007-06-14.
- "South Beach residents seeking Hurricane Sandy buyout to call for state help". SILive.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- "State To Buy Staten Island Homes Destroyed By Sandy". Huffington Post. November 19, 2013.
- Kusisto, Laura; Pinto, Nick (November 18, 2013). "State Offers More Buyouts After Sandy". The Wall Street Journal. Retrieved May 25, 2015.
- "ARROCHAR TO MIDLAND BEACH, Part 2". forgotten-ny.com. Retrieved 17 February 2015.
- New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P5 NTA: Total Population and Persons Per Acre - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, February 2012. Accessed June 16, 2016.
- Table PL-P3A NTA: Total Population by Mutually Exclusive Race and Hispanic Origin - New York City Neighborhood Tabulation Areas*, 2010, Population Division - New York City Department of City Planning, March 29, 2011. Accessed June 14, 2016.
- "South Beach and Willowbrook (Including Bloomfield, Midland Beach, New Springville, South Beach, Todt Hill, Travis-Chelsea and Willowbrook)" (PDF). nyc.gov. NYC Health. 2018. Retrieved March 2, 2019.
- "2016-2018 Community Health Assessment and Community Health Improvement Plan: Take Care New York 2020" (PDF). nyc.gov. New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene. 2016. Retrieved September 8, 2017.
- "New Yorkers are living longer, happier and healthier lives". New York Post. June 4, 2017. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
- "NYC-Staten Island Community District 2--New Springville & South Beach PUMA, NY". Retrieved July 17, 2018.
- "NYPD – 122nd Precinct". www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved October 3, 2016.
- "New Dorp & South Beach – DNAinfo.com Crime and Safety Report". www.dnainfo.com. Retrieved October 6, 2016.
- "122nd Precinct CompStat Report" (PDF). www.nyc.gov. New York City Police Department. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
- "Engine Company 161/Ladder Company 81". FDNYtrucks.com. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "FDNY Firehouse Listing – Location of Firehouses and companies". NYC Open Data; Socrata. New York City Fire Department. September 10, 2018. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Best 30 Hospitals in Staten Island, NY with Reviews". Yellow Pages. December 1, 2009. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "South Beach, New York City-Staten Island, New York Zip Code Boundary Map (NY)". United States Zip Code Boundary Map (USA). Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "Location Details: Rosebank". USPS.com. Retrieved March 7, 2019.
- "South Beach / Willowbrook – SI 02" (PDF). Furman Center for Real Estate and Urban Policy. 2011. Retrieved October 5, 2016.
- "South Beach New York School Ratings and Reviews". Zillow. Retrieved March 17, 2019.
- "P.S. 39 Francis J. Murphy Jr". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "P.S. 046 Albert V. Maniscalco". New York City Department of Education. December 19, 2018. Retrieved March 19, 2019.
- "About the South Beach Library". The New York Public Library. Retrieved March 14, 2019.
- "Staten Island Bus Map" (PDF). Metropolitan Transportation Authority. August 2018. Retrieved August 18, 2018.
- Media related to South Beach, Staten Island at Wikimedia Commons