Living In: Heartland Village

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Heartland Village is a small neighborhood located roughly in the center of the borough of Staten Island in New York, NY. It is bordered to the northeast by Richmond Hill Road and the neighborhood of New Springville; to the southeast by Forest Hill Road and Latourette Park; and to the west by Richmond Creek and Freshkills Park. The curves of Richmond Creek, next to the acute angle formed by Forest Hill Road and Richmond Hill Road, make the borders of Heartland Village appear as a heart on its side, from whence the neighborhood derives its name. The main attraction of Heartland Village – and indeed, much of the square footage of the neighborhood itself – is the Staten Island Mall. The only indoor shopping mall on Staten Island, it is the largest retail center in the borough, as well as its third-largest public transit hub (after the St. George Ferry Terminal and the Eltingville Transit Center). It officially opened in 1973, although some stores were open as early as 1970. While many stores in the mall closed during the economic meltdown of 2008 and 2009, the mall is now home to many higher-end tenants, as well as new brands, and anchor department stores. Although originally a rural, wooded area, Heartland Village is now one of the most popular residential areas on Staten Island, largely due to its proximity to the Staten Island Mall and other retail outlets. The residential development boom started in Heartland Village after the opening of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge in 1964, and lasted through the early 1980s. Many of the older houses are of medium size, usually with three bedrooms and six or seven rooms. However, newer construction has been split between larger single-family homes and condominiums. Students in Heartland Village attend P. S. 69 (the Daniel D. Tompkins School) in elementary school, followed by I. S. 72 (the Rocco Laurie Intermediate School) for middle school. There are two high schools in the area: the Gaynor McCown Expeditionary Learning School, and the College of Staten Island High School for International Studies, a high school built on the small-schools model that focuses on a globally-themed curriculum. Commuters have several transportation options in Heartland Village, as several bus routes service the mall. Local buses include the S44 and S94, S59, and S89 along Richmond Avenue and the S61 and S91 along Travis Avenue. Express busses include the X17 on Richmond Avenue and the X31 on Travis Avenue. For those looking for some non-retail-based fun, Heartland Village is bordered an abundance of parkland and green space on two of its three sides. Latourette Park runs along its southeastern border, and the LaTourette Country Club and LaTourette Golf Course are easily accessible. Freshkills Park and Richmond Creek run along the western border, offering plenty of wildlife for nature lovers.

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