New York could have its very own observation wheel in as little as three years, if all goes as planned next month. The New York Wheel, if approved, would be the largest observation wheel in the world - beating out the famous London Eye - soaring at 630 feet tall at the North end of Staten Island.
Last Wednesday, September 11, the City Planning Commission approved the thorough construction plans. "The CPC’s decision marks the final stage of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which will end with a City Council vote scheduled for October 30, 2013." Before the project is fully approved, it has to be accepted by multiple community boards and city agencies. That process is now almost complete.
The New York Wheel, along with the Empire Outlets shops and hotel, will potentially be built right next to the St. George Ferry Terminal, a welcoming beacon to tourists. Once created, the hope is that the site will attract many millions of visitors every year, drawing much-needed funds in to the city and to Staten Island itself. The borough is often overlooked as nothing more than a free ferry ride stop, but Staten Island actually has quite a bit to offer. The observation wheel and shops may encourage visitors to travel to other parts of the island, including Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Alice Austen House, Historic Richmondtown, and the Staten Island Yankees Richmond County Bank Ballpark.
The entire project will entail the creation of 1150 construction jobs and 1700 permanent jobs. If all goes as planned, construction will begin next year, 2014, and the Wheel will be up and running as soon as May 2016. "The Wheel will accommodate up to 1,440 people per ride, welcoming as many as 30,000 visitors per day and an anticipated 3+ million visitors per year." Views from the top will encompass lower Manhattan, the Verrazano Bridge, the Statue of Liberty, and more. Alongside Lady Liberty, Central Park, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Empire State Building, the New York Wheel will become a top destination in New York City.
Stay tuned for more news updates on this exciting project in one of New York's most overlooked boroughs!
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