The world’s largest Ferris wheel will be part of a development on Staten Island that will also feature a designer outlet mall and a hotel next to an existing minor-league baseball stadium, New York City officials said.
The New York Wheel will be a short walk from the Staten Island Ferry, which links the city’s least populous borough with Manhattan, Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s office said today in a news release. It will stand 625 feet (190 meters) high, exceeding by 84 feet the Singapore Flyer, according to city officials. It will also beat by 75 feet a planned wheel in Las Vegas.
BFC Partners, a Brooklyn-based developer, will construct Harbor Commons, a 350,000-square-foot retail complex featuring 100 designer outlets and a 120,000-square-foot hotel south of the ballpark, where an affiliate of the New York Yankees plays, Bloomberg reports.
“The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City -- even unlike any other on the planet,” Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a prepared statement. “It will offer unparalleled and breathtaking views, and is sure to become one of the premier attractions in New York City and the latest exciting addition to our newly revitalized waterfront.”
The ride will operate seven days a week, 365 days per year, except during severe weather or maintenance in the fall, winter and spring. In the summer, the wheel will be in use for longer hours, the mayor’s office said. Rides will last about 38 minutes. Officials said they expect construction to begin in early 2014, with the goal of opening the attraction by the end of 2015.
The designer and manufacturer will be Starneth BV, which includes members of the team that built the 443-foot London Eye observation wheel.
The complex will generate $480 million in private investment and create more than 1,200 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent ones, the mayor’s office said. The wheel is a project of the city’s Economic Development Corp.
The New York Wheel will hold 36 passenger capsules, each able to carry as many as 40 passengers with a maximum capacity of 1,440 people per ride. The mayor’s office said it expects a peak of 30,000 riders per day and about 4.5 million visitors per year.
The mayor is founder and majority owner of Bloomberg news parent Bloomberg LP.