Mayor Michael Bloomberg and city leaders today announced plans for the New York Wheel, a new attraction that promises to enhance the beauty, history, and significance of New York Harbor.
The wheel will be built on the northeastern side of Staten Island and offer city residents and tourists views of the Lower and Midtown Manhattan skylines, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, and the New York Harbor. At 625 feet, or 60 stories, it will be the world’s tallest observation wheel.
“The New York Wheel is destined to become one of the City’s – and the world’s – great landmark attractions,” said Richard A. Marin, President and CEO of the New York Wheel LLC. “There are very few opportunities in life to get involved with a project of this magnitude. We believe that the Wheel will quickly become an iconic fixture and we are proud and excited to bring it to Staten Island, New York City, and the Tri-State area.”
The New York Wheel project was proposed in response to the New York City Economic Development Corp’s request for bids for projects that would increase economic growth, boost tourism, and create jobs on Staten Island. The free Staten Island Ferry already attracts over two million tourists each year.
“This historic project promises to have an enormous positive impact on Staten Island and New York City overall – creating jobs, increasing tourism, and encouraging small business growth,” said Staten Island Borough President James P. Molinaro. “The construction and subsequent operation of the Wheel will create hundreds of jobs, and will also help to bolster the greater Staten Island economy, with Wheel visitors supporting local restaurants and shops. Every effort is being made to work with local Staten Island businesses to make this project a success.”
The New York Wheel will feature a large Terminal building that will feature exhibitions about New York City history, alternative energy, and environmental sustainability; the site also includes significant open green space. Construction plans for the Wheel and the Terminal building will strive for Platinum LEED certification, the highest rating of sustainable building today.
The New York Wheel will collaborate with Cornell’s Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise at Johnson and the global relief and development agency CARE to make the exhibit a high tech, state-of-the-art expo about worldwide sustainability. “Visitors to the New York Wheel will see green building and design, next-generation green materials, low- and no-carbon energy technologies, and the green collar economy at work. We will highlight the growing influence that entrepreneurship, innovation and technology commercialization is having on solving some of our most pressing problems,” said Mark Milstein, Director of the Center for Sustainable Global Enterprise.
The New York Wheel is an important part of the City’s greater urban waterfront renewal effort, which includes the reopening of Governor’s Island, the High Line, and Brooklyn Bridge Park.
Among the architects, engineers, designers, and consultants of the New York Wheel are: Starneth, B.V., an engineering company specializing in giant observation wheels and structures and builders of the London Eye; and Perkins Eastman, an international architecture, urban design, and interior design firm. Broadwall Consulting Services acts as the New York Wheel’s Construction Consultant. Construction on the New York Wheel is expected to begin in early 2014 with a grand opening scheduled for early 2016.
The Wheel will feature thirty-six capsules, each carrying up to 40 passengers.