New York City Council yesterday officially approved plans for the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets.
The vote marks the final step in the public approvals process around the mall and 630-foot-tall Wheel.
“Today’s final approval marks a major milestone for Staten Island and New York City,” said Rich Marin, CEO of New York Wheel LLC. “We’re confident that the New York Wheel will take its place alongside other Big Apple landmark attractions such as the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building.
“This ambitious undertaking will create enormous economic opportunities for Staten Island and the City in terms of job creation, increased tourism, and small business growth. We’re grateful for the extraordinary support we’ve received from Mayor Bloomberg, Borough President Molinaro, Speaker Quinn and Council Member Rose and look forward to continuing this strong working relationship with the new administration as we head towards our 2014 groundbreaking.”
Donald Capoccia, Principal of BFC Partners added, “We are looking forward to building a project that will be a catalyst for the redevelopment of the North Shore, creating thousands of jobs for local residents and transforming Staten Island into a world-class destination for residents and tourists alike.”
The New York Wheel will offer New Yorkers and visitors from around the world unrivaled views of the Lower and Midtown Manhattan skylines, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge and all of New York Harbor during the ride’s 38-minute revolution.
Featuring 36 capsules, each carrying up to 40 passengers, the completed attraction is expected to rival the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Harbor Opera House as an iconic world attraction.
The $260 million Empire Outlets project, being built adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal, will transform a municipal parking lot into a one-million-square-foot mixed-use retail hub.
The development, designed by SHoP Architects, will include 340,000 s/f of retail space with up to 125 designer outlet retailers; a 200-room hotel; and a 40,000 s/f food and beverage deck that will provide views of the Manhattan skyline.
BFC Partners will also build a 1,250-space structured parking garage below the retail and hotel components to accommodate commuters and tourists alike.
“Together, the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets are a transformative project for Staten Island, generating hundreds of millions of dollars of private investment and thousands of jobs while creating a new iconic attraction for New Yorkers and visitors alike,” said Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel.
New York City Economic Development Corporation President Kyle Kimball said that, together with the borough’s first small business incubator, and developments underway at Charleston, Homeport, and the St. George Coast Guard Station, :”this project ensures that Staten Island is poised to enter a new era of economic growth.”
The New York Wheel is scheduled to begin construction in 2014 with a grand opening scheduled for 2016. Construction for the Empire Outlets is expected to begin in the winter of 2014 and be completed in 2016.