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Thread: The New York Wheel - by Starneth

  1. #16

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    I sort of like the Wheel, but the retail and hotel stuff looks weird.

    Giant renderings

    If it draws some tourists who want to rotate instead of schlepping up and down the High Line, I'm good with it.

  2. #17

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    Staten Island Advance
    September 30, 2012

    Editorial

    The 'New York Wheel' portends a new era for Staten Island

    It’s hard to believe that just a few months ago, the idea of having the world’s largest observation wheel on the St. George waterfront seemed preposterous. Now, this once-far-fetched idea is well on its way to becoming reality.

    Mayor Michael Bloomberg made it official on Thursday as he formally announced the sweeping plans at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.

    Starneth, the engineering firm that built the London Eye, will design and build what’s being called (for now) the New York Wheel. Construction is expected to begin in early 2014 with a grand opening planned for the end of 2015. The projected cost is $230 million, all coming from private investment. No government funding will be used.

    At 625 feet high - the height of a 60-story building - the Wheel in St. George will be much taller than its counterpart in London, and taller even than the Singapore Flyer, currently the world’s tallest observation wheel and the High Roller wheel planned for Las Vegas.

    It will have 36 enclosed, air-conditioned capsules, each of which will have a capacity of 40 people. During peak season, it’s expected to attract 30,000 riders per day. It’s projected to draw 4.5 million visitors to Staten Island every year.

    But there’s much more to this project than just the New York Wheel. The mayor also announced that BFC Partners will build Harbor Commons, a 420,000-square-foot retail complex adjacent to the Wheel and ballpark. It will house up to 75 designer outlet stores and a 120,000-square-foot hotel, with a 15,000-square-foot banquet facility.

    The city, which owns the property, will reap $2.5 million in rent annually from the leases to the developers.

    In all, the city’s Economic Development Corp. projects that these developments will bring in $480 million in private investment, create more than 1,200 construction jobs and 1,100 permanent jobs, and net nearly $100 million in new tax revenue for the city over the next 30 years.

    The mayor said, “The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City - even unlike any other on the planet.”

    Sen. Charles Schumer, who was on hand for the announcement, said the Wheel will be “Staten Island’s Eiffel Tower.”

    Borough President James Molinaro was more direct in asserting that, in terms of the economy and the culture, “It’s a game-changer for Staten Island. We’ve gone from having the world’s biggest dump to having the world’s biggest wheel.”

    Having this internationally famous attraction here will accomplish the long-standing goal of luring tourists off the ferries. And with a hotel, upscale shops and restaurants nearby, Staten Island will finally become the tourist destination so many have wanted it to be. Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the Staten Island Zoo and other overlooked attractions in this borough will certainly prosper as a result.

    Mr. Bloomberg said, “They [tourists who never leave the ferry] are missing out on all the things that Staten Island has to offer - and Staten Island has been missing out on the jobs and the economic activity that comes with tourism. That is going to change.”

    As is to be expected, there are those who are skeptical about the plan, and mistakenly cite more mundane issues such as tolls, underfunding of libraries and senior centers and other more practical concerns in opposing to this imposing. But again, while the city will collect rent and taxes from the waterfront site, this is not a government project. The decision to build all this is being driven by private investors who see the opportunity to make a profit. That’s not taking funding away from government programs. Indeed, the project will generate more revenue with which government can pay for popular programs.

    Naturally, with anything of this scale, there are concerns that need to be addressed.

    The Wheel and the shopping component will take up most of the existing parking space on the 14-acre site, but the Bloomberg administration insists that those parking spots - and then some - will be replaced with underground parking decks. EDC says there will be roughly 2,200 parking spaces - 600 more than are now on the site.

    That should be etched in stone. We understand that most of the tourists who come to take a ride on the Wheel will likely arrive by ferry, but we imagine that a lot of other people will drive into the city from other parts of this country. Parking and driving in St. George is a headache as it is now. An attraction that brings in 4.5 million visitors from around the world isn’t going to help matters, no matter how most of them arrive.

    The city and the developers need to step up before the grand opening and make sure the infrastructure in the community can handle that additional load from Day One.

    That said, we agree with Mr. Molinaro that this is going to be a “game-changer” for the North Shore, the entire borough and the city. Every possible step must be taken to insure that change is all to the good.

    © 2012 SILive.com

  3. #18

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    www.newyorkwheel.com

    Fact Sheet

    Location and Structure

    - The New York Wheel promises to become one of the City's–and the world's–great landmark attractions, alongside the Statue of Liberty and the Empire State Building. Located on the northeastern side of Staten Island (St. George), the 630-foot, or roughly 60-story, attraction will be the tallest observation wheel in the world and the only one in New York City.

    - Thirty-six capsules, each carrying up to 40 passengers, will rotate 10 inches per second to offer incomparable views of Lower and Midtown Manhattan, the Statue of Liberty, and New York Harbor, all the way up beyond the George Washington Bridge, for the duration of the 38-minute ride.

    - The Wheel will accommodate up to 1,440 people per ride, welcoming as many as 30,000 visitors per day and an anticipated 4.5 million visitors per year.

    - The New York Wheel will be open 7 days a week, 365 days per year (except on severe weather days and required maintenance days) from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. in the fall, winter and spring, and staying open as late as 2 a.m. or even all night in the summer and on special occasions.

    Project Schedule

    - The Wheel is expected to begin construction in early 2014.

    - Target opening date is New Years Eve 12/31/15.

    Accessibility

    - The New York Wheel will be easily accessible by the Staten Island Ferry. There also will be ample car and bus parking on site.

    - Two million tourists already ride the free Staten Island Ferry each year. With an average weekday passenger count of 70,000 and a carrying capacity in excess of 300,000, the ferry can easily handle the thousands of visitors expected to visit the New York Wheel.

    - Ticket prices are estimated to be in the affordable range of $20-$30 for approximately 38-minute ride.

    - The Wheel Terminal Building also will house educational and digitized exhibitions on New York City history and alternative energy.

    Green Design

    - The Wheel and Terminal building will be green and will strive for Platinum LEED certification, which is the highest level of "green" and "sustainable" building today.

    - The natural environment surrounding Staten Island offers an abundance of sustainable alternative energy sources: wind, water and sun. Because it is an island, Staten Island can generate significant sustainable energy not only to power the Wheel, but ideally to provide excess energy to assist with the energy needs for the borough.

    Economic Impact

    - The Wheel will create approximately 150 construction and 300 permanent jobs in ticket sales, maintenance and other positions to run the attraction on a daily basis. An effort will be made to use local Staten Island labor and business services where possible, as well as to utilize women and minority owned businesses and participate in HireNYC to provide opportunities for low-income people.

    - In addition, the attraction promises to introduce to millions of tourists and NYC residents to Staten Island's impressive cultural and social scene, including Historic Richmond Town, the Postcards 9/11 Memorial, the National Lighthouse Museum, the Staten Island Zoo and Children's Museum, and the Snug Harbor Cultural Center.

    The Team

    - The New York Wheel project was proposed by New York Wheel LLC 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.

    - Other contractors, designers and consultants include:

    Wheel Design and Manufacturing: Starneth, B.V. (Builders of the London Eye)

    Construction Management: Broadwall Consulting Services (a wholly owned subsidiary of the Feil Organization)

    Architect: Perkins Eastman

    Sustainability Consultant: Penny Knops

    Sponsorships & Marketing: M4 Media & Marketing

    Communications: RLM Finsbury

    Landscape Architect: M. Paul Friedberg

    Traffic Engineer: Sam Schwartz Engineering (SSE)

    Parking Consultant (Design/Build): Desman Associates

    Environmental Services: AKRF

    Safety and Security

    - The New York Wheel is in discussions with highly regarded security companies to prepare and implement a comprehensive security plan for the Wheel.

    - The New York Wheel also will work closely with New York City law enforcement, the finest in the nation, to ensure that visitors have a fun, safe and unforgettable experience at the Wheel.

  4. #19

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    Governors Island would be better, no?

  5. #20
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    I get your idea, but ...

    The point from Bloomberg's POV is to use The Wheel as an economic engine for Staten Island (like the High Line is doing for MePa & West Chelsea). Get folks to go there and stay and shop and eat, etc. Ultimately encourage further development on SI.

    Governor's Island is a park, and is getting large numbers of visitors each season. The developable space on GI is going to used for institutional uses.

    While the setting of GI would be better for The Wheel, that doesn't serve the Bloomberg business plan for NYC.

  6. #21

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    Well if that's Bloomberg's plan, what's being proposed is a complete fail. If you want to encourage MORE economic development you build a vibrant and dense (and URBAN) mixed-use neighborhood, not an outlet mall. The proposal will consign St. George to a 'Xanadu' like existence for a very long time.

  7. #22

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    If the goal really is to draw tourists who are already taking the free ferry trip, then cheap clothes and a carnival ride seem like a safe bet.

  8. #23

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    Where is this in relation to the 9/11 Memorial on SI? I took a friend out there last week and we both enjoyed the silence and dignity... two things I feel the Wheel will ruin for it if it's too close (which it appears to be in that proposal drawing).

  9. #24

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    I heard about this in Sydney Australia last week......to get tourists to visit SI, was the reason behind the project. Most tourists don't know about SI. So the story said.

    It's said the Tourists who do go, turn around & back on the same ferry.

    Not us. We took the bus down the east side & visited the beach ( in NYC!). Also the 9/11 memorial. Would hate a ferris wheel next to the memorial.

    This is my 1st post on here. I found this forum, when I was trying to research the stage the WTC Site was at when we visited in Nov 2009 & why it had taken so long. We couldn't work out what we were looking at.
    Then I was hooked & it's taken me all year to read the whole WTC1 thread!

  10. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    I get your idea, but ...

    The point from Bloomberg's POV is to use The Wheel as an economic engine for Staten Island (like the High Line is doing for MePa & West Chelsea). Get folks to go there and stay and shop and eat, etc. Ultimately encourage further development on SI.

    Governor's Island is a park, and is getting large numbers of visitors each season. The developable space on GI is going to used for institutional uses.

    While the setting of GI would be better for The Wheel, that doesn't serve the Bloomberg business plan for NYC.
    I just think it is a little far away from Manhattan to be truly successful. You wouldn't get that fantastic a view of Manhattan at that distance I would have thought. It would have been even better somewhere else. On the riverside in Queens, Brooklyn or Jersey. Of course again I am ignoring the point of the business plan.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie741 View Post
    I heard about this in Sydney Australia last week......to get tourists to visit SI, was the reason behind the project. Most tourists don't know about SI. So the story said.

    It's said the Tourists who do go, turn around & back on the same ferry.

    Not us. We took the bus down the east side & visited the beach ( in NYC!). Also the 9/11 memorial. Would hate a ferris wheel next to the memorial.

    This is my 1st post on here. I found this forum, when I was trying to research the stage the WTC Site was at when we visited in Nov 2009 & why it had taken so long. We couldn't work out what we were looking at.
    Then I was hooked & it's taken me all year to read the whole WTC1 thread!
    Kudos Annie, you appear a much more discerning visitor than most....I'd hazard a guess that less than 1% of tourists traveling to SI on the ferry venture beyond the turn around point.

    As for why the WTC is taking so long....that's a long story!

  12. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    I just think it is a little far away from Manhattan to be truly successful. You wouldn't get that fantastic a view of Manhattan at that distance I would have thought. It would have been even better somewhere else. On the riverside in Queens, Brooklyn or Jersey. Of course again I am ignoring the point of the business plan.
    It's a case of harnessing the best view possible, from SI. Despite 5 miles across Upper Bay you have some pretty amazing views in my opinion.

  13. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Annie741 View Post
    Not us. We took the bus down the east side & visited the beach ( in NYC!).
    Is the (!) one of surprise? Largest city beach in the US is in the Rockaways.

    Also the 9/11 memorial. Would hate a ferris wheel next to the memorial.
    One of the renderings seems to distort the location of the wheel and memorial. Looks to be about 100 yard away, and there's a road that would separate them. The project has to go through a typical land-use review, and I'm sure that the memorial will be an issue.

  14. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alonzo-ny View Post
    I just think it is a little far away from Manhattan to be truly successful. You wouldn't get that fantastic a view of Manhattan at that distance I would have thought. It would have been even better somewhere else. On the riverside in Queens, Brooklyn or Jersey. Of course again I am ignoring the point of the business plan.
    I agree. Though I am somewhat excited to see what Staten Island looks like from above, plus seeing the Verrazano, South Beach and the ocean with all those ships in queue should be somewhat interesting. I bet they'll build some kind of tall observation thingy on Governor's Island anyway.

  15. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by IrishInNYC View Post

    As for why the WTC is taking so long....that's a long story!
    That long story.........I've worked it out now, thanks to this great site. If you remember back to Nov.2009 the WTC site was confusing to an outsider. We did our own quick tour of NYC & I should have done more research before we arrived.

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