By Tim Sprinkle
October 31, 2013 4:01 PM
Who’s afraid of a 62-story Ferris wheel?
Not the New York City Council, which on Wednesday approved a plan to install a 625-foot observation wheel on Staten Island that’s being called one of the tallest in the world. It will be part of a $580 million redevelopment project on the North Shore of the island that will also include an outlet mall and a new hotel.
“The New York Wheel and Empire Outlets will become one of the city’s most popular destinations, drawing millions of visitors every year — not just from the five boroughs and the region, but also nationwide and around the globe,” New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a statement, calling the vote to approve the plan a “momentous day for Staten Island.”
According to reports, the massive Ferris wheel will offer sweeping views of New York Harbor and the Statue of Liberty, with the city’s skyline in the distance. It is expected to draw tourists to the little-visited Staten Island and create as many as 2,000 jobs. Construction is slated to begin next year, with opening day scheduled for 2016.
“This is the biggest thing that ever happened to the North Shore of Staten Island,” New York City Councilwoman Debi Rose told the Staten Island Advance after the council’s vote.