Staten Island’s Ferris wheel, mall hinge on union labor plans

October 21, 2013 01:17PM

Concerns about the lack of union labor planned for BFC Partners’ 1 million-square-foot, 125-store Empire Outlets mall in Staten Island is landing the project — and its counterpart, the proposed 625-foot-high Ferris wheel — in jeopardy.

Both projects, which were filed under the same land-use application, head to the City Council for review Oct. 30. But their fate largely rests on the stance of Staten Island City Council member Debi Rose, who has made a long list of demands to BFC Partners. For example, she and the Building and Construction Trades Council of Greater New York have pushed for labor agreements that would ensure union construction jobs, Crain’s reported.

The trades council said BFC should offer more union jobs, with job training and health coverage.

“We understand that an inclusive job plan with organized labor is important, and I pledge that every effort will be made to ensure these work opportunities be offered to Staten Islanders — be it through organized labor, local subcontractors or direct hiring,” Donald Capoccia of BFC Partners told Crain’s.

Both projects represent $580 million in private investment. The City Planning Commission approved them last month. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer