New York Wheel close to getting updated zoning approval

$550M Ferris wheel's land use refiling up for City Council vote next week
October 23, 2015 05:00PM

The New York Wheel on Staten Island is on the verge of getting its second zoning approval in two years after a unanimous “yes” vote by the City Council’s land use committee Thursday.

Proposed changes to the $550 million Ferris wheel, set to be the tallest in the world at 630 feet in height, will next go before the full City Council next week. If approved, it will require Mayor Bill de Blasio’s sign-off.

Developer New York Wheel LLC refilled the project for the city’s Uniform Land Use Review Procedure in June, according to the New York Observer. While the New York Wheel originally received land use approval in 2013, engineering issues forced the developer to apply for changes to a 950-space parking structure at the waterfront site.

With the changes backed by Council member Deborah Rose, who represents the north shore Staten Island where the project is located, they are expected to cruise through the full 51-member City Council vote on Oct. 28.

Construction giant Skanska started foundation work on the New York Wheel in May, with 72 of the project’s 96 cassons installed as of this week. Parts of the Ferris wheel are set to start arriving at the site next February, with the project slated for completion in 2017.

The project raised around $150 million through the federal EB-5 visa program, having received funding from nearly 300 Chinese families.

The New York Wheel is one of two big developments being built around the Staten Island Ferry terminal in the borough’s St. George section; BFC Partners’ Empire Outlets, a 350,000-square-foot outdoor mall, is slated for a soft open next year. [NYO] – Rey Mashayekhi