Staten Island mall, wheel approved in union-friendly deal

Renderings of Empire Outlets and New York Wheel
Renderings of Empire Outlets and New York Wheel

Developer BFC Partners has ironed out a deal that guarantees final city approval of an outlet mall and enormous Ferris wheel both proposed for Staten Island’s St. George’s waterfront, thus settling a dispute over union labor.

BFC said it will hire unionized labor for the entire mall project, which includes 80 stores and a 200-room hotel among 1 million square feet of mixed-used space. The City Council meeting last night, in which the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure application came under final review, resulted in a change of tune for the developer.

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Criticism has been directed at the project’s partial use of union workers. More than 100 union members, along with local politicians — including Rep. Michael Grimm and state Senator Diane Savino – rallied against the mall and hotel project last week. Crain’s first reported the news.

The project was under the same application as the New York Wheel, a proposed 625-foot-tall Ferris wheel. The wheel had already committed to using union workers. Both received approval from the City Planning Commission last month. [Crain’s]Mark Maurer