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Staten Island Ferris Wheel and Outlet Mall Approved by City

By Nicholas Rizzi | September 11, 2013 4:15pm
 The New York Wheel and Empire Outlets were unanimously approved by the City Planning Commission on Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013.
New York Wheel and Empire Outlets
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ST. GEORGE — The New York Wheel is on the rise — winning support from the City Planning Commission this week.

The giant Ferris wheel and neighboring outlet mall, planned for Staten Island's shoreline, were unanimously approved by the commission at a vote in Manhattan Wednesday.

The latest approval puts the two projects on the last step in the city's long Uniform Land Use Review Procedure (ULURP). They will go before the City Council soon for the final go-ahead, the developer said.

“We’re pleased with the commission’s decision and are confident that the Wheel will keep turning through the approval process,” said Rich Marin, CEO of the New York Wheel LLC, in a statement.

Marin said the project, adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal, is on track to begin construction in 2014 and open in 2016.

The 625-foot high observation wheel will be the largest Ferris wheel in the world, soaring higher than the London Eye and Singapore Flyer, the developer said.

Empire Outlets, led by BFC Partners, will be built next to the wheel and will have more than 350,000 square feet of retail space and a 200-room hotel.

The projects were previously approved by the local community board and Borough President James Molinaro, though some residents rallied against them, saying they would create more gridlock in the neighborhood.

The application, which requires a zoning change, will go in front of the City Council on Oct. 30. That will be the final step in the ULURP process, unless the mayor vetoes the decision.