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Changes to New York Wheel Design Win Community Backing

By Nicholas Rizzi | July 22, 2015 2:15pm
 CB 1 voted to approve changes to the parking structure and other parts of the project on Tuesday night.
CB 1 Approves Changes to New York Wheel
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ST. GEORGE — Changes to the New York Wheel's design that would alter the parking structure and other aspects of the site won backing from Community Board 1 Tuesday.

The board voted 29 to 2 in favor of the plan despite anger from some members of the public who complained that board members didn't ask any questions about the changes.

"The community has not had the chance to have any input into these design changes," resident Michael Harwood said during the meeting. "We need to have this project slowed down."

After tests found that the original location for a portion of the garage had "substandard soil conditions," the architects had to redesign the structure, Rich Marin, president of the New York Wheel, said during the meeting.

The new plans call for the garage to be open — instead of using mechanical ventilation — and added an extra level to fit 820 spaces for commuters, which some nearby residents fear will further block their view of the harbor.

To fit the new garage design, the architects changed the landscaped garden of the roof — which will now be open 24/7 — and a park, Marin said.

"It's still a very nice garden," Marin said. "It does have some design differences."

The proposal would also reduce the size of the wheel's terminal building by nearly 30 percent so the redesigned garage can fit,  and will replace the "white table cloth" restaurant at the top with a "Terrace Beer Garden."

"We've taken that out of our own hide because that what was needed to keep our promises to the community," Marin said.

The plans still need to get approval from the borough president, City Planning, the City Council and the mayor before they are finalized.