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City Council Approves Staten Island’s Giant Ferris Wheel

Construction Expected To Begin Next Year
A rendering of the proposed Ferris wheel, released on Sept. 27, 2012. (credit: New York Wheel LLC)

A rendering of the proposed Ferris wheel, released on Sept. 27, 2012. (credit: New York Wheel LLC)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – If Mayor Michael Bloomberg signs a law approved Wednesday by the City Council, Staten Island will soon have it’s very own giant attraction.

The City Council voted unanimously 45-0 on a plan to bring one of the world’s largest Ferris wheels to Staten Island.

Last month, New York City’s Planning Commission approved the plan for the 625-foot Ferris wheel, which is expected to have views of the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the Manhattan skyline.

The mayor’s office estimated the wheel would draw as many as 30,000 riders per day and 4.5 million visitors a year. A ride on the Ferris wheel would take about 30 minutes, start to finish.

The wheel would have 36 capsules, capable of carrying 40 people each.

The Ferris wheel would be the centerpiece of a new complex which would also include a hotel, a 350,000 square foot retail space called “Harbor Commons” that would be adjacent to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark.

If the project is approved, construction is expected to begin in 2014, with a grand opening in 2016.

The New York Wheel would be the world’s tallest Ferris wheel if it were built today.

The “High Roller” in Las Vegas currently holds the title. At 550 feet, it is 9 feet taller than its closest competitor, the Singapore Flyer, and 100 feet taller than the London Eye.

The original Ferris wheel, at the Columbian Exposition in Chicago in 1893, was 264 feet tall. The iconic replica Ferris wheel at Chicago’s Navy Pier is only 150 feet tall.

Developers in Dubai have plans to build a 689-foot Ferris Wheel.

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