The New York City Council unanimously approved changes to the New York Wheel last Thursday, officially paving away for the future landmark’s construction in St. George. The design changes that needed approval mainly involved the observation wheel’s parking garage, which had to be altered due to substandard soil conditions. The design for the observation wheel itself, a $500 million project, was first approved by the council in 2013. The construction for the project has already begun.
When the New York Wheel is finished in mid-2017, the circular structure will stand an impressive 630-feet tall on the north shore of Staten Island with impressive views of the New York harbor. Thirty-six pods on the structure, each holding 40 people each, will take visitors on a 38-minute ride with views of the NYC skyline, the Statue of Liberty, the Verrazano Bridge and more. In addition to being climate controlled, some of the pods on the wheel will also be customizable for private events and will also offer fine dining.
$7 million of LED lighting on the wheel will make for a pretty impressive addition to New York’s nighttime sky. The wheel will be a three-minute walk from the Staten Island Ferry Terminal in St. George, and will be open from 10am until midnight, seven days a week.
The project will create approximately 350 construction jobs and 600 permanent jobs. The New York Wheel is being constructed right next to Empire Outlets, New York's first outlet store destination, though the two projects are being funded separately. Both projects are part of a renewed focus to convince tourists to spend time in Staten Island rather than just take a roundtrip on the ferry.
The Wheel is expected to carry as many as 1,440 riders at a cost of $35 per person.