Mayor Bloomberg’s office announced today that the largest Ferris wheel in the world will be built on the northern banks of Staten Island in St. George, adjacent to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark. The 625-foot tall New York Wheel will dwarf the Singapore Flyer and London Eye, and could be open as early as 2015 assuming design team Starneth (which conceived the London Eye) and developers RFC Partners actually break ground in 2014.
The wheel’s 36 capsules will hold up to 1,440 people per 38-minute ride. It will cost an estimated $230 million to construct, about half of the total price tag for a project that also includes a 350,000-square-foot mall and 200-room hotel. The people behind the project estimate that up to 4.5 million people will visit the New York Wheel each year, making it rank just below the Metropolitan Museum of Art (5.2 million visitors a year) as one of the city’s most popular tourist sites. This will generate 1,200 construction jobs, 1,100 new permanent jobs and $100 million in tax revenue for the city over the next 30 years.