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Old Posted Sep 28, 2012, 7:18 PM
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^ Yeah, it's already made a lot of news. That's the boldness of the plan, it won't be ignored. In that, it's already a winner.

Originally Posted by McBane View Post
I lived in SI for a brief period and I really hope this takes off, but I'm just not sure about this whole ferris wheel thing.

The SI ferry already provides amazing views to tourists...for free. Tourists see the skyline, the Statue of Liberty, and other peripheral skylines. The entire thing takes under one hour before tourists are back in Manhattan doing what they do.

Let's face it, Manhattan offers tourists a million things to do. And more and more Brooklyn is becoming a draw. Don't forget about the Bronx zoo either. That being said, does the typical tourist have time (and money) for this?

I'm not saying this isn't cool. But I'm asking, is it worth a tourist's time to come to disembark the ferry for another view? I get it that the view is better, but worthwhile to spend additional time? I'm a bit pessimistic.
Tourist will go to the wheel for the experience, not just the view. They will come because it will be an icon of New York, seen around the world. They will come because it's among the easiest things for them to get to - one of the reasons tourists don't go to the far reaches of the boroughs besides lack of things to do is because in a City where just navigating Manhattan can be confusing, that would be asking too much. The Staten Island Ferry is the City's third top tourist attraction. That's saying a whole lot for a city such as New York.

Tourist typically spend from a few days to a week or so in New York. A ride accross the harbor topped off with a 40 minute ride on the giant New York Wheel will be an irresistible proposition, among the can't miss oppurtunities in town. You can only hang out in Times Square for so long. You often hear ferry tourists looking for things to do on Staten Island (since, as you note, getting there is free). That's the key, something to do or get to, of which now there is nothing. That's the reason tourist turn around and go right back to Manhattan. Now, in addition to drawing from the regular tourist who ride the ferry, additional tourist who would not otherwise ride the ferry will be drawn because it's the ride to the wheel. Of course, tourist won't be the only ones drawn to the wheel, but never underestimate the power of tourism (and the money it brings ) in New York City.

Staten Islanders react to plan for giant Ferris wheel on waterfront

September 28, 2012
By Michael Sedon

It seemed as though everyone riding the Staten Island Ferry on Thursday had his or her own spin on the New York Wheel, the audacious project announced by Mayor Michael Bloomberg. "I think it's a great idea," said Jean-Pierre Hyppolite of Meiers Corners. "It will be very interesting for Staten Island. It will bring more people to visit our Island, and it will be a creative place for people to enjoy. And I want to beat London!"

"I think it will bring a lot of tourists to Staten Island and more jobs too," said Andy Ocasio of New Dorp. "This one is just like the one in London. It looks like it."

But the corrosive sea air and existing parking problems in St. George led Bob Gerrish and Robert Forster, both of Dongan Hills, to predict the project will be a "failure." "They don't realize that the salt air is going to eat it up," Gerrish said. "And parking, forget about it." "It's going to be too much money for repairs," added Forster. The extravagance of this plan is unnecessary, in the opinion of Eltingville resident Kelly Hamilton. "There are other things going on on the Island, such as the fare hikes for the bridge, and libraries vastly underutilized and they don't have enough books and things like that," Ms. Hamilton said. "It's almost like a joke for anyone to put a Ferris wheel here. I was embarrassed when I heard it. It's not necessary.

"I think it's an excellent, excellent idea," said Ellie Sugarman of Battery Park City while sitting next to the CFO of the New York Wheel LLC Eric Kaufman on the ferry. "I think it's going to bring Staten Island so many jobs, so much economic development, and my favorite part about it, it's going to be 100 percent sustainable. What I would like to see is that wheel starting to generate energy."

"I guess it looks like a good idea to entice people to come to the Island if that's what they're trying to do," said Vinny Quarato of Great Kills. "It's probably going to attract more people from the Island to come down there, and it may attract people from Manhattan, tourists, definitely a tourist attraction."

Brooklyn resident Nielandra Thomas sees tourists and traffic as an issue with the wheel. "It will be a tourist attraction," Ms. Thomas said. "It will bring in money, and people into Staten Island. It may cause other people traffic issues with more people coming in, but overall I think it's a benefit."

Bloomberg to Staten Island: Additional parking part of plan for New York Wheel

September 28, 2012
By Jillian Jorgensen

The wheel can hold more than 1,000 passengers at a time, and will welcome about 30,000 visitors a day during peak season, and about 4.5 million people a year, Bloomberg said. "Together with Brooklyn Bridge Park and Governor's Island, it's another amazing addition to a harbor that we have brought roaring back to life," he said. The wheel would be great enough on its own, he said, but it's coming with a massive retail outlet to be known as Harbor Commons, designed by SHoP Architects, which is behind the new Barclays Center in Brooklyn.

While Islanders have been fretting about parking in the already-tight-for-cars St. George area, Bloomberg sought to quell those fears by saying parking spots would increase. Parking decks will be located underground beneath the developments. "Let me repeat that -- because there is always misinformation about parking spaces. It's one of the most complicated things in the world," he said. "All the parking spaces that were removed for these developments will be replaced, and then some."

To be exact, New York City Economic Development Corporation president Seth Pinsky said there will be "roughly" 2,200 spaces -- more than the 1,600 that are currently on site.

No taxpayer funding is being used for the development -- and Pinsky said developers won't be getting tax breaks. "No government is putting any money into the project, the site will be paying full taxes," he said. And the city will be pulling in $2.5 million a year in base rent on the sites, which they will lease to developers. In the next 30 years, the city expects to earn $100 million in net taxes from the development, Bloomberg said.

I don't see any problems here. I understand some people would prefer it stay as parking lots, but you don't invite guest over for dinner, and don't prepare anything for them to eat.
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