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City Planning Commission Approves Plans for New York Wheel and BFC Partners’ Empire Outlets on Staten Island

September 13, 2013 Destination North America No Comments Email Email

The City Planning Commission (CPC) today announced its support for the New York Wheel and BFC Partners’ Empire Outlets, completing another important milestone in the approval process to revitalize the New York Harbor with one of the world’s largest observation wheels and a new retail outlet complex.

Updated composite images for New York Wheel (Photo: Business Wire)

Updated composite images for New York Wheel (Photo: Business Wire)

The CPC’s decision marks the final stage of the Uniform Land Use Review Procedure, which will end with a City Council vote scheduled for October 30, 2013.

Since their initial announcement nearly one year ago, the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets have gone through numerous and rigorous rounds of approvals, receiving support from city agencies, Staten Island’s Community Board #1 and the Staten Island Borough President James Molinaro. Both projects are on the north shore of St. George on Staten Island with the New York Wheel standing 625 feet high and Empire Outlets, a project of BFC Partners, being built adjacent to the St. George Ferry Terminal with over 350,000 square feet of retail space and a 200-room hotel.

Together the projects will create more than 1,150 construction jobs and 1,700 permanent jobs. The projects will play a significant role in economic expansion and job generation and in doing so will offer small business opportunities to those living and working in St. George, the North Shore and the rest of Staten Island.

The CPC’s decision keeps both projects on track to begin construction in 2014, with a grand opening scheduled for 2016.

Updated composite images for New York Wheel (Photo: Business Wire)

Updated composite images for New York Wheel (Photo: Business Wire)

“We’re pleased with the Commission’s decision and are confident that the Wheel will keep turning through the approval process,” said Rich Marin, CEO of New York Wheel LLC. “It has been gratifying to see the support of EDC, City Planning, the Design Commission, the Borough President and the community as they all come together to add this iconic landmark to the Gateway to America on New York Harbor. ”

“Empire Outlets and the New York Wheel will reinforce New York Harbor as a local and international attraction of significance,” said Donald Capoccia, Principal of BFC Partners. “With access to 8.3 million residents and 52 million tourists annually with $36.9 billion a year in direct visitor spending, these projects will transform the North Shore of Staten Island into a thriving economic engine, echoing its impact throughout the borough and the City.”

“Empire Outlets has received an incredible amount of interest from retailers around the world,” added Joseph Ferrara, Principal of BFC Partners. “We are confident that the final mix of tenancy achieved at Empire will address the needs of the local shopper and the visiting tourist.”

“Mayor Bloomberg is committed to revitalizing the City’s 520 miles of waterfront and bringing jobs and private investment to all five boroughs, and with the City Planning Commission’s approval of the New York Wheel and Empire Outlets projects we are one step closer to bringing these projects to life in St. George,” Deputy Mayor for Economic Development Robert K. Steel said.

The New York Wheel will offer New Yorkers and visitors from around the world unrivaled views of the Lower and Midtown Manhattan skylines, the Statue of Liberty, Brooklyn, and the New York Harbor. With over 12 million annual waterborne visitors, New York Harbor will be significantly enhanced by activating the Staten Island waterfront with the Wheel and Empire Outlets. In terms of size, scope, and spectacular sights, the completed attraction promises to rival the London Eye, the Eiffel Tower and the Sydney Harbor Opera House.

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