St. George Waterfront

Last Updated October 08, 2014

The St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project will transform the currently underutilized St. George Waterfront into a dynamic, mixed-use destination with the construction of the tallest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere and a high-end outlet retail complex and hotel.

Overview

Staten Island’s waterfront will be transformed with the construction of the largest observation wheel in the Western Hemisphere along with a new retail complex and hotel on two sites adjacent to the Richmond County Bank Ballpark in St. George. The New York Wheel will be built just to the north of the ballpark and be 625 feet tall – 84 feet higher than the Singapore Flyer, currently the tallest observation wheel in the world. The New York Wheel will be comprised of thirty-six capsules, each able to carry up to 40 passengers with a max capacity of 1,440 people per ride. The wheel is expected to welcome as many as 30,000 riders per day during peak season and an estimated 4.5 million visitors per year. BFC Partners will construct Empire Outlets, a 340,000-square-foot retail complex featuring up to 125 designer outlet stores and a 200-key, 130,000-square-foot hotel. Together the projects will generate a $680 million private investment, and create over 1,100 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs.

Project Program and Uses

The two development sites are located steps from the Staten Island Ferry in St. George, and are currently used as parking for the Richmond County Bank Ballpark and the St. George Ferry Terminal. Construction is expected to begin in summer 2014 and be completed at the end of 2016. 

At the base of the Wheel will sit an approximately 125,000-square-foot Terminal Building, which will include various commercial uses, such as retail, restaurant, a 4-d theater and exhibition space about New York City history, alternative energy and environmental sustainability. A 950-space structured parking garage will also be built on the site, featuring a green roof with open space, solar panels, planted gardens, and a playground. The Wheel’s designer and manufacturer will be Starneth, comprised of members of the team that built the London Eye.  New York Wheel LLC will invest approximately $420 million to complete the project, which will create an anticipated 350 construction jobs and 350 permanent jobs.

BFC Partners’ Empire Outlets will be an approximately 340,000 square foot retail complex, comprised of up to 125 designer outlet retailers and a variety of restaurants and cafes. Plans also include a 200-room, 130,000-square-foot hotel that will provide extraordinary views of the Manhattan skyline. BFC Partners will also build a 1,250-space structured parking garage below the retail and hotel components to accommodate commuters and tourists alike. Construction is expected to begin in early summer 2014 and be completed at the end of 2016. Designed by SHoP Architects, Empire Outlets will feature expansive open corridors to the water, contemporary materials reflective of the industrial waterfront, and a sweeping sustainable green roof visible from the harbor. Celebratory vertical circulation elements such as grand staircases, glass elevators, and streamlined escalators will guide shoppers as they move from the waterfront up to Richmond Terrace, creating a dynamic and easily navigated pedestrian experience.

Planning Goals 

The development of the two sites will complement and bolster the economic growth of St. George and of Staten Island. It will attract more of the approximately two million tourists who ride the Staten Island ferry each year, as well as increased numbers of New York City and Staten Island residents, to the underutilized waterfront.  This destination will also serve to bring people to other Staten Island attractions like Snug Harbor Cultural Center and downtown Staten Island, home of the Borough's civic center and its burgeoning cultural scene. Together the projects will generate a $680 million private investment, and provide a source of quality jobs - over 1,100 construction jobs and 1,300 permanent jobs. 

The project will connect to and complement the area’s existing waterfront amenities and other assets by striving to:  

  • Improve connections from the waterfront to the heart of the civic center area;
  • Consider the adjacent St. George Special District and its goal of establishing a pedestrian-oriented, downtown civic center;
  • Offer an improved and effective pedestrian and vehicle circulation plan, both within the Sites and at their entrances and exits; 
  • Bring people to existing waterfront amenities and provide new waterfront uses, including new and publicly accessible open space; 
  • Enrich the North Shore Esplanade, part of the long range vision for Staten Island’s North Shore waterfront; and
  • Help to provide the civic hub of the St. George area and Staten Island with an enhanced “sense of place.”

The project will strive to advance the environmental quality of the St. George waterfront and be sensitive to the natural environment by promoting the waterfront planning policies developed by the City over the past two decades. Construction plans for the Wheel and Terminal Building will strive for Platinum LEED certification, the highest rating of sustainable building. It is expected that the Wheel will be powered predominantly by clean energy.

Many past planning efforts, including the recent Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan and the North Shore 2030 report, have called for improved use of and investment in the North Shore’s waterfront. To reconnect New Yorkers and visitors to the water and reclaim New York City’s standing as a premier waterfront city, the plan will transform the City’s waterfront with new parks, new industrial activities and new housing, and it will capitalize on the City’s waterways to promote water-borne transportation, recreation, maritime activity and natural habitats. The plan has two components: a three-year action agenda comprised of 130 funded projects; and the Vision 2020: New York City Comprehensive Waterfront Plan, a framework for the City’s 520 miles of shoreline for the next decade and beyond.  It is the first citywide plan for the waterfront in nearly two decades and the first ever comprehensive plan for the waterways themselves.

The North Shore 2030 report identifies strategies that build upon the North Shore’s unique assets to help create jobs, increase waterfront access, improve mobility and strengthen neighborhoods. It was the result of a two-year effort involving City and State agencies, elected officials, local stakeholders and over two hundred residents and business owners to craft a twenty year vision for a diverse, thriving and connected waterfront community.

Moving the Project Forward

The Department of Small Business Services (DSBS), in coordination with NYCEDC, completed the environmental review of the project with the issuance of the Notice of Completion of the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project on August 29, 2013. 

Environmental Review

Environmental review documents related to the St. George Waterfront Redevelopment Project, are available for download on the Environmental Review page.

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Site Plan

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