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.
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 630 feet tall – 89 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 100 designer outlet stores and a 190-room hotel. Together the projects will generate over $750 million in 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 spring 2015 and be completed at the end of 2016 for Empire Outlets and in 2017 for the New York Wheel.
At the base of the Wheel will sit an approximately 100,000-square-foot Terminal Building, which will include various commercial uses, such as retail, restaurants, 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 6-acre green roof with a new children’s playground, great lawn, and pedestrian walkways all providing sweeping views of the waterfront. 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 $500 million to complete the project, which will create an anticipated over 400 construction jobs and 400 permanent jobs.
BFC Partners’ Empire Outlets will be an approximately 340,000 square foot retail complex, comprised of 100 designer outlet retailers and a variety of restaurants and cafes. Plans also include a 190-room 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 spring 2015 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 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.
The development of the two sites will complement and bolster the economic growth of St. George and Staten Island. It will attract more of the approximately two million tourists who already ride the Staten Island Ferry each year, as well as bring Staten Island residents and more visitors from the New York City and New Jersey to the underutilized waterfront. This destination will also serve to bring people to other Staten Island attractions like the Snug Harbor Cultural Center, the St. George Theater, and downtown Staten Island, home of the Borough's civic center and its burgeoning cultural scene. Together the projects will generate over $750 million in 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 achieving the following goals:
- 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 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. All documents related to the project's environmental review are available for download on the Environmental Review page.