Observation decks boasting panoramic city views have been to date the way to add a “thrill-seeking” element to new developments, but here’s a new proposal that really wants visitors to throw their arms up in excitement. As the Daily News first reports, two Brooklyn developers want to turn the top of Penn Station into the world’s tallest free-fall tower ride, an idea that would be developed alongside all the renovations planned for the outdated transit hub.
“Halo,” as it would be called, is the work of AE Superlab and would rise an incredible 1,200 feet from the roof of Madison Square, or be tacked onto the back of the adjacent Farley Post Office, which is slated to be converted into a waiting hall to support expanding station. And in addition to Halo’s towering height (to put that 1,200 feet in perspective, the Empire State Building is 1,250 feet at its parapet), the ride’s 11 cars would boast adjustable speeds. Cars could be modified to move as quickly as 100 miles per hour giving it a top-to-base free fall of about six seconds.
Alexandros Washburn, former president of the Penn Station Redevelopment Corp. and current president of Brooklyn Capital Partners, the development company that dreamt up the idea alongside AE Superlab, told the News, “This is an idea that could radically change Penn Station for the better.” AE Superlab is calling it “an interactive beacon for the city.”
Washburn along with his Brooklyn Capital partner, chairman John Gerber, see the ride as a way to generate additional cash to support station repairs that would not otherwise be feasible, even if a housing component were added to the project.
According to their proposal, Halo would take about 20 months to construct and would cost about $637 million to build. A ground lease payment plan could generate up to $38 million a year for the state. The developers have already estimated that 7.8 million people would patron the ride annually, paying $35 a go. And though this price may seem lofty, it’s not totally out of line with other sky-high attractions like the observation deck at One World Trade or Staten Island’s upcoming New York Wheel, both priced at more than $30.
Rendering of Halo atop the Farley Post Office
Whether the plan will move forward is still to be seen, Brooklyn Capital is contending with Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies to upgrade the space. Recently, Vornado released images of their proposal, a glassy wave-like addition designed by Bjarke Ingels that would include retail.
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Neighborhoods : Midtown West