Rendering of original sea wall plan via Governor Cuomo’s office
Mayor Bill de Blasio, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, United States Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, and United States Congressman Max Rose announced today that funding has been secured for the Staten Island Levee project. The news gives the green light for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) to build a long-awaited 5.3 mile sea wall that would protect waterfront communities in Staten Island from future storms.
Good news for Staten Island
Via NYC Ferry
The city will launch two new ferry routes by 2021, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Thursday during his State of the City address. Staten Island and Coney Island will be added to the NYC Ferry system, providing a much faster commute to Manhattan for outer-borough New Yorkers. “It shouldn’t be this hard to get around in the greatest city in the world,” de Blasio said. “And so we’re giving people more and better options.” With the addition of the Staten Island route, all five boroughs will be a part of the NYC Ferry system by next year.
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The project to build the would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel in Staten Island was called off in October, after nearly a decade of delays and $450 million in investment. While the proposed 630-foot New York Wheel is officially dead, parts of the ill-fated attraction will go up for auction next month, the New York Post reported. Items up for sale include the wheel’s legs, valued at $9.2 million, and drive towers, for $3.3 million.
Get your hands on the wheel
Staten Island’s New York Wheel project, SIAdvance reports, is dead. Cristyne Nicholas, a spokesperson for the project, has announced that the would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel, dreamed up to anchor the redevelopment of the borough’s North Shore, will never be a reality. “After years of planning, the developers of The New York Wheel announce, with great disappointment, that the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition,” Nicholas said. Construction on the privately-funded project that has been in the works for over half a decade was halted in May of 2017. $450 million had already been invested in the 630-foot Ferris wheel, which was originally scheduled to open in October of 2016. The total cost of the project was estimated at nearly $1 billion.
So what happened?
Update 9/7/18: The de Blasio administration on Thursday said the city will not provide any funds to help finish the New York Wheel, NY1 reported. According to an official from NYCEDC, “public funds are too scarce and valuable to be leveraged for this venture.” The New York Wheel has until Sept. 11 to determine whether its project can continue.
The New York Wheel, a project plagued by years of delays and legal battles, has one week to recommence construction or work on the Staten Island job will stop. In May, developers were given 120 days, by Sept. 5, to find funding and a new contractor for the 630-foot Ferris wheel. In court papers filed Tuesday, the New York Wheel asked for a one-week extension, until Sept. 11, to find ways to restart construction, Staten Island Advance reported.
With major developments underway, Staten Island is slowly losing its nickname as the “forgotten borough.” While projects like the New York Wheel, Empire Outlets and the expansion of the former Stapleton homeport hope to revitalize the water-front borough with new residential and commercial space, Staten Island already offers visitors a ton of unique attractions to explore. Just take the free Staten Island Ferry to discover the miles of coastline and 12,300-acres of parkland in the city’s greenest and least populated borough. For the best spots in the borough, follow 6sqft’s list ahead of the 15 most unforgettable attractions on Staten Island.
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In May, 6sqft reported that outer-borough neighborhoods underserved by Citi Bike would get dockless bike-share programs this summer. On Tuesday, the city’s pilot officially kicked off in the Rockaways, the area around Fordham University in the Bronx, and the North Shore of Staten Island, and to make things more exciting, the city is also offering electric bikes (h/t NY Times). The Uber-owned Jump Bikes is providing dockless electric bikes that can reach speeds of up to 20 miles per hour with little user effort. The bikes will cost only a dollar or two and can be reserved and paid for in the Uber app.
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“[We are] committed to the completion of the project, which is the centerpiece of a Staten Island redevelopment project. This settlement will allow New York Wheel the opportunity to finalize its financing arrangements and re-commence the construction and completion of the Wheel,” the New York Wheel said in a statement responding to a bankruptcy court stipulation that gives the project 120 days to find the required funds and hire a new contractor (h/t SI Advance). This comes after the project’s design team walked off the job last June amidst a “bitter pay dispute” with the developer. The 630-foot Ferris wheel has been plagued by cost overruns and delays from the beginning, so if they’re not able to get things back on track by September 5th, it could mean the end of what was planned to be a major revenue generator and attraction for Staten Island.
The whole saga
Rendering via Target
Retail giant Target announced on Tuesday that it will bring three new Target stores to New York City, further expanding its footprint in the Big Apple. The new stores, planned for the Upper East Side, Astoria and Staten Island, will be “small format,” tailored to the needs of shoppers in urban areas (h/t NBC). In a statement, Mark Schindele, a senior vice president of Target’s properties, said: “All three of these new stores will offer the best of Target in that borough, yet curate the assortment to meet the needs and preferences of the nearby community.”
More details here
Via Douglaston Development
New York City Seniors now have more options in the five boroughs as the lottery launches today for Staten Island’s Seaview Site C, comprised of 160 newly-constructed units at 155-175 Friendship Lane in the Todt Hill neighborhood. The Douglaston Development project is exclusively for low-income senior citizens and consists of 82 studios, 78 one-bedroom apartments, and a resident manager’s unit. Amenities include an indoor common area, outdoor patio, laundry room, and on-site parking.
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