When developers at Brooklyn Capital Partners and designers at AE Superlab revealed their proposal to erect the world’s tallest free-fall ride atop Penn Station, it seemed like perhaps a commentary on Governor Cuomo’s big-ticket overhaul of the station. But in fact, the team hoped their 1,200-foot Halo, as it’s being called, would rise along with the renovations, serving as “an interactive beacon for the city.” As 6sqft reported, “the ride’s 11 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.” A freshly uncovered video shows this in action, and a new project website provides more details on the logistical components, 20-month construction time period, and $130 million in annual projected revenue.
At just 50 feet shy the Empire State Building, the developers consider Halo “New York’s high-tech version of the Eiffel Tower.” They plan to partner with S&S Worldwide, who are known for their pneumatically powered amusement rides and roller coasters and have designed over 170 similar structures worldwide.
The reason for the quick construction window is that they’re building no new foundations, but rather using the existing foundations of the old Penn Station’s former granite columns, which are positioned around the building’s perimeter. They note that the Farley Post Office has a similar structural component, so the ride could alternately rise above this site.
The 11 gondolas would be positioned around the tower’s steel lattice circumference and would move at various speeds. According to Quin Checketts, S&S ride engineer, “Anyone can come and experience New York City like never before. If you want to leisurely rise high above The Big Apple to get the best cityscape view you’ve ever had, there are gondolas designed just for you. If you are feeling like you could use a little natural stimulation and want to feel a little speed and g-force, we’ve got that as well. If, however, you are a complete adrenaline junky and want to experience the most thrilling sensation of your life – complete weightlessness for several seconds, it is all here at the HALO!”
As 6sqft previously reported, Halo “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.” However, the new site claims the ride would produce a gross revenue of $130 million a year that would quickly generate $1 billion to be used towards the Penn Station renovations “without raising taxes or waiting for a government subsidy.”
In September, Governor Cuomo unveiled plans for a new Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex, along with the announcement of a developer-builder team including the Related Companies, Vornado, and Skanska AB, to redevelop the Farley Building. The team selection makes Halo much less plausible, though the developers still seem interested in working with the various agencies and entities involved in the overall plan.
- Developer Wants to Erect the World’s Tallest Free-Fall Ride Atop Penn Station
- REVEALED: Governor Cuomo unveils plans for new Penn Station-Moynihan Train Hall complex
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