New York in talks for giant Ferris wheel project

Reuters News
Posted: Jun 26, 2012 1:58 PM

NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York City officials are in discussions with a developer to build a giant Ferris wheel, similar to the London Eye, in a deal that could be signed by the end of the summer, a person with knowledge of the talks said on Tuesday.

The plan to build the world's tallest observation wheel, measuring 600 feet at its highest point, near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal was proposed by Plaza Capital Group Management, according to a report in the Wall Street Journal.

Meir Laufer, Plaza's chief executive, did not respond to a request for comment.

The city put out a request for bids last summer for projects that would increase economic growth, including boosting tourism and creating jobs, on Staten Island.

Benjamin Branham, a spokesman for the New York's Economic Development Cooperation, said the city had received "several compelling responses" and is "in active negotiations with multiple respondents."

The Staten Island Ferry is a free water taxi that travels between the skyscrapers of lower Manhattan and the largely residential Staten Island, offering sweeping views of New York Harbor and the Statute of Liberty.

The London Eye opened in 2000 and is visited by more than 3.5 million people a year, according to the site's website. (Reporting By Edith Honan; Editing by Paul Thomasch and Vicki Allen)