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Touring the Staten Island site where NYC's new observation wheel will rise

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The first pieces of the 630-feet wheel are now nearing completion

new york wheel OHNY Perkins Eastman, S9 Architecture

In just two years from now, Staten Island’s north shore will be home to a 630-foot observation wheel, one of the tallest in the world, and this past week marked a significant milestone in the construction process of this $590 million behemoth.

On Tuesday last week, the developers celebrated the progress on four, 100-ton pedestals that will hold the massive legs of the New York Wheel. While Curbed visited the site, all four pedestals were in different stages of construction. Built in Montreal, the pedestals made their way through the Erie Canal and onwards on the Hudson River along a 315-mile route to their destination on Staten Island.

“The arrival of the Wheel’s pedestals is important for several reasons,” New York Wheel CEO Rich Marin said in a statement. “These are the first major parts of the Wheel to arrive at our site and soon, we will begin to see the rise of the Wheel along New York Harbor.”

The Wheel’s 275-foot legs will start making their way to the site next month once the construction work on the pedestal wraps up. In terms of the overall development, it’s been a bit of a mixed bag for the developers. Last week, the development team settled a lawsuit with a couple of minority shareholders on the project, who had been warring with the development team about the vision of the project and the ballooning costs.

And those costs sure have gone up. The New York Post reports that its almost $600 million price tag is now $300 million over its original budget. The developers don’t seem to be complaining however as they stressed the fact last Tuesday that the project had already generated $26 million for Staten Island’s economy.

Set to open in 2018, the Wheel will feature 36 capsules, and each ride will take approximately 38 minutes. The Wheel will be able to accommodate 1,440 people at a time. In addition, the overall Wheel complex will also come with a 10,000-square-foot playground and outdoor beer garden. There will also be a five-acre green roof that will host concerts and events when the space opens.

“The delivery of the New York Wheel’s pedestals to St. George marks a major milestone in this transformative project, which is bringing millions in private investment to our shores,” the local City Council member, said in a statement. “After months of foundation work, the New York Wheel will finally begin to take shape, signaling not only economic development but new opportunities to access our scenic waterfront.”

The beer garden and playground building—most of the outer structure is complete.