New York 'Eye' Planned to Boost Tourism

June 27, 2012

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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.

The plan to build the world's tallest observation wheel, measuring 600 feet (183 metres) 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.

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 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 Harbour 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.