NEW YORK -- The Big Apple is getting another "biggest": The world's biggest Ferris wheel is to be built on Staten Island, in an ambitious attempt to draw tourists to what's sometimes known as the city's "forgotten borough."
Photos: NY to build world's biggest Ferris wheel
The $230 million attraction, to be called the New York Wheel, is to grace a spot overlooking the Statue of Liberty, New York Harbor and the downtown Manhattan skyline. Officials hope the views will add to the appeal of what they say would be the world's tallest Ferris wheel. The 625-foot-tall structure would swing higher than the Singapore Flyer, the London Eye, and a "High Roller" wheel planned in Las Vegas.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg said in a release Thursday that "The New York Wheel will be an attraction unlike any other in New York City -- even unlike any other on the planet."
At its tip, the attraction will stand 84 feet taller than the Singapore Flyer, which is currently the tallest in the world.
It will be comprised of 36 capsules, each able to carry up to 40 passengers with a max capacity of 1,440 people per ride.
Officials anticipate it will welcome 30,000 riders per day during peak season and 4.5 million per year.
Each ride will last approximately 38 minutes.
Construction begins in early 2014 with the wheel expected to open by the end of 2015.
The New York Wheel is expected to be open every day of the year (except during severe weather and required maintenance) from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m.
At its base will be a 100,000-square-foot terminal building, which will include various commercial uses, such as retail, restaurant, and theater space, as well as exhibitions about New York City history, alternative energy and environmental sustainability.
A 950-space structured parking garage will also be built on the site, featuring a green roof with open space, solar panels and planted gardens.
Will you ride or just watch from the ground?
JENNIFER PELTZ, Associated Press