The orange ferry, which since 1965 has provided the connection between Manhattan and Staten Island, a New York institution, was bought on Wednesday by several American personalities in order to be transformed into a cultural place.
Withdrawn from the fleet in August, the ship will give itself a new lease of life.
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John F. Kennedy,
the 57-year-old ferry offered an exceptional view of the Statue of Liberty during the crossing of the Hudson River.
Disarmed, it was bought on Wednesday by real estate agent Paul Italia, owner of the comedy club The Stand, located on Union Square in Manhattan, near Broadway.
Two other investors, known to the general public for their participation in the program Saturday Night Live broadcast on NBC, are also part of the project: comedian Pete Davidson and actor Colin Jost, husband of Scarlett Johansson.
The investors are defending a heritage preservation project that will give new life to the ship by transforming it into a "
living performance space with stand-up, music, art and the possibility of dining
", according to Paul Italia at the
New York Times
All those who have come together on this subject have a sincere reason
", assures the real estate agent, specifying that the orange ship "
holds a special place in the hearts
" of his two partners.
As proof, Colin Jost recounts in his memoir
A Very Punchable Face
, that he took the ferry to high school in Manhattan.
Pete Davidson, the current companion of reality TV star Kim Kardashian, is a native of the neighborhood and still lives there.
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“We are going to need considerable support to achieve this”
Paul Italia, main investor of the ferry
The city's Department of Transportation spokesman, Vincent Barone, explained that this ferry is the oldest in New York's fleet and has remained popular with its users since its inception since, with its wide decks, it carried approximately 3500 people and to walk on board explains the
New York Times
. The city's administrative services department put the ferry up for auction this month with a bid of $125,000. It was acquired by investors for more than double: 280,100 dollars. According to the auction site, the boat is sold "
" and "
where it is ".
or anchored at the St George terminal along the north shore of Staten Island.
Investors now have two weeks to move the ferry, which is still 85 meters long and 20 wide, for 2100 tons.
Faced with the magnitude of the costs, from towing to restoration work, Paul Italia asked for help from the city and state of New York.
We're going to need tremendous support to get this done.
It is a heavyweight
, ”assures the investor.