$10 million for a project that includes a Ferris wheel along the North Shore


A Ferris wheel, a water park, a marina, an ice rink and accommodations – it might seem like the formula for an Atlantic coast vacation, but anything could happen on the North Shore.

The $600 million project, called Esplanade, has been in the works for several years with no real timetable for completion. But in December, Washington-based developer Millcraft Investments purchased a 5.5-acre property along the Ohio River from the city’s Urban Redevelopment Authority, and this week alone the state allocated 10 million dollars of public funding for the implementation of the project. Now the developers say the project is expected to kick off in 2024, with the first phase being completed in 2026.

This phase will include “destination-based attractions, experiential retail and dining, rental and for-sale housing, extensive public open space, a marina and public pier, all surrounding the central Esplanade pavilion. “, according to a breakdown of the allocated funds. Governor Tom Wolf’s website on April 22. The pavilion would be approximately 45,000 square feet in size and provide year-round entertaining space.

The esplanade – a word that usually refers to a long, flat, open area, usually by the sea, along which people can stroll for pleasure – will also include a welcoming courtyard/open space, a restaurant and a fresh produce store. The exterior will offer seating and gathering spaces, an outdoor entertainment amphitheater, water park, skating rink and other amenities.

The state’s $10 million came from the Redevelopment Assistance Capital Program, a Commonwealth grant program administered by the Office of the Budget for the acquisition and construction of regional economic, cultural, civic, recreational and historic improvement projects. .

The project is expected to create 7,100 construction jobs during the construction process and over 4,500 permanent positions upon completion.