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Staten Island Ferris wheel moves ahead

NEW YORK — As the city grapples with rebuilding after Hurricane Sandy, developers are pressing ahead with plans for an ambitious addition to the shoreline of storm-torn Staten Island: the world’s largest Ferris wheel.

Sandy’s flooding spurred some changes to the nearly $500 million project, which includes an outlet mall and hotel. But developers have not slowed it or scaled it back. Supporters say Staten Island needs the boost now more than ever.

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Yet some residents, a city watchdog, and a planning group have asked whether it makes sense to push ahead with a 625-foot-tall tourist attraction, set partly in a flood zone, before officials take a comprehensive look at how to build smarter after Sandy.

The storm gave wheel developer Richard Marin ‘‘momentary pause,’’ he said. But he decided to keep going on a project he considers a one-of-a-kind boon for the city’s oft-dubbed ‘‘forgotten borough.’’

‘‘We’re providing some things for the city and for the local community that they would have no other way of getting right now,’’ said Marin, the chief executive of New York Wheel LLC. ‘‘Quite frankly, this borough is extremely lucky that this kind of project is underway.’’

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