Ahoy, Staten Island! By now, you’ve probably heard Saturday Night Live cast members, Pete Davidson and Colin Jost, made headlines—again—by buying a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat. But, how did the boat go for sale in the first place? And what does the celebrity duo from Staten Island have planned for this iconic symbol of the borough?
Pete Davidson and Colin Jost Buy a Staten Island Ferry
First, it’s important to know how the boat went for sale in the first place. By law, the city auctions surplus goods that it no longer needs. Being that this particular ferry—named the John F. Kennedy—was decommissioned by the NYC Department of Transportation due to mechanical issues and was no longer needed, onto the auction block it went!
Bidding for the 57-year-old boat began on Jan. 12 with a starting offer of $125,000. Enter Paul Italia, a real estate broker and owner of The Stand comedy club in Manhattan. Italia, in partnership with Davidson and Jost, won the bid a week later.
So, how much did they wind up spending? According to the NYC Dept. of Citywide Administrative Services…$280,100!
Plans for the Ferry
As reported in recent news, the trio plans to turn the vessel into an entertainment venue that will include a comedy club and eatery. It may be too early to say if the boat will travel or stay put, but during SNL‘s Weekend Update segment last week, Jost said the boat will stay docked. (Of course, whether or not he was joking remains to be seen!)
According to the city, the winning bidder has 10 business days to claim the ferry. (We contacted Italia asking questions about next steps for the boat, but he didn’t respond.)
One thing is for sure: If the boat owners do, in fact, plan to go out cruising with their new purchase, they’ll need to bring it in for more than just a nautical tune up. Built in Orange, Texas, in 1965, the boat’s auction history lists its mechanical condition as “poor.” The mechanical issues are on the propulsion end, and it has numerous spare parts which are “obsolete.”
The hull of the boat is in good condition, according to the auction history. That’s definitely some good news for the double-ended ferry, which has a gross tonnage of 2,109.
According to The Real Deal, there was another attempt in history to transform a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry. The Mary Murray stayed in the Raritan River from 1976 while its owner hoped to turn it into a restaurant until it was ultimately dismantled for scrap in 2008. Named after American Revolutionary War figure, Mary Lindley Murray, the 277-foot-long vessel was built in 1937 and was part of the Miss New York ferry boat class.
Now that Pete Davidson and Colin Jost bought the decommissioned ferry, Staten Island will have to see what the future holds for the boat.