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Pete Davidson and Colin Jost’s Staten Island Ferry Will Become $34M Traveling Hotel, Restaurant and Bar

Pete Davidson and Colin Jost’s decommissioned ferry boat may be docked silently in Staten Island right now, but the vessel is headed for a $34 million renovation that features multiple bars, restaurants and a hotel.

Ron Castellano, an architect and lesser known partner on Davidson and Jost’s ferry project, told Curbed this week that he’s still finalizing plans to remodel the inside of the group’s 1965 boat.

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“I think right now, we have six bars and two venues operated separately or combined,” he said. “We have outdoor event space, we have restaurants — two restaurants. It’s a big boat, almost 300 feet long, 65,000 square feet.”

Castellano’s firm, Studio Castellano, lists the “JFK Ferry” as a project with a budget of $34 million. To Curbed, Castellano detailed plans for a furnished patio top deck, 24 hotel rooms with sundecks and two clubs spaced across the lower levels. He said the team is still undecided on a pool: “We’re going back and forth. There’s little Jacuzzi kind of thing, but not a full-on pool.”

Once it’s done (which will take some time — construction has yet to begin), Castellano also elaborated on the group’s plan for the floating hospitality-entertainment space to travel between multiple locations, including New York City and Miami. “We aren’t fixing up the engine,” he said, so “we plan to tow it between locations.”

The result will mean a floating barge that is subject to building codes wherever they take it. “We’re going to different areas where we could dock it to see what the regulations there are,” Castellano said.

News of Jost and Davidson’s boat project first surfaced two years ago in 2022, when they teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia to purchase the decommissioned ferry for $280,100. At the time, the group said their plan was to convert the vessel into “New York’s hottest club.”

The ferry, named the John F. Kennedy, shuttled commuters between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island from 1965 until August 2021. At the time of its retirement, it was the oldest boat in its fleet.

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