Pete Davidson and Colin Jost buy Staten Island ferry boat
NEW YORK - "Saturday Night Live" comics Pete Davidson and Colin Jost have purchased a decommissioned Staten Island Ferry boat for $280,100 with plans to turn it into New York's hottest club.
Jost and Davidson teamed up with comedy club owner Paul Italia on Wednesday's winning bid for the John F. Kennedy, a 277-foot (84-meter) vessel that shuttled commuters between the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Staten Island from 1965 until it was taken out of service last August.
"The Staten Island Ferry is definitely something iconic," Italia, a real estate investor and co-owner of the restaurant and comedy club The Stand, said Friday. "We wanted to figure out a way to save it and to do something special with it."
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Italia said transforming the 2,109-ton ferry into an entertainment venue will cost millions of dollars and won't happen anytime soon.
"The idea is to turn the space into a live entertainment event space, with comedy, music, art, et cetera," Italia told the NY Post. "We’re in the early stages, but everybody involved had the same ambition — not to see this thing go to the scrapyard."
The Associated Press sent messages seeking comment to representatives of Jost and Davidson, who both grew up on Staten Island and often joke about their home borough and its best-known mode of transport.
Named after the 35th U.S. president, the John F. Kennedy was built in 1965 and was the oldest ferry in the fleet when it was decommissioned last summer.
The new owners have 10 business days to secure a place to dock the vessel and tow it there. "We're working on that," Italia said.
The Staten Island Ferry «John F. Kennedy» comes into the landing pier in New York, NY, USA, 15 September 2014. Photo: Soeren Stache (Photo by Soeren Stache/picture alliance via Getty Images)
The boat was auctioned by New York City's Department of Citywide Administrative Services, and other city departments will have to sign off on operating it as a floating nightspot.
It could help that the city's new mayor is on board. "I love this idea. What a great way to give an NYC icon a second life," Mayor Eric Adams tweeted Friday.
Adams, who took office on Jan. 1 and was portrayed by Chris Redd on "Saturday Night Live" on Jan. 15, added, "Let us know how we can help and we’ll be there for the maiden voyage."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.