A tug of war has erupted between Long Island and Staten Island over who will land the decommissioned ferry purchased in January by Saturday Night Live stars Pete Davidson and Colin Jost.
The pair of funnymen are hoping to turn the hulking, 57-year-old former Staten Island Ferry into a floating entertainment space complete with a bar and restaurant — but it’s final location has not yet been settled.
Brookhaven Town Supervisor Ed Romaine made his pitch last week to Davidson, urging him to consider his humble patch of central Long Island.
“While we are well aware of your affinity for your native Staten Island, we welcome you to consider bringing this iconic vessel to a Long Island venue such as Port Jefferson, Patchogue or even Fire Island,” Romaine said in the April 4 missive. “We are confident that Long Islanders seeking entertainment will help keep this new venture ‘afloat.’”
Staten Island Borough President Vito Fossella didn’t take kindly to Long Island’s shot across the bow.
“Staten Island is the right island. Long Island is the wrong island,” Fossella trolled. “With all due respect, Peter made a movie called the King of Staten Island — not the King of Brookhaven.”
Fossella, who said he had been in talks with the ferry investors, promised he would personally sing karaoke aboard the ship for a whole year if the boat ended up in his borough.
“He might drive business away,” Romaine scoffed.
Romaine told The Post he got the idea from his friend Kevin Law, the incoming director of the state Urban Development Corp.
“He said Ed, they are looking for a home,” Romaine recalled. “He texted me and I said yeah. When you’re in local government you are always looking for things to advance your locality.”
In his letter, Romaine invited Davidson, Jost and the project’s other investors to take a tour of the neighborhood complete with “an escort [of] local tourism and elected officials.”
The Davidson-Jost team purchased the 277-foot-long, 2,100-ton vessel, augustly named the John F. Kennedy, on Jan. 19 for $280,100. Since then it has spent months moored at Staten Island’s St. George ferry terminal on city property — which officials have blessed as they try to find a dock where it can be refurbished.
“Nobody bestowed an extension. We are just working with the city. All they want to know is that it’s happening and we’re not just gonna squat there forever,” said comedy club owner Paul Italia, who is working with the stars and acting as point man for logistics. “We’re going to move the boat next week.”
As for its final location, Italia said the jury was still out to sea.
“I think anybody is in the running at this point,” he said. “We have been approached with countless potential opportunities and we are just going to have to go through them all.”