If New York Wheel doesn’t restart construction in one week, the project could be done for good

Posted On Wed, September 5, 2018 By

Posted On Wed, September 5, 2018 By In Policy, Staten Island

Update 9/7/18: The de Blasio administration on Thursday said the city will not provide any funds to help finish the New York Wheel, NY1 reported. According to an official from NYCEDC, “public funds are too scarce and valuable to be leveraged for this venture.” The New York Wheel has until Sept. 11 to determine whether its project can continue.

The New York Wheel, a project plagued by years of delays and legal battles, has one week to recommence construction or work on the Staten Island job will stop. In May, developers were given 120 days, by Sept. 5, to find funding and a new contractor for the 630-foot Ferris wheel. In court papers filed Tuesday, the New York Wheel asked for a one-week extension, until Sept. 11, to find ways to restart construction, Staten Island Advance reported.

The agreement in May was made between the Wheel’s former contractor Mammoet-Starnet and the New York Wheel in Delaware Bankruptcy Court. The group asked for an extension for the deadline because an agreement is close to being reached.

“The New York Wheel is in the process of negotiating an amendment to the settlement agreement, including extending the standstill period,” the NY Wheel told the Advance in a statement. If the New York Wheel doesn’t file the motion on Friday, the standstill expires on Sept. 11.

Last June, the design team at Mammoet-Starneth, walked off the job after a “pay dispute” with the developer. The developer later filed a federal lawsuit that claimed halting work put the revitalization of Staten Island at stake.

To pay for storage, Mammoet-Starnet had attempted to auction about $68 million of the parts made for the wheel as it was costing them $700,000 per month to store them. The bankruptcy court ordered the New York Wheel to pay nearly $2 million in storage costs. Mammoet has until Nov. 27 to accept the terms of its bankruptcy agreement.

While funded by private investors, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said the city would get involved to help get the Wheel back on track. The city’s economic development corporation would oversee the project if the developer is unable to deliver.

Since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the project in 2012, the cost of the Wheel has increased from $250 million to about $600 million. Marketed as the future tallest Ferris wheel in the world when first announced, the New York Wheel was originally planned to open in October 2016.

[Via Staten Island Advance]

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