Staten Island’s New York Wheel project, SIAdvance reports, is dead. Cristyne Nicholas, a spokesperson for the project, has announced that the would-be world’s tallest Ferris wheel, dreamed up to anchor the redevelopment of the borough’s North Shore, will never be a reality. “After years of planning, the developers of The New York Wheel announce, with great disappointment, that the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition,” Nicholas said. Construction on the privately-funded project that has been in the works for over half a decade was halted in May of 2017. $450 million had already been invested in the 630-foot Ferris wheel, which was originally scheduled to open in October of 2016. The total cost of the project was estimated at nearly $1 billion.
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.
“[We are] committed to the completion of the project, which is the centerpiece of a Staten Island redevelopment project. This settlement will allow New York Wheel the opportunity to finalize its financing arrangements and re-commence the construction and completion of the Wheel,” the New York Wheel said in a statement responding to a bankruptcy court stipulation that gives the project 120 days to find the required funds and hire a new contractor (h/t SI Advance). This comes after the project’s design team walked off the job last June amidst a “bitter pay dispute” with the developer. The 630-foot Ferris wheel has been plagued by cost overruns and delays from the beginning, so if they’re not able to get things back on track by September 5th, it could mean the end of what was planned to be a major revenue generator and attraction for Staten Island.
The New York Wheel, Staten Island’s under-construction 630-foot Ferris wheel, has been plagued with cost overruns (it’s gone from a $230 to $590 million project), delays, and skepticism from the beginning, and it appears that these missteps have finally come to a head. The Post reports that the project’s design team, European company Mammoet-Starneth who was also responsible for the London Eye, walked off the job in late May and threatened to terminate their contract after they “got into a bitter pay dispute with the developer.” The New York Wheel LLC then filed a federal suit claiming that halting work was putting the borough’s waterfront revitalization at stake and that Mammoet is responsible for “extortionate” billing, “defective” equipment, and shoddy, dangerous construction.