A long-stalled $900 million plan to bring the largest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere to Staten Island is officially dead, the project’s developer said, THE NEW YORK POST reports.
“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,” said Cristyne Nicholas, spokesperson for The New York Wheel project.
Sources said the final nail in the project was Mayor Bill de Blasio’s refusal to bail it out.
Investors had asked the city to approve tax-free status for a $380 million bond sale to get the 630-foot-high attraction back on track.
“It was always a somewhat speculative idea. The Wheel was a private-sector endeavor that was supposed to pay for itself, and I think the economics were a little shaky from the beginning and they’ve proven to be shakier,” de Blasio said earlier this month on WNYC radio.
The New York Wheel has been in the works on the borough’s north shore waterfront for at least six years. Developers have already poured in $450 million.
The city-owned site where the wheel was set to rise is now home to four 100-ton pedestals.
The project was originally supposed to cost about $450 million. But after extended delays, cost overruns and lawsuits between the developer and former contractor, Mammoet-Starneth, the price zoomed to about $900 million. Read more at THE NEW YORK POST.