S.I. Observation Wheel Project Continues to Stumble

Developers of the ambitious Wheel project in S.I. try to finalize terms with a new contractor

New York Wheel is hoping to create one of the hemisphere’s tallest observation wheels along the St. George waterfront on land owned by the city. The goal is to entice visitors to the borough’s north shore with views across the harbor and a new mall and entertainment complex next door, Crain’s NY reported.

However, a dispute with the wheel’s former contractor, Mammoet-Starneth, has ground the project to a halt and bled into a Delaware bankruptcy court. Delaware courts determined they must pay $700,000 a month to store the wheel’s parts at the Brooklyn Marine Terminal. To cover those expenses and pay creditors, the firm is seeking to auction off parts of the wheel, including four legs it values at $9 million.

In other words, the project must start all over again with a new contractor.

The Jewish Voice reported in November of 2017, that brave plans to build the world’s tallest Ferris wheel in the North Shore of Staten Island were expected to help turn the St. George Ferry Terminal into a bustling tourist destination, however the price tax for this huge development kept rising. TVJ reported that the project had run into unexpected expenditures which are common for an endeavor of its size.

Currently, around 2.5 million tourists ride the Staten Island Ferry annually. Developers project that the New York Wheel will have 4 million riders per year. Tourism experts however doubt the possibility of so many visitors, TJV reported in November.

The concerns for the future of this project continue to mount as earlier this month, the Staten Island Advance reported that New York Wheel Chief Executive Rich Marin would step down from his leadership role.

This past summer New York Wheel said it was negotiating with American Bridge Co. to take over construction, but the two sides have not inked a contract, Crain’s N.Y reported.

The city’s Economic Development Corp., which leases the land, and the developers said they are still confident the project will be a success. “The developer of the New York Wheel continues to work diligently to reach final terms with American Bridge,” attorney Anne Champion, who represents New York Wheel, said in a statement.

The 630-foot Ferris Wheel would be the largest in the world. Currently the High Roller in Vegas is the world’s largest at 550-feet. The project also includes a restaurant, shop, playground and theater, The JV reported.

Construction on the project has been shut down since July, TJV reported previously. Still, despite the delays, many hope and believe that the wheel can still resurrect Staten Island’s allure. Staten Islanders anxiously wait the next chapter in the continuing saga of the New York Wheel.

By Ira Fishman

 

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COMMENTS
  1. “Many hope and believe” that this project was a fiasco in the making and that has proven to be true. Staten Island has plenty of “allure” with trying to attract hordes of tourists, who ride the ferry for a free trip past the Statue of Liberty, to come and crowd the streets of St. George. This project should be allowed to die , peacefully and without the hype that’s accompanied every step of this quagmire. The city should give the area back to the residents and stop trying to court tourists. How long are we supposed to tolerate an unfinished construction site?

  2. Not one Staten Islander has rooted this debacle of a project. All these developers are idiots who were blinded by their own greed, and now they will pay the price.

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