The Real Deal New York

New York Wheel project might not be dead after all

We'll know in 120 days if the project is back on
May 10, 2018 05:20PM

A rendering of the New York Wheel

Fortuna’s wheel has spun upwards in Staten Island.

The developers of the NY Wheel in St. George, who are currently mired in bankruptcy proceedings, may yet have a chance to make the 630-foot tall “observation wheel” a reality, the Staten Island Advance reported.

NY Wheel and contractor Mammoet-Starneth have reached a deal that they will find a way forward to build the project or end it permanently within 120 days. A judge still needs to approve the agreement.

“New York Wheel is committed to the completion of the project, which is the centerpiece of a Staten Island redevelopment project,” a spokesperson told the Advance in a statement. “This settlement will allow New York Wheel the opportunity to finalize its financing arrangements and re-commence the construction and completion of the Wheel.”

Locking down financing, however could prove difficult within the proposed time frame. It’s not clear how much more money NY Wheel needs to keep the project alive, but project officials told the Advance last year that it had already spent $400 million of a projected $580 million allotment.

Contractor Mammoet-Starneth filed for bankruptcy in December, after having previously walked off the job and then gotten fired by NY Wheel. In February, Rich Marin stepped down as CEO of NY Wheel. Its new management structure was not immediately clear.

An analysis by Crain’s last year found that the Wheel would need to attract 3 million visitors a year just to break even. [SI Advance]Will Parker