The Real Deal New York

City won’t use public funds to save the wounded New York Wheel

Developers had been seeking $140M in help from the city
September 07, 2018 10:30AM

A rendering of the New York Wheel overlayed with a rolling eyes emoji (Credit: Cosentini Associates and iStock)

Another day, another setback for the beleaguered New York Wheel.

The developers of the proposed observation wheel on Staten Island were seeking $140 million in assistance from the city to help get the project on track, but Mayor Bill de Blasio’s administration and the New York City Economic Development Corporation have decided not to use public money for it, according to the outlet New York 1.

“Despite many recent conversations with the Wheel developer, we remain convinced that public funds are too scarce and valuable to be leveraged for this venture,” an official with the NYCEDC told NY1.

The EDC was working with the developer over the summer to try steering the project in the right direction, but the agency soured on the project based on the developers’ inability to find traditional financing and several examples of similar proposals that failed worldwide.

The New York Wheel has been troubled for years, and issues came to a head in May 2017, when contractor Mammoet-Starneth walked off the job site and was subsequently fired.

This May, the developers and Mammoet-Starneth came to an agreement that would give them 120 days to come up with a way to move forward with the project or permanently end it. The deadline had been set for Sept. 5 but has been pushed back to at least Sept. 11. [NY1] – Eddie Small