Honey, I shrunk the Wheel: Smaller ride planned for Staten Island

EB-5 regional center could get project rolling by 2025

New York /
Feb.February 22, 2021 03:45 PM
The newest plan for the New York Wheel is 210 feet shorter than the 2018 plans. (Cosentini Associates, Getty)

The newest plan for the New York Wheel is 210 feet shorter than the 2018 plans. (Cosentini Associates, Getty)

 

The fundraiser behind one of Staten Island’s most ambitious developments is attempting to reinvent the Wheel.

CanAm Enterprises, an EB-5 regional center that worked to secure investors for the ill-fated New York Wheel, says a smaller version of the attraction could be up and running on the Island’s North Shore by 2025, according to the Staten Island Advance.

The version that CanAm envisions would be 420 feet tall, rather than the originally planned 630 feet. The price per ride would also be cheaper — $28, not $35 — and draw closer to 2 million annual visitors, down from more than 3 million projected for the former project.

Around $200 million was spent building the infrastructure to support the Wheel before the endeavor was scrapped in 2018. Since the development failed, CanAm has been paying to maintain the St. George site where it would rise. The firm has been quietly working with the New York City Economic Development Corporation, the landlord of the site, to bring the smaller attraction to life.

EDC has reportedly “conceptually approved” a fun-sized version of the wheel, according to the Advance, and officials within the agency say it’s “more feasible” than the original version.

Originally pitched as the largest observation wheel in the world, the New York Wheel came to a halt in 2018 after years of construction delays and cost overruns. In recent months, the developer behind the project, its contractor and CanAm have traded lawsuits over who’s to blame for the failure.

[Advance] — Amy Plitt


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