Wheel of misfortune: New York Wheel project now “indefinitely delayed”
Developer said the contractor failed to meet design and construction deadlines
The Ferris wheel in Staten Island no longer goes round and round. The New York Wheel developer fired the project’s design and build team Mammoet-Starneth, in a move that puts construction of the project on hold indefinitely.
The developer claimed in court filings that Mammoet, the Netherlands-based company whose team helped build the London Eye, failed “to meet multiple design and construction deadlines,” the Staten Island Advance reported. New York Wheel says Mammoet’s delays has caused them $16 million in damages and $20 million in lost profits because of the delays. It has withdrawn its request for injunctive relief from the court and a demand that Mammoet be required to keep working on the project. New York Wheel is now looking for other contractors to complete the project.
Work on the Ferris wheel ground to a halt in May after Mammoet walked off the St. George job site, stating that the soil could not support the project’s giant legs.
The firing is yet another major blow to the $600 million project, whose investors include CEO and former Bear Stearns executive Rich Marin, Eric Kaufman, Meir Laufer, Jay Anderson, Lloyd Goldman and Joseph Nakash. They settled a legal dispute over their equity stakes in December.
A spokesperson for New York Wheel said that terminating the agreement with Mammoet means high costs and “court assistance” will be needed for the project’s completion.
An analysis by The Real Deal last year found the financial projections for the Wheel in its first year of operations to be wildly higher — $127 million in revenue — than was first suggested in 2011, at $21 million. [Staten Island Advance] — Miriam Hall