The beleaguered North Shore development that would have brought a 630-foot observation wheel—the world’s largest, its builders said to great fanfare six years ago —has come to an end, its developers said
On Tuesday, a spokesperson for The New York Wheel said in a statement that “the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition.” The Wheel’s death was first reported by the Staten Island Advance; $450 million has already been invested in the project, which had an estimated price tag of $1 billion.
The tourist attraction had been on the ropes for some time, plagued by escalating costs and a lawsuit with a former contractor. The final nail in the coffin came when Mayor Bill de Blasio said last month the city would not help financially shore up the project.
Hear Rachel Holliday Smith discuss the Wheel’s misfortune on WNYC
New York City Economic Development Corporation spokesperson Stephanie Baez said in a statement that the Wheel was “an ambitious venture” and that the city is “committed to working with the community and local stakeholders to determine potential uses for the Wheel site.”
The Wheel’s ground pedestals are all that were built of the attraction on the North Shore development site, and large parts of the wheel are in storage in Brooklyn, according to a report by NY1; they will be auctioned off at the end of the month.
The Wheel’s developer has also built a commuter parking garage on the site. In a statement, Staten Island Borough President James Oddo said he is working to ensure no commuters will be affected and “working with the city to resolve expeditiously all of the ‘what now?’ questions.”
“This is disappointing news because I believed the Wheel would be a net plus for our borough. There are plenty of recriminations that will fester,” he said.
So much for that. pic.twitter.com/sYi1AATQh2
— SIAdvance (@siadvance) October 23, 2018