A rendering of a proposed 625-foot Ferris wheel.S9 Architecture / Perkins Eastman
By Rich Calder
July 13, 2017 | 4:37pm | Updated
A nearly $600 million plan to bring the largest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere to the shores of Staten Island has been thrown for a loop since the builder was fired.
New York Wheel, the developer, canned Mammoet-Starneth earlier this week over its “inability . . . to meet multiple design and construction deadlines,” said company spokeswoman Cristyne Nicholas on Thursday.
Although the project’s opening is now on hold indefinitely, Nicholas said the company remains “committed to completing” a project first proposed in 2012 and “recognizes its enormous importance to the revitalization” of Staten Island’s North Shore.
Work will continue on the construction site near the St. George ferry terminal, but the firing will delay fabrication work being done off-site, the spokeswoman said.
Mammoet, a European company whose staffers worked on the London Eye wheel, got into a bitter pay dispute with NY Wheel and walked off the job in late May.
Both sides took their battle to court and NY Wheel terminated its contract with Mammoet after a 30-day mediation period.
The firing was first reported by the Staten Island Advance.
The project was originally expected to open in 2016 but has been marred by numerous legal disputes.
Until recently, it was projected to open next spring.
If ever completed, the 630-foot-high wheel is expected to attract 3.5 million visitors a year, to its 38-minute ride in one of 36 pods that offer vistas of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline.
NY Wheel is being built on land leased by the city for $1 million a year and is part of a massive waterfront redevelopment project that includes a factory-outlet shopping center and hotel.
Reps for Mammoet did not return messages late Thursday.
“We know the developers and investors behind the Wheel, and we have full confidence in their ability to make that vision a reality and overcome any setbacks in the process,” said Sam Spokony, a spokesman for Empire Outlets, whose nearby project is supposed to include about 100 retail outlet.
That related project was slapped with a stop-work order by the city’s Buildings Department last week site over faulty fencing, water puddles and other issues.
However, Spokony said the company expects the order to be lifted in the “coming days” and Empire Outlets to open as expected in March 2018. SOURCE: NYPost