An early rendering of the New York Wheel

Office of Mayor Bloomberg/New York Wheel LLC

Developers Pull Plug On Giant Staten Island Ferris Wheel

October 23, 2018 - 6:16 pm

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) -- The project to put a giant Ferris wheel on Staten Island's North Shore is dead.

The developers of the so-called New York Wheel announced Tuesday that they are pulling the plug on the project.

“After years of planning, the developers of The New York Wheel announce, with great disappointment, that the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition,” Cristyne Nicholas, spokesperson for The New York Wheel, said in a statement.

The developers thought the 630-foot high "New York Wheel" would anchor a new retail and entertainment complex near the Staten Island Ferry Terminal.

"I think it was an ambitious project to begin with. These observation wheels have a history of going over cost, the two developers who are behind it, although they're really savvy in commercial real estate, this is their first attempt at this and they just ran into a lot of problems with their contractor and they're both suing each other in court right now so it's just been a big mess," Wall Street Journal reporter Peter Grant told WCBS 880 last month.

The projected cost of the wheel grew to $1 billion and that ballooning cost also led to construction delays.

"The downfall occurred last year when the contractor walked off the job in a funding dispute, from that point on it was a downward spiral," Staten Island Advance business reporter Tracey Porpora told WCBS 880.

The nail in the coffin came about a month ago when the city rejected a request for tax exempt bonds to fund the rest of the project, Porpora said.

The Ferris wheel was just one part of a the project. A parking garage and terminal building that was supposed to be used for a "pre-ride experience" have been already been completed but what happens to the rest of the property remains up in the air.

The city owns the land and will decide what to do with it.