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Old Posted Oct 24, 2018, 5:05 AM
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Originally Posted by RobEss View Post
I don't think it's a stretch to declare this project more or less dead, even if the parts have been fabricated. The feasible draw from this was always going to be negligible, and the scheme was premised on the idea that Staten Island would magically develop a tourism industry. Since the adjoining outlet mall has already been completed I have to imagine the wheel will be abandoned forthwith.
No one said it was a stretch to consider it "dead". The developers had said as much. What was ridiculous was to suggests that this project never had a chance to be built, considering it was already under construction and the parts manufactured. Not to mention that these things have gone up all around the world and the country.

But that's all besides the point. The developers have failed to get their financing, and the deBlasio administration perceived this as a development from a prior administration, not something the city needed to get on track. Now he'll get to leave his imprint on whatever gets developed at this site. Probably something with affordable housing.

Whatever the case, we could be looking at years before something is built on this site. First you have to find a proposal, and then likely put it through the lengthy approvals process. A shame really what happened here.

The Wheel flopped. Mr. Mayor: The ball's in your court. (commentary)

Well, it's over. The Wheel is dead.

Naysayers will have a field day. I can hear the "I told you so's" already. But let's be honest. Staten Island just cannot get it done.

Before we go on, let us not forget that there is still major development under way on the North Shore with a major outlet mall, fancy residential/retail and a swanky hotel.

But the billion-dollar question -- yep, that was the current estimate on what the Wheel would ultimately cost -- is, what effect will no Wheel have on those developments.
Staten Island just can't get it done.

But a money guy named Rich Marin heard of a big idea -- the biggest Ferris wheel in the world -- and thought Staten Island was the spot. The view of Manhattan's stunning skyline and built-in boatloads of tourists made it an no-brainer.

He screamed about millions of riders annually. And he convinced some very deep Manhattan pockets to buy in.

Former Mayor Mike Bloomberg believed. So did outlet developers on one side of the ferry terminal and Lighthouse Point developers on the other.

Current Mayor Bill de Blasio didn't.

Everything went wrong. The construction company that Wheel management hired couldn't handle the job for the price quoted. The cost escalated until it sky rocketed.

The city was never on board from Day One of the de Blasio administration. We heard the NASCAR chant: "Traffic, traffic, traffic."

What did de Blasio's Department of Transportation do to address that? Absolutely nothing.

"We'll let it open and then see what happens," was the plan.
"We'll let it open and then see what happens," was the plan.

Finally, the developers with the very deep pockets said, "Enough." Marin was sent on his way and the developers took over, eventually turning to the city to issue bonds to get the Wheel moving again.

Bill de Blasio wouldn't budge. He didn't believe the ridership projections and he thought the price tag at a billion bucks was absurd. He also said the developers went all over New York, from banks to hedge funds, and no one would buy in.

Why should the city, this mayor wanted to know. That was the death blow.

So here was sit: About $400 million in the ground and a pretty nice garage. Too far from the ferry, but more St. George parking nonetheless.

The property is still owned by the city. The mayor promised the city would seek a unique and exciting use for the property if the Wheel flopped.

Well, Bill ... it flopped. What now?

We'll see what happens, but for now this project is declared "dead".
NEW YORK heals.

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