Mayor Bill de Blasio said Friday the city won’t bail out a stalled $900 million project to build the largest Ferris wheel in the Western Hemisphere on Staten Island, noting it was his predecessor’s idea.
“If there is a new proposal, we’ll certainly look at it, but here’s the reality: This was an idea approved in the previous administration [of Mayor Mike Bloomberg],” de Blasio said on WYNC radio.
“It was always a somewhat speculative idea. The Wheel was a private-sector endeavor that was supposed to pay for itself, and I think the economics were a little shaky from the beginning and they’ve proven to be shakier,” Hizzoner added.
“And we are very careful about exposing any public resources when we’re not sure something is going to work.”
Investors asked the city to approve tax-free status for a $380 million bond sale to get the 630-foot-high attraction back on track.
The New York Wheel has been in the works for at least six years. Developers have already poured in $450 million.
The city-owned site where the wheel was set to rise is now home to four 100-ton pedestals.
The project was originally supposed to cost about $450 million in total.
But after extended delays, cost overruns and lawsuits between the developer and former contractor Mammoet-Starneth, the price has zoomed to about $900 million.
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