The 630-foot tall giant ferris wheel has been in development for six years.
“The decision to kill the partially completed attraction comes after investors were unable to convince the city to support a $380 million bond sale,” the television report says. “They had hoped the bond sale would allow them to get the project back on track.”
The wheel’s four pedestals were transported from Canada along the Hudson River to Staten Island about two years ago.
“Investors had hoped to open the wheel by this past spring, but that never happened.”
SI Live reports that the investors had sought support for a Municipal Revenue Bond program, but the city’s Economic Development Corporation determined the project was “too risky”.
The municipal bonds reportedly would be “PILOT bonds — non-government obligation bonds,” SI Live reports.
The city serves as the conduit in the issuance of the bonds but the city is not responsible for them. The city does not guarantee them. They are free of federal, state and city taxes. And they are insured by the investors to minimize risk.
It appears the city does not believe Wheel ridership will provide sufficient revenue needed to stabilize the Wheel to cover the bonds. But that’s where the insurance comes in.
The Staten Island Advance/SI Live has asked in an editorial for Mayor de Blasio’s intervention to pull the project back to life.