New York Wheel project: Legal deadline just days away

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New York Wheel rendering
Rendering of the now-failed New York Wheel project

The New York Wheel project has until Sept. 11 to recommence construction or work on the project will stop — but a solution to the legal impasse is reportedly close at hand, the Staten Island Advance reports.

In May, developers were given 120 days, by Sept. 5, to find funding and a new contractor for the 630-foot Ferris wheel. In court papers filed just after Labor Day, the New York Wheel requested a one-week extension to find ways to restart construction, the newspaper reported.

Former contractor Mammoet-Starnet and the New York Wheel had reached an agreement for a 120-day standstill in Delaware Bankruptcy Court. The group asked for the brief deadline extension because an agreement is close to being reached.

“The New York Wheel is in the process of negotiating an amendment to the settlement agreement, including extending the standstill period,” the NY Wheel told the Advance in a statement.

In June, the Mammoet-Starneth design team walked off the job after a “pay dispute” with the developer. The developer later filed a federal lawsuit that claimed halting work put the revitalization of Staten Island at stake.

To pay for storage, Mammoet-Starnet had attempted to auction about $68 million of the parts made for the wheel as it was costing them $700,000 per month to store them. The bankruptcy court ordered the New York Wheel to pay nearly $2 million in storage costs. Mammoet has until Nov. 27 to accept the terms of its bankruptcy agreement.

While funded by private investors, Mayor Bill de Blasio recently said the city would get involved to help get the Wheel back on track. The city’s economic development corporation reportedly would oversee the project if the developer is unable to deliver.

Since former Mayor Michael Bloomberg unveiled the project in 2012, the Wheel’s cost has increased from $250 million to about $600 million.

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