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Developers Squabble Over the Cost of Staten Island's Big Wheel

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Just two weeks after developers announced that the New York Wheel would earn higher revenues than the Empire State Building's observatory deck, developers are now squabbling over the cost to build the tourist attraction, the Real Deal Reports.

The New York Wheel project is being funded by a large group of investors, but one group wants a bigger share in the bounty and is allegedly trying to drive out the founding members of the project.

Eric Kaufman and Meir Laufer, two of the original developers on the project, allege that the current board of directors on the project is trying to reduce their share in the project by asking that they cough up a large capital contribution, knowing fully well that they don't have the means to do so.

The larger group of investors which includes Richard Marin and Andrew Ratner, filed a lawsuit against Kaufman and Laufer saying the duo had not paid up an additional $17 million that was required of them as board members on the project.

Kaufman and Laufer, in separate lawsuits allege that they are being ousted from the project, and the Wheel, located on Staten Island, is being mismanaged, and that the project is overrun by its costs.

The project has already received hundreds of millions of dollars in contributions and loans, and the current president of the board of trustees for the project, Richard Marin, told TRD that the support would have been impossible if the the project was being mismanaged.

"How on earth did we close on $476 million in funding without a coherent business plan? We've gotten all the major authorities to give us the thumbs up," Marin told TRD. "To me, that speaks for itself."

The moving observatory is looking to compete with the likes of the London Eye.

· Early New York Wheel investor claims project has no coherent business plan, ineffective management [TRD]
· New York Wheel May Make More Than Empire State Building [Curbed]
· NY Wheel Archives [Curbed]