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Staten Island’s New York Wheel is now ‘indefinitely delayed’

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A disagreement between developer and contractor has taken a turn for the worse

The so-called savior of Staten Island’s North Shore has hit a major snag: According to the Staten Island Advance, the New York Wheel is now “indefinitely delayed” after its developer sacked Mammoet-Starneth LLC, the design-build team that was working on the massive observation wheel.

The tension between the developer, New York Wheel LLC, and Mammoet-Starneth has been building for some time now: Construction has allegedly been at a standstill since May, when the design-build team walked off the project; the developer then accused Mammoet-Starneth of creating “two years of self-inflicted delays and extortionate ­attempts to extract additional payments totaling more than 50 percent of the agreed contract price.”

Which leads us to this new development: a spokesperson for the Wheel told the Advance that after the design-build team’s inability “to meet multiple design and construction deadlines,” the only way forward “is to seek other means to take on the remaining aspects of that 'turnkey' arrangement.”

But that means the Wheel—which has already been plagued by financing woes—will need more money to proceed. The same spokesperson told the Advance that its search for a new contractor for the project “may require additional contractors, resources and even court assistance, resulting in added hardship for the developer.” The Wheel was supposed to make its grand debut next spring—a date that was already pushed back from its originally-announced 2015 launch—but that’s now up in the air.

For its part, a lawyer for Mammoet-Starneth has denied the developer’s assertions, and in a separate legal filing, claimed that the Wheel has “has been in default of its obligation” since the beginning of this year.

But the long and short of it is that the Wheel’s fate is now up in the air—and what this means for other North Shore projects, such as Empire Outlets (which the Wheel is rising adjacent to) and the Lighthouse Point megaproject, is unclear.