NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – The economic forecast for Staten Island has been described as bright and robust, but one of the main things that had investors flocking to the borough may be down and out.
The New York Wheel is running out of money and time, CBS2’s Dave Carlin reports.
There are four pedestals on the St. George waterfront, each weighing 100 tons, designed for the legs of a massive Ferris wheel that may be on its last legs now.
Within a few weeks New Yorkers will find out if the highly anticipated project rolls on or dies.
Lloyd Goldman, a lead investor, says the wheel itself is 93 percent made but still in pieces.
Goldman admits after 6 years of development – and cost overruns – all of the $450 million for the project have been spent.
Many on Staten Island are hoping for some kind of bailout.
“It brings more people to Staten Island, it brings more money,” Lyndon McKenna said.
Developers are begging the city to approve more than $300 million in tax-exempt bonds, not cash.
The manufacturer may start auctioning off Ferris wheel pieces if a bailout is not reached.
The deadline is Oct. 23 however, city officials have so far said no.
“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,” Mayor de Blasio said last week in a radio interview.
“He seems to be misinformed thinking this will cost the tax payers dollars,” Lloyd Goldman argued.
On Wednesday, New York state comptroller Thomas DiNapoli outlined new construction and more jobs for Staten Island, realizing the wheel helped attract development.
There are Staten Island leaders and residents who want the wheel built to keep jobs in the borough.
“Mr. Mayor, please take a serious look at this. It could bring a lot of money to your city,” Linda Baran of the Staten Island Chamber of Commerce said.
Baran also said that while the borough is booming with or without the wheel, she hopes this big attraction will not get counted out.