Seems like just a few years ago, the NY Wheel was  going to be the new big thing on the Staten Island waterfront. Now, it’s a big money pit, with costs ballooning to more than double initial estimates.

Photo courtesy of NYC EDC


The Real Deal: The wheel is now estimated to cost north of $500 million, more than twice the original figure. Critics say its revenue projections are wildly optimistic. And vicious infighting has ripped apart the fabric of the development team. All the while, the public officials and government agencies that threw support behind the project for the past three years have suddenly gone quiet.

Photo courtesy of NYC EDC


No worries though, according to the developers, (I can’t even keep track of all the players with their fingers in this pot) the projected financial windfalls seem to have also ballooned, making the investment a sweet deal according to the numbers being touted in 2015, compared to 2011.

Photo courtesy of NYC EDC


In its first year of operation, the wheel was originally slated to earn $15 million from admissions. But now, after jacking up the proposed price of a ride to $35 from $15, the developers are projecting $95.9 million in admissions, more than six times that amount.

Overall, documents distributed to investors last year predict total revenues of $127.85 million for the wheel’s first year in business, more than six times the $20.73 million projection made to the city in 2011. Read more from The Real Deal here…

posted by Mai Armstrong for the Working Harbor Committee