- Officials behind the New York Wheel have finally reached a court agreement with the proposed Ferris wheel's former contractor. The deal clears the way for the Staten Island, New York, attraction's developer to hire American Bridge and Arup as its new builder and designer, respectively, to get the $580 million project back on track, according to the Staten Island Advance.
- Mammoet-Starneth walked off the job in May 2017, then filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December. As part of the Delaware Bankruptcy Court's decision, wheel officials were given 120 days to restart the project and arrange financing, as it had already spent $400 million of the $580 million of private money earmarked for the job. The court deal also dismisses the wheel's breach of contract lawsuit against Mammoet-Starneth.
- During the 120-day standstill period, officials can terminate the agreement if they cannot obtain new financing.
A few weeks before Mammoet-Starneth quit the project, Richard Marin, former CEO of the New York Wheel, told Construction Dive that the project would be the "centerpiece" of Staten Island's North Shore, which at that time had seen $1.6 billion in new development investment. The wheel itself, if the plans stay the same after the new design and construction team take over, will best the Las Vegas High Roller observation wheel by 80 feet. Each 30,000-pound capsule will be able to hold up to 40 people, and the wheel will put on a light show every night.
The project is part of a movement that has seen family and other unique attractions added to bigger commercial developments in order to attract the maximum number of visitors. The wheel will be next to the almost-finished Empire Outlets, which will feature 100 outlet stores, a hotel and restaurants, all just a 20-minute ferry ride from Manhattan. Traffic from the wheel and the outlets are expected to benefit each other once both projects are complete.
Developer Triple Five won a big victory in Miami-Dade County last week as part of its effort to bring a $4 billion, 6-million-square-foot amusement park-themed retail mall to South Florida, along with an estimated 30 million extra tourists a year. The Miami-Dade County Commission approved last week the rezoning necessary to move the American Dream Miami project forward. The Miami development will exceed in size and scope the developer's signature property, the Mall of America in Minnesota.