It's official: Staten Island Ferris wheel project dead

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Developers officially pulled the plug Tuesday, the end of ongoing battles over funding, meaning the New York Wheel project will not be coming to the borough's North Shore.

The plan to build a giant Ferris wheel on Staten Island is officially dead.

Developers pulled the plug Tuesday, the end of ongoing battles over funding, meaning the New York Wheel project will not be coming to the borough's North Shore.

The 630-foot tall observation wheel had been in development for six years, and the decision to kill the project comes after investors were unable to convince the city to support a $380 million bond sale.

"After years of planning, the developers of The New York Wheel announce, with great disappointment, that the dream of building a world class attraction in Staten Island will unfortunately not come to fruition," said Cristyne Nicholas, spokesperson for The New York Wheel, in a statement. "We are grateful for the support of the residents of Staten Island, the Borough President and Council Members, the unions, construction workers, tourism leaders, and the Staten Island Advance for their steadfast support for the creative cornerstone of the redevelopment of the North Shore, which would have created thousands of jobs and millions of dollars of economic growth for Staten Island and New York City."

Developers had hoped the bond sale would allow them to get the project, parts of which have already been constructed, back on track.

Eyewitness News had gotten an exclusive first look at construction as the first major parts of the giant waterfront wheel arrived in New York City two years ago. The four pedestals for the New York Wheel were transported from Canada along the Hudson River to Staten Island.

"The developers of The New York Wheel are proud to have delivered a state-of-the art, modern 325,000 square-foot garage structure, providing up to 950 deeply discounted commuter parking spaces, a turnaround area for 12 motor coach buses, and the MTA Railroad Right of Way decking to connect the site to Richmond Terrace, allowing pedestrian access to the waterfront along Bank Street that was previously shut off to the public," Nicholas' statement went on to say. "We sincerely thank the people of Staten Island for joining us in believing in this important project and urge the City to think big and dedicate the site to tourism development that will help to support the Empire Outlets, the Richmond County Bank Ballpark -- home of the Staten Island Yankees -- and the rich cultural institutions that line the North Shore of Staten Island."

Investors had hoped to open the wheel by this past spring, but that never happened.

For more information on the now-defunct project, visit: NewYorkWheel.com

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