While construction on the NY Wheel continues, controversy rolls on.
A lawsuit filed by the Wheel’s developer claims design team Mammoet-Starneth is demanding more money to complete the project and if they don’t get it, they’ll quit the job.
"They can't legally do that, that's what we explained to the court, that this is a unique project and people have to stay on the job and get the project done,” Randy Mastro from the Gibson Dunn law firm representing the NY Wheel said. “This is something that has a huge public benefit component."
The two parties decided to enter mediation and agreed that essential construction will continue, but they must reach a compromise by mid-July.
"But if it doesn’t, at that point the judge will be asked to take the steps necessary to keep the work going,” Mastro said.
The wheel would be the tallest in the world, soaring 630 feet into the sky. It’s expected to bring thousands of jobs and many more tourists to the island.
For that reason, Borough President James Oddo wrote a letter to the court on the wheel's behalf.
"I think ultimately I am in the camp that this is a good thing for Staten Island. I know there are some who don't believe it, but I respectfully disagree,” he said. “I want to see this project completed and that's why I added my voice to the court proceeding."
According to a spokesperson for the NY Wheel, the developers are confident that this issue will get resolved. A statement reads, "The developer intends to continue to do everything possible to keep this one-of-a-kind project moving forward." A spokesperson for the design build team said the company will not comment on matters relating to its customers. The project is still slated to be completed in time for the 2018 summer season.