FORT WORTH -- London has its Eye, and Seattle just got its Great Wheel, now Fort Worth could be the next city to explore the power of a Ferris wheel.
Mike Patterson just bought the property rights to Casino Beach on Lake Worth and wants a Ferris wheel to be the icon that draws visitors from across North Texas.
"I am not interested in bigger or faster, I want something pleasing to the eye," Patterson said. "I want someone to say, 'I rode on something like that when I was a kid.'"
Patterson envisions a boardwalk atmosphere to replicate the Casino Beach scene from the 1930's. He said investors will put in $10 million to build restaurants, an amphitheater and a dance hall.
Neighbors publicly support the redevelopment of the area, which has been all but ignored since a 1940's fire destroyed most of the attractions. They do have concerns about traffic, trash and parking.
"He told us overflow cars would park here," said Evelyn Muelder, pointing to the existing Casino Beach park. "That's not a good idea."
Patterson said he wants traffic, but not a traffic problem. He said he is working with Fort Worth and TxDOT on traffic flow issues from Jacksboro Highway.
He is also asking for tax breaks to speed up sewer and water lines for the property. That could be approved in the next few weeks.
After that, he expects development to be underway within 12-to-18 months.