By. Chris Stritzel
As if one Ferris Wheel Proposal was enough for Downtown St. Louis, or the city as a whole, Tony Sansone & Michael Sansone now plan to build a 120 foot tall Ferris Wheel on the City's edge in the Loop. This is an interesting proposal for the now growing Delmar Loop. As the loop continues to grow with the Trolley, Everly on the Loop and more, the last idea anyone would think that would go into the Loop is a Ferris Wheel. The planned attraction would be situated on the lots of a vacant fast food restaurant, which has been an eyesore for years at the corner of Delmar/Skinker. Instead of the project being like the 3 floor Office/Retail combo building proposed for across the street, this would possibly be an eyesore in itself.
The planned design is planned to have a beer garden at the base of the wheel and approximately 20 Climate Controlled Gondolas. The ride around the wheel would be approximately 4 rotations. For neighbors nearby (Washington Boulevard Homes) They believe that this is going to be an issue for them. A big, well lit Ferris Wheel basically in their backyard is basically a big "no no" for them. Besides this, the wheel could bring more people tot he Loop in a crazy idea. The Wheel could help make the loop visible form taller building in Central west End and in Forest Park. But there is one bad thing that this Wheel brings and that is the "touristy" aspect.
So far, the City has one, 220 foot tall Ferris Wheel planned to be open by Spring 2019 at Union Station. That is a tourist location. Along with that, an 700,000 gallon aquarium planned to open in Summer 2019. Both are big tourist spots. From the looks of things, St. Louis is turning into one giant tourist center. Something we do not want to be or become. That job is for Branson, who themselves received the old Navy Pier Ferris Wheel from Chicago. besides the Ferris Wheel in the loop, there are already a large amount of tourist places on the loop such at the Trolley, the Moonrise Rooftop Bar, Blueberry Hill, Fitz, Delmar Hall the Pageant and the Tivoli Theater. Adding a Ferris Wheel here would add to the Touristy feel of the loop instead of the local district that we want it to be.
However, the developers have said they will lease the property for 10 years and are requesting zero tax abatement from the City. That in itself is a plus. The plan will have to go through the City Approval process and face the opposition of the neighbors before any construction on this Ferris Wheel/Beer garden duo can take place. Below is the half rendering of the Ferris Wheel and the Beer Garden up close.