IRVINE, CA-The Irvine Company will be taking its popular Irvine Spectrum entertainment complex to new heights next year–literally. In addition to expanding the center by 200,000 sf, with a mix of restaurants, retail outlets and movie theaters, the developer is planning on adding a 108-foot high Ferris Wheel illuminated by 10,000 lights.

Manufactured by Westech Limited in Italy, the ride will feature open-air gondolas big enough to seat six adults and allow a 360-degree view of the entertainment complex and surrounding communities. The Ferris Wheel will be located at one end of the complex, and a 38-foot-round carousel, featuring a wide array of animals based on designs by original American and European woodcarvers, will be on the other end.

“Irvine Spectrum Center will once again be the cutting edge of entertainment center development by adding two major freestanding ride attractions into its mix of live entertainment, retail and dining experiences,” says Rick Evans, president of the retail division of The Irvine Company’s Investment Properties Group. “The expansion is the next step in the creation of a true town center at Irvine Spectrum Center. Reflecting the positive nostalgia people have of gathering with friends and neighbors in a town center, our Ferris Wheel and carousel will appeal to couples, families and singles alike.”

When completed, the Irvine Spectrum Center will encompass 700,000 sf of space. Open during construction, the complex has attracted 20% more visitors in 2000 than it did in the previous year, for an estimated total of 12 million visitors this year.

Construction of the carousel is expected to be completed by next summer, with the Ferris Wheel and expansion projects completed by Thanksgiving 2001. The Irvine Spectrum is managed by Madison Marquette.

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