One of the Jersey Shore's most recognizable piers is gearing up for some improvements.  A redevelopment plan could lead to a multimillion dollar expansion of the Boardwalk at Steel Pier in Atlantic City, including the installation of a 200-foot observation wheel looking over the beach.

Steel Pier Associates are forecasting a reno budget of more than $12 million to put their new ideas in place, according to

The observation wheel would become one of the country’s largest Ferris wheels.  Developers are hoping to erect the wheel in early 2014, ahead of a similar project in Las Vegas.  If they meet their deadline Steel Pier would hold the title for a short time.

The next step is passing approval by the City Council, Steel Pier attorney Stephen Hankin said.

The Texas Star wheel in Dallas currently claims to be the tallest observation wheel in North America at 212 feet, but the new wheel at Steel Pier would undoubtedly make it the tallest observation wheel in New Jersey. Wildwood's The Giant Wheel at Morey’s Piers stands at 156 feet; the Giant Wheel at Gillian’s Wonderland in Ocean City is 141 feet tall.

To support the project, Steel Pier would build a 315,000-square-foot pier off the Boardwalk south of the existing pier.