New renderings show Pyramid Bass Pro store slated for 2013 - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

New renderings show Pyramid Bass Pro store slated for 2013

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New renderings of the Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid were released Tuesday. New renderings of the Bass Pro Shops location at the Pyramid were released Tuesday.
MEMPHIS, TN -

MEMPHIS, TN - (WMC-TV) - Some thought it might never happen, but now you can see you physical plans for the future of the Pyramid in downtown Memphis.

Tuesday afternoon, the Memphis City Council approved a resolution for the funding and redevelopment of the vacant arena into a Bass Pro Shops destination store.

Before the vote, officials unveiled new renderings of what the destination store would look like. Bass Pro wants to start construction in October, and open the store in August of 2013.

RAW VIDEO: See the renderings - click here.

Memphis Mayor A C Wharton said the project will bring hundreds of jobs to Memphis, and will have an economic impact worth millions, even though no city funds will be used for the project.

Essentially, the mayor said, the project will pay for itself through the sales tax it will generate.

"We are not spending local tax dollars on this project," Wharton said.

The money being used for the redevelopment of the Pyramid comes from state sales tax dollars. Wharton said the city can only legally use that money in a tourism and development zone that the Pyramid is in.

"The bottom line is, contrary to what you may have heard elsewhere, the city of Memphis is open to business, and it's open for business big time," Wharton said.

"They are going to build this cypress swamp that goes to about 9 feet in depth in some places," Architect Tom Marshall said while showing moving three dimensional images of the what the Pyramid will look like. "And then build a network of bridges and wharf like docks, hovering over that."

Bass Pro plans to have three restaurants inside. While the Cypress trees will be fake, the wildlife in the water will be real.

"This is looking into what is probably going to be one of the largest free aquariums in the state. Here it is part of Bass Pro," Marshall said.

Along with Bass Pro, come plans to redevelop the entire north part of downtown.

"This is what some may call leap frog action, a bold action that will completely transform the face of this city."

The city estimates Bass Pro will bring more than 16,000 construction jobs, and nearly 600 long-term jobs in the store.

The city predicts the project will have an economic impact worth millions.

The city council authorized the city to get bonds to fund the project, including 25-million for seismic retrofitting.

The Mayor says those bonds will be repaid with state sales tax dollars, generated by the project.

City officials estimate the Bass Pro Shops destination store will bring two to four million visitors to Memphis, who will likely stay several days, and visit other attractions.

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