Bass Pro overcoming hiccups in Pyramid design plan - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Bass Pro overcoming hiccups in Pyramid design plan

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(WMC-TV) - New developments are surfacing in the Bass Pro Pyramid Arena redevelopment project.

A hiccup developed in the Pyramid's connectivity to the Pinch District, but a multimillion dollar investment is in the works to turn the surrounding area into a tourist haven.

The debate over installing signs larger than city code allows is on the back burner.

Now, Bass Pro is forging ahead with updated plans and the city is working to market Memphis to Bass Pro enthusiasts.

Bass Pro Super Center construction is in high gear at Memphis Pyramid Arena.

"We couldn't be more excited about Bass Pro coming," said Paul Morris, Downtown Memphis Commission.

Perhaps, the most notable change to the plan is the front entrance.

"They will not have an entrance facing east towards the Pinch," said Morris.

The main entrance was moved to the south side of the building due to seismic issues.

"So there won't be as great a connection to the Pinch neighborhood as some had assumed or hoped for," he continued. "The challenge will be to get those millions of customers to get out of their cars and maybe walk over to the Pinch."

Morris says the goal is to turn Bass Pro customers into Memphis customers.

The city and other downtown leaders are working to give Bass Pro visitors other things to do downtown.

"They're going to bring millions of people to downtown Memphis who otherwise would never have come to downtown Memphis," added Morris.

Construction crews working on easier I-40 access to Bass Pro and adding a Bass Pro trolley stop.

The hope is that visitors will take advantage of hundreds of downtown restaurants, Grizzlies, and Redbirds games, the Great American Steam Boat, and upcoming venues like Beale Street Landing.

"We have over $100 million in reinvestment going on in the South Main neighborhood with the Chisca Hotel, the Orpheum's new project, the Blues Hall of Fame coming. The National Civil Rights Museum is doing a $25 million renovation," explained Morris.

Bass Pro Shops is still scheduled to open this fall.

Meanwhile, the city is working on a Pinch District redevelopment bid.

After the public protest, Bass Pro went back to the drawing board on its signage proposal and is now considering other sign options, as downtown development moves forward.

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