The Pyramid to Receive Over $200M in Renovations

By Amalia Otet, Associate Editor The Pyramid is now one step closer to revitalization, as the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. recently approved the bond financing that would help kick off the much-awaited project on October 1. The City of Memphis plans [...]

The Pyramid is now one step closer to revitalization, as the Center City Revenue Finance Corp. recently approved the bond financing that would help kick off the much-awaited project on October 1.

The City of Memphis plans to convert the long-vacant arena into a mixed-use facility housing a Bass Pro hunting and fishing superstore, a hotel, an aquarium, restaurants and a museum. Scheduled for completion by August 1, 2013, the revamped Pyramid is going to boast an architecture and innovative indoor and outdoor design.

The costs of the massive transformation are currently estimated around $215 million, yet no taxpayer money is to be used in the process, according to city officials. The millions of dollars to be absorbed by this bold venture would come from state sales tax revenue from the Tourism Development Zone that includes The Pyramid, as reported by the Daily News. The challenging endeavor represents the first phase of a much broader project that could entail the renaissance of the whole downtown area.

This first phase would include renovation works, seismic retrofitting and the acquisition of the Lone Star Industries building nearby, as well as a buyout of Shelby County’s interest in the Memphis Cook Convention Center; with this last move the city would gain total control of all of the Tourism Development Zone revenue from the convention center that is now being divided between the two parties.

While not dependent on the Pyramid restoration, the Pinch District redevelopment would immediately follow as phase two, along with several other infrastructure improvements under the supervision of Poag & McEwen Lifestyle Centers-Memphis LLC.

If it comes to fruition, the revival of the iconic structure would be an outstanding achievement for the City of Memphis, as it will give a huge boost to the area’s economy. Hundreds of new jobs and businesses are expected to head to the neighborhood.

Also in support of local economy, Canadian tissue producer Kruger Products LP announced plans to invest $316 million in Memphis by adding a new building to its existing facility at 400 Mahannah Ave and acquiring new equipment. The expansion would generate around 100 new jobs and an 18 percent increase in the company’s manufacturing capacity, according to the Memphis Business Journal.