VOL. 126 | NO. 157 | Friday, August 12, 2011
Pyramid Construction to Begin in October
By Bill Dries
The city of Memphis will announce Tuesday, Aug. 16, that construction to transform The Pyramid arena into a Bass Pro Shops superstore with other attractions will begin Oct. 11.
The Memphis City Council will get a briefing during Tuesday committee sessions from the Wharton administration on the project that stalled earlier this year over new concerns from the outdoors retailer about seismic standards. State officials in Nashville said the reuse of The Pyramid would be required to follow stricter seismic standards put in place since the structure’s construction in 1991.
The word from Nashville was a surprise to both the city and Bass Pro Shops. Previous concerns by Bass Pro Shops executives about The Pyramid’s ability to withstand an earthquake nearly derailed the project several times. The state edict renewed the concern.
The effect of those new standards is a $25 million retrofit – most of it for the structure but another part to stabilize the ground near Wolf River Harbor.
It is the city’s obligation under an earlier agreement with Bass Pro Shops to get the building ready or set the stage for the Bass Pro Shops adaptive reuse of what was built as an arena.
That means the city will have to remove the seating bowl inside The Pyramid as well as undertake the seismic retrofit provisions.