VOL. 123 | NO. 154 | Thursday, August 7, 2008
Tentative Pact In Bass Pro Pyramid Contract Talks
By Bill Dries
The joint city county Pyramid reuse committee was told Thursday afternoon that Bass Pro Shops has agreed “in word and deed” to what the committee’s attorney described as a “pre development agreement.”
Attorney Doug Earthman, of Glankler Brown PLLC, told the four member panel that Shelby County and Memphis city governments must still review the tentative terms, but that executives of the hunting and fishing retailer are ready to sign on the dotted line, making it a development agreement with a lease agreement to follow approximately a year later.
Shelby County Chief Administrative Officer and Finance Division Director Jim Huntzicker said the Wharton administration will carefully review the terms, especially the terms that would deal with any financial commitment by the two governments. Huntzicker also said county leaders are exploring the idea of walking away from its co-ownership of the Pyramid, which opened as an arena in late 1991.
Memphis Housing & Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb was less cautionary, saying there are benchmarks or milestones that must be met by a certain date that will act as safeguards. The development agreement, he was quick to add, will commit Bass Pro to spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on design work and planning.
The Reuse Committee, whose members also include County Commissioner Deidre Malone and City Council member Reid Hedgepeth, tabled two alternate proposals for use of the Pyramid – a proposal by Cummings Street Missionary Baptist Church to buy the Pyramid for $12 million and a proposal by DSG Capital Realty Group Inc. of Memphis to turn the Pyramid into a seven story convention center and lease the first floor to Bass Pro.
Read more about the terms of the still tentative pact in Monday’s edition of The Daily News.