Bass Pro Shops To Begin Pyramid Work End of August

By Bill Dries

Bass Pro Shops will begin installing its store and other attractions in The Pyramid at the end of August.

That is the date the city’s part of the work on the renovation of The Pyramid is expected to be completed according to a project update Tuesday, July 16, for the Memphis City Council and the Downtown Memphis Commission.

Under terms of the city’s agreement to lease The Pyramid to Bass Pro Shops, the city had to provide a “warm lit shell” that included taking out the arena seating shell and other infrastructure. It also came to include expensive seismic measures after state officials said the reuse by Bass Pro Shops was a significantly different use of the building requiring the renovation to meet more stringent seismic design requirements.

The Bass Pro Shops timeline includes completing the two retail levels of the outdoors merchandise store by October 2014 as well as work on the surrounding site and an elevator to the top of The Pyramid.

The two level top area of The Pyramid will include two outdoor observation areas facing the south and the west as well as a restaurant.

A roof top sky ride attraction is slated for completion by March 2014 with a hotel that is the third floor of the Pyramid itself ready by October 2014.

Financing terms call for the city to have 50 percent profit sharing in the sky ride with an estimated $10 million as the city’s share over 20 years.

Bass Pro Shops at The Pyramid as a complete project is slated to open in December 2014, a later opening date than originally planned that the company announced earlier this year.

The city and the retailer also announced in June 2012 that the city’s work was about to end in a “kickoff” ceremony inside The Pyramid to mark a milestone that was more than a year away.

Work on a below ground seismic wall which is the last part of the city’s work is complete with above ground seismic work being completed by the end of this August.

Bass Pro Shops in house architect Tom Jowett also said the company has rethought the way it planned to bid the project to now include more opportunities for local bidders and companies to participate. There will be two bid packages – one for the retail part and the other for the hotel.