VOL. 131 | NO. 170 | Thursday, August 25, 2016
Beale Tourism Authority Eliminates 2 Firms as Potential Managers
By Bill Dries
As Brian Saulsberry’s DSG Group was being ruled out from a role in a renovated Mid-South Coliseum at City Hall Tuesday, Aug. 23, the Beale Street Tourism Development Authority dropped DSG from consideration to be the day-to-day manager of the entertainment district.
The authority also dropped ML Properties, the company that puts on the annual Delta Fair and other fairs and expos across the country, from the list of potential managers.
ML Properties is headed by Mark Lovell, who recently upset Republican state Rep. Curry Todd in the August primaries for the Tennessee Legislature. Lovell’s company also made a proposal to run Mud Island River Park for the Riverfront Development Corp.
The Beale authority’s action Tuesday leaves 21 Beale as the only applicant for the manager’s job on Beale Street. But it doesn’t mean an automatic contract for 21 Beale, a group that’s headed by Memphis native and Chicago real estate investor and nightclub owner Dwain Kyles along with a group of Memphis principals. The authority board is still talking with the group and seeking to get more certainty around its proposal.
Some on the authority board are also concerned about 21 Beale’s lack of experience in managing a district. But other board members have said since the outset of the process that it would be difficult to find someone with the experience to run Beale Street’s day-to-day affairs because of the uniqueness of the three-block district with a considerable history and heritage.
It and ML Properties were among the applicants in the first round of requests for proposals put out by the authority.
The authority decided to seek more proposals while keeping those from the first round in the pool.