VOL. 132 | NO. 24 | Thursday, February 2, 2017
Powers Hill Selected For Design of Zoo Parking
By Bill Dries
Powers Hill Design LLC will come up with plans for the expansion of Memphis Zoo parking in Overton Park.
The city committee overseeing the specifics of an expansion of Memphis Zoo parking has picked Powers Hill Design LLC to draw up the specific plans, which are due Oct. 31.
(Daily News File/Andrew J. Breig)
The city’s Zoo Parking Steering Committee selected the Memphis firm from a group of three who applied for the job. Still to be worked out is the fee and scope of the work agreement.
A complete design with plans and specifications ready for bid are due before the city committee by Oct. 31.
In a letter to Powers Hill Design president Nisha Powers, city Engineering Division administrator Jack Stevenson says the schedule is “very aggressive.”
The parameters Powers Hill is working within call for a reconfiguration of the zoo’s existing parking lot to create 415 new parking spaces. And the creation of those new spaces is expected to include taking some parts of the Overton Park Greensward. That includes areas on the western border of the greensward as well as the northern border.
That is the compromise ratified by the Memphis City Council last year after an effort at mediation between the zoo and the Overton Park Conservancy failed and a proposal by Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland set the stage for further negotiations brokered by the Memphis City Council.
The council compromise also included a requirement that the parking spaces each be 10 feet by 20 feet, a requirement the conservancy has sought to amend in the steering committee. The zoo’s representative on the committee has refused to consider such a change. But the conservancy has not formally moved to challenge the requirement thus far.
The compromise came after three years of springtime demonstrations on the Greensward to protest zoo overflow parking on the grassy area. The zoo has been using the northern part of the Greensward for several decades during the spring and fall peak seasons for attendance.