VOL. 133 | NO. 98 | Wednesday, May 16, 2018
Convention Center Overhaul and Renovation to be Rebid
By Bill Dries
The city will be rebidding the $175 million renovation of the Memphis Cook Convention Center, Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Tuesday, May 15.
The rebid follows bids in March that came in above the $175 million the city plans to spend on the interior and exterior overhaul of the convention center that turned 44 years old this month.
“We can only spend what we got. So we are going to rebid it and see where we go from there,” Strickland said when asked when renovations at the convention center would begin. “Unfortunately it’s going to be delayed several months because of that.”
Speaking to the Memphis Rotary Club at Clayborn Temple, Strickland said he is working on a new full-time position in his administration that would essentially be a trouble shooter for site consultants and others looking at the city for economic development projects.
Much of that work is being done by city chief operating officer Doug McGowen.
Strickland told the crowd of 100 that he is working on “how to stand up another office to do that full time.” He also cited the need to have someone “on the ground who cuts red tape.”
“We will probably have somebody else who reports to Doug,” Strickland said later. “Being chief operating officer is a big chore in and of itself. And Doug is a superman. … I think it would be good if he had someone who reported to him who could go to meetings and really speak for city government – we will get that road changed or that electrical line moved or something like that.”