Homeless use Pyramid while Bass Pro talks persist

By Jason Miles - bio | email

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The homeless have provided the only permanence at The Pyramid since the iconic structure was shuttered five years ago.  A number of homeless people were removed this week from abandoned kiosks in the parking lot.  They are now boarded up.

Technically, Bass Pro Shops is the only paying tenant.  The company sends the city $35,000 per month.  However, Bass Pro Shops has yet to move in.

"This is going to be something that's here when we're all gone," said Memphis Mayor A C Wharton.  "And I want to make sure it's done right," he added.

Wharton feels good about negotiations with Bass Pro, despite the fact that another deadline to finalize a deal came and went on Wednesday.

"This is not one of those things you do fast," said Wharton.  "You do it right," he added.  "We've done a lot of things fast and it didn't pay off," said Wharton.  "I'd much prefer be a little behind schedule and get it right, than rush up and not get it right," he added.

Wharton is planning a trip to Bass Pro headquarters himself.  That is where her hopes the city's "fishing trip" will finally end.

"We're going to sit down and get this deal done," says Wharton.

Bass Pro can then worry about any unwelcome guests like the homeless.  Meantime, tourists like Brenda Clayton of Birmingham might become even more impressed with The Pyramid.

"I would think it would be a great attraction," said Clayton.  "It's the most interesting architectural structure I've seen here," she added.

Seismic issues and concerns about flooding remain the major sticking points for Bass Pro.  Mayor Wharton told Action News 5 a final deal could be done in the next month or so.

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