Different visions compete for Pyramid - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Different visions compete for Pyramid

Many have high ideals about what should become of the Pyramid. But the debate will likely boil down to one argument. Private funding vs. public funding and it's no secret who has more money to spend.

Silky Sullivan has been known to use a goat to lift a curse or two. Now the Beale Street bar owner has cooked up another magical plan for the Pyramid.

Sullivan wants the Pyramid to partner with St. Jude Childrens' Research Hospital to create an international children's health and research center.

"As Silky says, he comes up with a lot of good ideas, but they're usually about the goat. He's really proud of this one," said Carol Perel of Silky O'Sullivan's.

But the latest proposal for the pointed house is more about retail than research. There have been talks of bringing in a Bass Pro Shop. Benny Lendermon served on Pyramid Reuse Committee that's been studying the options.

"That's what was targeted, was hopefully private use of the facility that brought with it its own funding," said Lendermon.

Private industry could mean more jobs, tourism dollars, sales tax revenues and possibly a percentage of the profits.

As president of the Riverfront Development Corporation, Lendermon is in the business of luring business to the bluff. In that role he says private business always means less financial risk to the city and county.

"The risk of things not going as successful as they could be fall on the private entity and not the government," he said.

But some say retail isn't a long term solution. It was always the mission of the reuse committee to find a private rather than public solution because the city and county don't have the cash to make improvements for the next venture.

Powered by Frankly