Council votes against funding for Beale Street Landing project

Future plans to develop the Riverfront in downtown Memphis looks bleak.

Work on the Beale Street Landing was supposed to start this fall.

The Riverfront Development Corporation envisions a Riverfront pedestrian walkway on land and on water.

But this week, a city council committee voted to remove $29 million in funding for the project from the city's capitol improvements budget.

Sue A. Williams with the group Friends for our Riverfront, has mixed feelings about the move.

'Until now it's been a done deal," says Williams. "The scrutiny that the council is finally giving it is welcome."

But Williams' group has a much different vision for downtown and it too will cost money.

Williams adds, "that plan is so expensive that you could put green ways throughout the Wolf River Greenway, the CSX Greenway, the Nonconnah Greenway, and connect along Riverfront more thoroughly with that amount of money."

Council members who voted against the project had a number of concerns. Some call it a waste of money that wouldn't fit in with the tourism concept downtown.

We believe that something should be done to Beale Street Landing but it needs to be something for all citizens not just tourists," says Williams.

Opponents of the plan hope the public will be asked to weigh in on what should line the banks of the mighty Mississippi before more of their tax dollars are spent on another downtown project.

Funding for the Beale Street Landing was removed from the budget by a committee vote of 3-2.

But the issue could come up again when it goes to the full council.


to email Anna Marie Hartman.