Herenton: Time is running out for outdoor retailer - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Herenton: Time is running out for outdoor retailer

Thursday, Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton said if Bass Pro Shops doesn't step up, he is prepared to tell the outdoor retailer to get lost.

"January 31st is, quite frankly, is a point in which decisions must be made," Herenton said.

Herenton referred to the date when Bass Pro Shops' latest letter of intent to open a megastore at the Pyramid expires.  It's the third such letter of intent since in the past two years. 

Still, Herenton said, he expects the deal to happen.
 
"We're still in communications with the officials of Bass Pro," he said.

But after two years of talks, the Pyramid sits empty as the city of Memphis and Shelby County pay a combined yearly total of $1.5 million in tax dollars to keep it standing.

"I will be very candid with you: It would be very difficult for me to continue to negotiate with Bass Pro if they don't make this plan work by January 31st," Herenton said.

The mayor added he was prepared to terminate talks and move on.

"There may be other proposals," he said. "We may even issue another request for proposal.  We may have discussions with the group led by Ericson, who's moving ahead aggressively.  We're going to keep all of our options open."

Herenton referred to Memphian Greg Ericson's $250 million proposal to turn the Pyramid into an entertainment attraction with shopping, an amphitheater, hotels, and theme park.


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