Turley named to develop Mid-South Fairgrounds - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Turley named to develop Mid-South Fairgrounds

After years of talks about what to do with the empty Mid-South Fairgrounds, Memphis City Council members Tuesday named who will be in charge of the land.

The Fairgrounds Selection Committee wants Henry Turley to serve as the master developer for the Memphis Fairgrounds.

"Try to create a really excellent place for competitive sports, but put it together around the idea of diversity," Turley said.

Turley shared those words after the selection committee announced their choice to the City Council Fairgrounds Committee.

He said community input would come first.

"Realizing what they think the fairgrounds should be," he said.

But last year, at least one state legislator complained Turley was working with city and state officials behind the scenes to secure the project.

Fairgrounds Committee Chairman Councilman Jim Strickland says the public will have its say.

"The whole thing is going to have to come in front of the council for a vote, which includes financing and as I heard it, that's going to happen between now and 90 days," Strickland said.

Turley developed Mud Island and Uptown.  He did not commit to keeping Libertyland at the Fairgrounds, but he vaguely describe the vision.

"A game day halo, where you did more than just go to your seat," he said.

Turley added he wants it to reach Memphis and beyond.

"We hope to make it so good that people are attracted from all over the country," he said.

The plan has Mayor Willie Herenton's full support.  Only one other developer out of Chicago wanted in on the project.  The selection committee informed them they chose Turley by mail.

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