Sides appear ready to sign Bass Pro deal - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Kontji Anthony

Sides appear ready to sign Bass Pro deal

After being in negotiations all day, Action News 5 has learned the Mayor and negotiating committee just got off the phone with the president of Bass Pro and it sounds like everyone is ready to sign the dotted line.

The city and county have never been closer to signing a deal with anyone to take over the Pyramid. And, unlike the past, the contract they now have drawn up would be binding.    

Pyramid Negotiating Committee co-chair Deidre Malone sat down with Action News 5 shortly after a conference call with attorneys from the City of Memphis and Bass Pro.
 
"It looks like we have something everybody can agree on in principal," Malone said.

Though the development agreement does not have any signatures yet, negotiators are hopeful Bass Pro's president will sign, but it does not end there.
    
"Then it would be moved to the Pyramid Negotiating Committee for review," Malone said.

The committee would then make recommendations to the Memphis City Council and Shelby County Commission.

And if they approve it, the city and county mayors would have to sign it.

"The prospects are very good for this," Bass Pro spokesperson Larry Whitely said.

Whitely sounds more confident the deal will go through.

"We feel like all the things the city has planned to even add to our store being down there.  Our stores are attractions in themselves with 100 million people across America going to our stores right now," Whitely said.

Whitely said Bass Pro was not aware the Negotiating Committee imposed a deadline on a firm offer July 31st.

Community Development Director Robert Lipscomb said all the language in the development deal is agreed upon and it will be a firm offer.

"There was a lot of talk in previous months about the letter of agreement and how many letters of agreement there were and how they were not binding.  Well this agreement is legally binding," Malone said.

Action News 5 is told the agreement involves a half million dollar down payment, a one-year grace period to build, and a separate lease agreement.

Bass Pro President Jim Hagel also told the folks on the conference call he's excited to come to Memphis.


Click here to e-mail Kontji Anthony.

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