County and City clash over Pyramid plans

Rendering of the proposed Bass Pro location at the Pyramid.
Rendering of the proposed Bass Pro location at the Pyramid.

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Ideas and opinions clashed Wednesday between Memphis City Council members and Shelby County Commissioners over plans for the Pyramid.

If you have never been in a Bass Pro Shop by now, you probably know about the outdoor retail giant's hunting and fishing theme.  Some at City Hall believe reeling in Bass Pro will transfer the empty Tomb of Doom into the big fish on the river.

"We have a deal with the biggest retailer in the country. We have an asset that's sitting there unproductive, and has been unproductive for four years," Memphis CFO Robert Lipscomb said.

Bass Pro has proposed developmental agreement that would allow the retailer to study a plan for a giant megastore at the Pyramid, with a $500,000 penalty if they walk away.

"I don't think the deal is a good deal," Shelby County Commissioner Mike Ritz said.  
Other city leaders were openly frustrated at their legislative counterparts' complaining about the agreement on the table.

"This is only date to the dance, so either pass or not. Otherwise, let's get out the dynamite. We had the Big let's have to Big Boom," council member Shea Flinn said.
In the end, the City Council passed the agreement. Now the County Commission must carefully look through it, and then vote.

"We need to vote this up or down and let everyone where we are, including Bass Pro," Ritz said.

City Council members hope County Commissioners see the agreement on the table is the best offer out there, and it is time to act quickly.

Click here to e-mail Andrew Douglas.