City leaders prepare for trip to Bass Pro headquarters - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Reported by Andrew Douglas

City leaders prepare for trip to Bass Pro headquarters

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - Memphis City leaders are planning a second trip to Bass Pro Shop's headquarters in Springfield, Missouri.

Nearly one year ago, Memphis City Council members and Shelby County Commissioners took a road trip there.  This time, it's to hammer out specifics on a developmental agreement with Bass Pro.

Memphis CFO Robert Lipscomb said trip won't include county or city leaders, but about a half dozen people ready to negotiate benchmarks with Bass Pro so there's progress being made next at the Pyramid.  

"This has never been about a store," Lipscomb said. "This is about making Memphis a better city. "
'A better Memphis' to Lipscomb means a Bass Pro destination store in the Pyramid like the one in Springfield Missouri; a massive complex with multiple levels, waterfalls, themed rooms and restaurants inside.  It's something city and county leaders toured last January.

"When we're talking about Bass Pro, when we're talking about Beale Street, when we're talking about Graceland, we're talking about something that's authentic and we have it. It's indigenous," Lipscomb said.
So Monday, Lipscomb and about six others will drive up to Springfield for one day to talk specifics about the developmental agreement at the Pyramid, and come up with benchmarks for Bass Pro to meet.

"What has to happen in 30 days...what has to happen in 60 days...what has to happen in 90 days, so we both are in agreement in what those things are," he said.
Both city and county leaders have signed off on a developmental agreement that expired in September.  Lipscomb says the road trip and meeting next week with Bass Pro will offer the same kind of agreement with benchmarks and a start date early next year.

"Into that developmental agreement, where you actually start spending some serious money, where they actually are going to sign the lease and start paying us on leasing the building," he said. "They can get in and start doing all the due diligence work that needs to be done."

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