Monday, February 01, 2010


What happens when an unstoppable boat dock meets an irresistable force?

Memphis Magazine [Link]
By John Branston, February 1, 2010

The Memphis riverfront is a bleak place in winter when the temperature dips below freezing. The parks and sidewalks are all but empty, the wind blows in from Arkansas over the dark, foreboding river, and skim ice forms at the edge of the harbor.

There's a new piece in the picture this year. A barge crane stands like a giant sentinel at the mouth of the harbor just off the north end of Tom Lee Park. A partially completed iron dam and two red columns jut out of the water. The tip of the park is gouged and cluttered with supplies and equipment. This is the construction site of Beale Street Landing, a boat dock, restaurant, and public space scheduled to open in the summer of 2011.

In early January, with temperatures falling to single digits, Beale Street Landing was frozen, in more ways than one.

The price of the controversial project has steadily increased since its inception from $27 million to $30 million to $33 million to at least $35 million. The completion date has been pushed back a year. Some of the federal funds that the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) was counting on to pay for it have not come through, leaving Memphis taxpayers on the hook for a shortfall of $8.9 million or more.

[Click to read the rest at Memphis Magazine.]

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