Tuesday, April 27, 2010

$2 million promised to revive work on Beale Street Landing

The Commercial Appeal [Link]
By Amos Maki, April 27, 2010

The Riverfront Development Corp. has raised $1 million from private sources and the city’s Division of Housing and Community Development will provide another $1 million to continue construction on the troubled Beale Street Landing project.

The $2 million will allow the city to finish the docking facility and the building housing a restaurant and retail space. The RDC would likely still need another $7 million to finish the project as planned.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Mayor Wharton's letter to City Council

April 26, 2010

Mr. Harold Collins, Chairman
Memphis City Council
125 North Main Street, Suite #514
Memphis, TN 38103

Re: Beale Street Landing

Dear Chairman Collins:

Our riverfront is being reborn, and when we are completed, it will be more than two miles of new activity, vibrancy, economic impact, public space, and options for experiencing the riverfront in new ways.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

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Friday, February 05, 2010

NY Times: When Parks Must Rely on Private Money

New York Times, N.Y./Region [Link]
By Diane Cardwell, February 5, 2010

A majestic staircase of granite rises some 30 feet above the Brooklyn edge of the East River, revealing a panorama that sweeps from the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge to Midtown Manhattan. A salt marsh lined in limestone offers a contemplative look at the river as ecosystem. Along paths winding up manufactured hills and ridges are hundreds of trees that outline velvety fields of green.

OPEN SPACE: A view of Pier 1 in Brooklyn Bridge Park. Photo: Andrea Mohin/The New York Times

This is Brooklyn Bridge Park, perched atop a ribbon of piers, and already hailed for its design and scope. But the park is taking shape only in fits and starts, and even opening the small part that is complete has been delayed until spring as the city and state hash out questions of money and control.

Despite 20 years of planning, work has barely begun on the bulk of the project. The $350 million construction budget is still short $125 million, and no one is sure who will come up with the $16 million needed each year for operations and maintenance.

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.]

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Project aims to restore Mississippi river flow and aquatic life behind diversion dikes

Memphis Commercial Appeal [link]
By Tom Charlier, Sunday, November 9, 2008

With its Sahara-like dunes and outcroppings of sun-bleached shells that hinted at a richer past, the acreage stretching out behind Ron Nassar and John Rumancik on a crisp fall morning had all the hallmarks of an ecological desert.

Biologist Leighann Gipson surveys the scene near a Mississippi River dike targeted for relief to restore aquatic habitat up and down the river. Photo: Mike Maple/The Commercial Appeal

Herenton, council study options for cutbacks, including buyouts

Memphis Commercial Appeal [link]
By Amos Maki, Sunday, November 9, 2008

As the effects of the global meltdown trickle down to City Hall, Memphis officials are considering employee buyouts and other measures to deal with what could be the city's worst financial year in nearly two decades.

Mayor Willie Herenton and the City Council gathered Saturday at the FedEx Institute of Technology at the University of Memphis for their annual retreat. While the banter was lighthearted at times, the financial scenario laid out by city officials was anything but.

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