No pictures available, but congratulations to Glenn & Nicole Carver on the birth of their daughter! Now on with your regularly scheduled blog:
Are we finally getting to a point where something (anything) is going to happen to the Pyramid?
There are a spate of stories indicated renewed activity in the talks between the city and Bass Pro Shops. There might be a hit of desperation in the negotiations — if interim Mayor Lowery can do a deal quickly, it could be a big help in the approaching special election to fill out the former mayor’s term in office.
Among other things, the failure to do anything with the Pyramid had to be a blot on the record of Mayor Herenton. The thing’s been sitting empty and unused for 5 years now, almost half the time it was open for business. Can’t blame its problems on the last mayor though. It wasn’t his idea, and he certainly wasn’t to blame for the economic slump that kept Sidney Shlenker from realizing his grandiose schemes to develop the property.
Still, 13 years is a pretty short life for an entertainment venue. The also-closed Mid-South Coliseum, once called “The Entertainment Capital of the Mid-South.” opened in 1963 and held its final show in 2006 — 2 years after the final event at the Pyramid.
I saw Luther Vandross at the Pyramid (I went for En Vogue, the lady I was with wanted to see Luther). I also saw the inaugural Memphis Grizzlies game at the Pyramid. That has been the only time I’ve seen a live performance by Justin Timberlake, who sang the national anthem. It would seem strange to see it as a hunting and fishing emporium, but better that than leaving it empty.
It would also be nice to bring a going concern to that end of downtown. The ‘Mid was supposed to turn the Pinch District around. The Uptown development has done a lot more to bring people into that part of town. Large-scale retail would certainly be a good thing to have around there. That might actually get someone to move into the old Chism Trail supermarket (which was a Kroger before that). I’m all for full-service grocery stores downtown.
I hope that if there is a plan nearly completion, it doesn’t fall victim to the usual “let’s not rush into anything” impulse that a lot of elected officials seem to have. It’s been 5 years. Anything you need to know about a deal to unload that triangular-shaped white elephant has been on the table for a while. I don’t care whether action now would be interpreted as a boost for Lowery’s candidacy. It’s time to get something done.