Big Plans and Big Signs Proposed For The Pyramid

(Memphis) The Great American Pyramid has been a Memphis icon since 1991, but soon it could be a 32-story advertisement for Bass Pro.

If you’re near the riverfront, you can’t miss it.

“They pyramid is a big part of our skyline,” said Paul Morris with the Downtown Memphis Commission.

It may soon become a billboard for a big business, investing millions to make millions in Memphis.

“If I were them, I would try to do that,” said Jake Schorr, who owns the restaurant Westy’s in the Pinch District.

“But you cannot do that?” asked Reporter Sabrina Hall.

“I cannot do that,” said Schorr.

As a business owner, Schorr says he has to follow city ordinance when it comes to his signage.

Bass Pro is asking for an exception to the rules to put signs on each side of the pyramid.

They would stand 90 feet wide and 66 feet tall, making them each about the size of a basketball court, actually 16 feet taller. Each sign will be internally lit.

“I’ve been getting a lot of feedback on Facebook and Twitter and I have been getting some phone calls as well,” said Morris.

Morris says he needs to know what people think as the Design Review Board gets ready to make the big decision.

“I think it will be good for the city,” said Barry Luca,  who was born and raised in Memphis.  “Memphis needs something to draw some people around here and hunting and fishing is a big draw.”

“I can see the pyramid as soon as I walk out my front door and it wouldn’t bother me at all,” said Mud Island Resident Molly Merves.

The City’s code says signs on the downtown riverfront can be no larger than 30 square feet, but the Downtown Memphis Commission can make exceptions.

“If the code was black and white and there was no discretion and no need to have discretion you wouldn’t need a board or a city council for that matter,” said Morris.

No matter what, Bass Pro is going to have signs as part of its agreement with the Memphis City Council.

How big and where they’ll be, that will be up for a vote.

The Design Review Board is hoping to vote on the issue next Wednesday, March 6 so if you have an opinion, weigh-in.

The Downtown Memphis Commission has a Facebook and Twitter page and you can also email them.

Another thing to think about, Bass Pro is also asking for two ground signs on Front Street that would each be 64 feet tall.

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