Beale Street Landing Completion More Than A Year Late

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(Memphis) A construction site on riverside drive has turned into a fixture in downtown Memphis, but Beale Street Landing will soon be open after almost a decade of planning.

The building is 98% complete with just a few finishing touches left.

If the construction process had gone as planned, the building, which is going to be a restaurant and riverboat center, would have been done over a year ago, and cost millions of dollars less.

Construction started more than six years ago and won’t be completely done until late next year.

President of the Riverfront Development Corporation Benny Lendermon says the project was slowed down by several unforeseen things, “The river has come up. We’ve had big floods. We’ve had permitting issues and historic issues that have slowed the project down.”

For example ,cobblestones beside the construction site are some of the oldest in the country, so developers had to get extra permission to build.

The delays cost time but they also cost money.

The Memphis City Council has added millions of tax payer dollars to the budget since construction began.

“It’s been changing forever because the original design didn’t include a green roof and the original design didn’t include dealing with where we put the site exactly, using less of Tom Lee Park so we put it out in the river more,” said Lendermon.

Though Beale Street Landing comes with a $43 million price, Lendermon says it will add much more to Memphis’s economy.

So far the landing has already brought in well over $100 million to the city including the Great American Steamboat Company moving its headquarters to Memphis.

The restaurant and riverboat ticketing center will open in March, and the park and boardwalk will be open by next fall.