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Beale Street Landing: Where The Money Went

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(Memphis) From missed deadlines to money troubles, Beale Street Landing seems to be plagued with problems and controversy.

Supposing it opens next month, the building and riverboat dock in Tom Lee Park along the river in downtown will end up costing taxpayers $43 million.

Work on the building started more than a decade ago.

"This whole project is built to give people access to the water's edge," said Dorchelle Spence, who works with the Riverfront Development Corporation.

The RDC proposed Beale Street Landing as a riverboat docking service where passengers can grab a bite to eat and hang out.

The group saw it as a destination for riverboats on the Mississippi.

Spence said the city signed off on it with no architect, design or price tag in place.

"We decided to do the project in phases, so we did not bid the whole project at one time. We did not get an estimate for the project at one time," said Spence.

Spence said the city approved each phase of the project, but never gave the RDC an overall budget.

Nobody could give WREG a reason why.

When the RDC set a grand opening date for June, it announced the project's final price: $43 million.

While their website states $10 million came from grants and donations, $33 million will come from the taxpayer to fund a project the RDC said You envisioned all wrong.

"In the beginning, we were approached by people, and people got caught in the hysteria of doing almost a destination restaurant at the facility, but that's not really how the building was designed or put together. But we entertained that idea," said the RDC President Benny Lendermon.

"They talked about a lot of eateries, a lot of shopping, and so of course, that's what the citizens are expecting. Even now, I don't think we've seen that," said Memphis City Councilwoman Wanda Halbert.

Other city council members admit they are worried.

"I'm concerned they didn't put a gas line in," said Councilman Myron Lowery.

The restaurant owner that was to open in Beale Street Landing backed out.

Now, the RDC is stepping up and opening its own bar and grill.

When the plans were announced in April's board meeting, some members seemed hesitant saying there's little parking, security issues and again, no gas line in the kitchen.

"The question is it necessary? The answer is no. Not all restaurants cook on gas. In fact, the whole Disney complex does not have gas anywhere in it," said Spence.

WREG found out some restaurants inside Disney parks do use gas stoves.

A spokesperson told WREG it's necessary, and popular grills like Local, Kooky Canuks, Huey's, B.B. King's and Bayou Bar and Grill agreed.

"We are not trying to make a lot of money or see it as a money maker," said Spence.

That's not what taxpayers had in mind.

"If they could generate money and maybe get the taxpayers something back out of it, instead of that being a money pit down there," said Robert Martin.

Many taxpayers are afraid this project will be a flop like other city projects.

"Take a look at [the Pyramid] and all the money they've put in Peabody Place," said Wanda Shapley.

Right now, when these taxpayers look at the strange-looking building, they call it the world's most expensive souvenir shop.

"I think there's other places in the city we could have used that money towards," said Shapley.


  • Nonya Bidness

    Another failed project from failed elected officials in a filed city. The state needs to take over Memphis and clean house.

  • Hard Truths

    A Southern Gothic Horror Story that could ONLY happen in Memfizz.

    The money the restaurant was supposed to make has already fattened some politicians’ wallets. This was a boondoggle from the get-go, and the City’s and RDC’s management has been worse than abysmal.

    There’s your money, fellow taxpayers. How does it feel? You can see your money driving down the street in some politician’s or city official’s shiny new Cadillac Escalade.

    Our political class is also one of the criminal classes in Memfizz.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I found your statement which was long, to have no evidence, no knowledge, it really did not provide me with anything useful. I know, you hide behind a computer and you feel safe talking about people, it makes you feel good I guess.

      I like Memphis, I think Memphis has a lot of things going for it. But it takes all of us to make a great city. Please join with the ones who want a better place to live and offer your talents for the greater good.

      • Hard Truths

        What is the nature of your association with Robert Spence and Dorchell Spence — leading members of Willie Herenton’s kleptocratic nomenklatura?

        And again, are you really an MD doctor, or just someone throwing around the title inappropriately?

      • Joan

        Spending taxpayer funds in such a disorganized and careless fashion is evidence in iteself for SOMETHING. If you do not find that information useful as you consider who all you may elect to be your next city leaders, then you are not doing all you should for this city. Part of making Memphis a better place is electing officials with common sense, managerial skills, and some knowledge of basic accounting principles. I can understand being a bit miffed by the original post, but your reaction to it is equally questionable.

    • Sue Williams

      Ms. Spence is the spouse of Attorney Spence. The RDC hired him for an attorney’s opinion to the effect that the board meetings were closed to the public, but the City Council passes an ordinance saying that they were open. As soon as that happened, the RDC board started meeting 5 times a year, and it is no telling how long since the board has voted on anything.
      At the March meeting, a board member was told that the committee looking at the the RDC handling the restaurant was considering whether it should be, rather than any real discussion. Most of what happens appears to be when they’re “executive session,” with a limited number of board members, and the City Council needs to demand that it become open to the public. The Council also needs to demand that they email interested people notices about meetings, instead of insisting that a person had to go to their website forever and forever. They invite the media only when it suits them.

  • 901frontstreet

    If you go downtown on a regular before the construction, one would know that the area that beale street landing was built on need some type of improvements. The concept was always to build up the park, add place for the commercial riverboats to park, and just make it look nice to visitors to look to the Mississippi River. The problem was no budget. So every year the council would approve money for it. Who drop the ball on the no gas line issue? With the revolution of food trucks in Memphis, it’s not going to be hard to feed people who are relaxing in the park.

    This shows you that RDC cannot handle large projects. Just stick with making sure the grass is cut at Tom Lee Park, and we will be fine.

  • SayNoMore

    Put in the gas line basic commercial stoves, sinks, etc. and lease the facility to some attractive restaurant(s) as a new destination place with good views and great food. Cost should be minimal, but the place would then be able to generate income and give the citizens bang for the bucks already spent. I would love to have a nice dinner on the edge of the river at sunset!!

    • Hard Truths


      You think the RDC and the City of Memphis will be good cooks, after all this?

      Was your comment tongue-in-cheek? Did I miss the sarcasm? I sure hope so.

      This is gonna be AT LEAST as big a tourism windfall for Memphis as that glorious gold pyramid that will hever be anything but the tomb for a crooked, wicked, racist Pharaoh.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I have to agree with you, it would be nice. I took a date on one of the dinner cruises we had, the food was not that great. But watching the sunset over the Mississippi was worth the cost.

  • Dee

    This crappucino ticks me off! This is right up there with bike lanes on streets that have potholes and a multimillion dollar trolley system in a area that despite all efforts is still declining.

    • Long Gone

      Technically it’s not stealing. You got a nice shinny new building in exchange. It’s a hoot they “forgot” to put in a gas line for the World class restaurant.
      They’re expecting a lot of walk up business.

    • Dr. JohnS

      Dee I understand you have a right to freedom of speech. What I do not understand is the language you use to justify your right. Help me to understand how your post helps our city in any way?

      I like Memphis, I choose Memphis as my home city, it has so much potential. But it takes all of us working together to build a great city. Join some group that can utilize your talents and give it a try to build The Great City of Memphis.

      • Joan

        JohnS, change begins with acknowledgement of a problem. Hope begins when we not only ackowledge a problem but start finding ways to correct said problems. Comments like Dee’s are the first step in the process of change. You have no way of knowing based upon this remark alone who she is, how she spends her time, or what she intends to do for this city after logging off of her computer. You are making a lot of redundant accusations torwards people that are trying to shine a light on issues plaguing this city. Perhaps they see its potential, but all realize there is much to be addressed. We have countless potholes after the excessively cold winter that are not being repaired in a timely fashion. We have millions being squandered on ill thought out “plans” if one could call them plans at all. We have a city, that despite the millions spent on upgrades, continues to decline. The very investments intended to lift this city from the ashes, have for the most part ended as a total loss with the Redbirds being the exception. We can all love this city for all it could be. But to truly love it, we must all be honest and acknowledge its shortcomings. Take off your rosy lensed glasses, and assess what work must be done to make it better. The way you expect people to make it better without first analysing what it is that is wrong and must be done to get it to a healthier place is completely nonsensical. You cannot seek out solutions to unknown problems. I must ask, what on earth dod you write a disertation on to get that title?

      • Joan

        I might clarify to the grammar police that those are typos. *eyeroll It is a casual post, but some people that cannot make a real arguments like to pick on typos as if they are grammatical or spelling errors. Wishful thinking on their part no doubt.

      • Dr. JohnS

        I am assuming that you have knowledge of this fact you can share with us. But then I know that is asking too much. How does it help us to become the city we can be proud of when a person likes you takes every opportunity to tear it down?

    • Dr. JohnS

      Bill it is good that someone who posts here has ambition to make Memphis the Best City it can become. I appreciate your willingness to give of your talents to make the city a better place.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I wish you had posted your facts, it would be helpful. I would have taken them to the next City Council meeting and shared them.

      • Hard Truths


        Are you REALLY saying you don’t know about the rabid looting and corruption that pervades King Willie’s gubmint of Memphis?

  • Vernice

    Is there a city within the city of Memphis that made the decision to build this $43 Million RiverFront Project for all taxpayers to FUND?
    We can pay taxes [unknowingly] for a project [Riverfront Development] that all Memphians will not be able to enjoy due to their inability to visit for various reasons.. However, City Officials can cut funding for life saving jobs [Fireman, Policeman] plus Educational Workers and Facilities…
    It appears that Memphis City Officials care more about Memphis’ image than quality of life, blight, impoverishment and increasing crime rate.
    When are the decision makers going to address the issue of single Mothers and Fathers becoming self- sufficient and responsible parents to their children?
    It is as though you are putting more value on the Riverfront Development ($43 Million) than the lives of innocent children and helpless unsuspecting Memphians ($0.00).
    It grieves me to see so many deaths young and old, rich and poor, black and white.
    Do you realize, the city within the city of Memphis, no matter what position you hold in the City of Memphis, you’re a part of this blight.. Good, Bad or indifferent you are a Memphian.
    Our IMAGE to the world is the same Positive of Negative.
    Are you part of the solution or are you part of the problem??
    The Red Bird Stadium and Bass Pro Project are included

    • Sue Williams

      This project started out at half the cost, and the President of RDC said that it was to have a place to “get a coke” and “to touch the river.” There’s still no coke machine, and I can touch the river at both the Clobblestone Landing and at Mississippi River Park (which is still where the boats are docking in low water despite a promise that BSL would accomodate them at all water levels)

    • Dr. JohnS

      Vernice I share your concern, there are days I want to cry over what happens. But I have come to realize that the city leaders cannot do it by themselves. It takes all of us using our talents and abilities to change Memphis into the Great City it has potential to become.

      I enjoyed the articles from yesterday, I could not believe that so many people were giving of their time and talents for their city. I think if we banded together and went before the city council with our concern it would make a big difference.

      • Dr. WayneM

        Do you really think your defense of the powers that be on da internetz is making anything better? You want to make things better? Turn off your computer. Lose that fake doctor of shitiology title. Leave mommy’s basement. And go make the world better. Until then; stop preaching!

    • Doe

      Finally the real truth, thank you, cause this is how the majority of the citizens of Memphis feel

  • Julius Jones

    Hey folks, … have you not figured what the Riverfront Development Corporation is all about???

    It’ a place to park connected cronies in do nothing, high paid jobs. That’s it. Started under Hizzhonor Mayor Bill, and continues under Ole Slo’ Walkin’, Slo’ Talkin’ A uh C uh Wharton.

    Some interest questions to have answered wold be … What does Robert Spence’s wife do all week long as Communications Director @ $121,502 + benefits, as well as the $105,218 Controller. Then, you have your part time (25 hours a week) VP Project Development @ $107,099.





    This entire unnecessary operation could be eliminated, with small parts of it absorbed bt Parks Department, and the city would probably save a couple $MILLION$ per year.

      • Dr. JohnS

        I wish you had posted facts that I could take before the city council and share our concerns. With what you posted there is nothing I can take to help our cause.

      • Hard Truths

        Did I ASK for your help?

        Who ARE you really, you pretentious nobody?

        One of Willie’s writers. Perfect eighth grade English. I’m sure you made A’s. You are so lucky that standards are so low in Memphis.

        But look — nobody sees you as anything but a jiving mouthpiece.

  • Out Of Towner

    I was not aware that Memphis had riverboats. I found this researching Memphis because thinking about coming there for a trip. This seems like a very negative piece by your local media. In my local area we just spent 10 times as much to update an intersection. ($435 million).
    $43 million doesn’t seem like much relatively speaking. This is tourism related and should drive the local economy via out of town spending by people such as myself. Glad to see Memphis is actually spending money to revitalize it’s downtown. I was there a few years ago and downtown could use the revitalization compared to other midsized cities I’ve visited. Hopefully, this will get others players to invest in the local economy. Last time I was there, there weren’t even things such as fast casual restaurants, Starbucks, or a movie theater downtown. Downtown is the heart of any city and I for one am glad to see the city take steps to begin transforming the area. Can’t wait to come back to visit!

    • Bill

      Hey Out of Towner,

      Our politicians know how to spend money. They just don’t have any money to spend, so there is the first issue. Secondly, most tax monies the politicians do receive they spend it……. downtown and they do the good ole boy thing….take care of thier friends. When you do come back for a visit, tour 3rd street all the way to Mississippi. Then turn around drive North again and turn right at Crump, take another right on Manassas. You can then drive to Chelsea by heading North again on Cleveland. Be sure to stay in some of those fine neighborhood hotels and do spend some money at their retail establishments. Don’t forget to get out of your vehicle and take a stroll in any direction, ask some of the native peoples some questions too. Yea, 43 million is not a lot to Virginia but to these Memphians, it’s life or death and the Black politicians use them like dogs to create their Downtown playground.

    • Dr. JohnS

      Thank you for your post, I really appreciated it. I could have gone any where to live, but I choose Memphis because of its great past and the potential it has for the future. Please do not pay attention to some of the post, their ‘man hood’ is in question and they find a need to complain and gripe. Memphis is changing for the better – but it is so hard to see that when you hide behind a computer.

      Welcome back to Memphis and please enjoy yourself. Memphis is a Great City and we are moving in the right direction. More and more Memphians are working together to change the things that need to be changed.

      • Dr. WayneM

        I’ve seen your “manhood” and it’s miniscule. No wonder you’re shilling for the King.

    • Dr. WayneM

      That just means that Virginia can waste more money. Faster. Did that crook McDonnell get a kickback out of that?

  • aJ

    I have only lived in Shelby County for 10 years, but the negativity here overwhelms me. In respectful response to Vernice who is disappointed at the city investing in its image and giving locals and tourist a much needed destination for a city of this size – how is the government supposed to address single mothers and fathers who are in that situation because of their own bad choices? In my opinion, sinking dollars in police protection is the greatest waste of money because the citizens should be able to manage their emotions and desires that ultimately lead to high crime. People complain about drugs and crime in their neighborhood, take away the demand and the suppliers will disappear. There are smaller towns in West Tennessee that don’t have many Memphis’ problems because even the drug users maintain a job to support their habit, so they don’t break in homes or cars to do so—lower crime. There is a culture of complaining here that is toxic. The culture here has to change. Nashville and even smaller cities will continue to be more progressive while Memphis residents continue to blame, point fingers and bicker. Memphis image and ability to manage the city is what will attract desirable businesses to the city. There should be restaurants waiting in line for this riverfront property rather than begging for an occupant.

    • Dr. JohnS

      Thank you for a great post, you have no idea how refreshing it is. I choose Memphis to be my home city because of great historic past and what I believe is an even greater future. As to the negativity, I can only say that people think they can hide behind a computer and know exactly what is going on. If they would offer their talents to change what needs to be changed – there is no telling what we could become.

      I hope you read last nights stories of people giving of their time and resources to make Memphis a better place.

      I share your concerns and wish for once that those who are so negative would work to make a difference.

    • donaknowsitall

      I agree with everything you have said. It is refreshing to read a point of view that agrees with mine. I have lived here for 14 years and I have seen the good and the bad. I have also always thought that we need to police ourselves,after all we (the people) are all make our own choices and therefore are accountable for everything that we do. Parents need to be responsible parents to our children and our childrens action; we need to ensure that they do what is right, and when they do wrong make sure that they don’t repeat those wrongs.
      Again, great post aj!

  • Ms.Kay

    We have spent so much money on this project and we have to ask, “what did we get for our money?” I have been a social worker in Memphis for the last 25 years and I can assure you that many of our citizens could benefit from 43 million dollars and you could easily measure the results. The program where I am currently working, which is a pre-school for children with special needs, that has been in Memphis for 54 years, could operate for approximately 43 more years on that kind of money. The Council as stewards of the money and efforts of our citizens needs to give thoughtful consideration of the RDC and their use of the tax payers money. As the RDC discussed using the facility for weddings and class reunions I wondered how many folks are allowed to attend an event in something that size. With no gas running to the facility what food service company is ever going to want to be involved with it? Most professional chefs use gas. If it was planned to be a restaurant, why wasn’t gas run to the restaurant? Surely a gas line could have been covered in a 43 million dollar budget. If it was going to be a boat dock why are they having to moor the boats to a tree? I remember reading a fairy tale as a child. It was, The Emperor’s New Clothes, by Hans Christian Andersen and unfortunately it reminds me of this situation, I think we need to recognize that if Beale St landing is the Emperor then he doesn’t have any clothes on. The hard part is going to be to admit that it has been a very expensive mistake and get about the business of reorganizing the plans and processes governing the riverfront. Mistakes very rarely go away on their own, we have to recognize them and rectify them and our governing officials need to do just that.

    We have a beautiful river front and I would bet all that I have that if folks were offered a lovely, accessible, restaurant/event venue with panoramic river views as there are in Baton Rouge, New Orleans, St. Louis, etc. you couldn’t keep them away. I would also be willing to bet that we could have built a facility like that for less than 43 million dollars. We might even have had some money left over for the retirees’ health plans. We might even have been able make a profit and contribute that profit to the needs of our city.

    • Dr. JohnS

      Ms. Kay I share your concerns, truly I do. There is so much that needs to be done in Memphis but it cannot be done over night. I appreciate you working with the people you do, I have been there myself. It is a hard job but rewarding also.

      Thank you for sharing your talents and gifts to make Memphis a better place.

  • Hard Truths

    This is a SCANDAL. $43 million — Dorchelle, what’s your explanation?

    Where did the money go?

    And while you think about your answer, remember this: We know you’re Willie’s lawyer’s wife.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I see you are at it again, accusing people of something and you have no proof. I am sorry that your manhood has been questioned. But please, you could be a better person with kindness, and help the city also.

      I try to measure who I am by my heart; to respect everyone,to care for everyone and make a difference in someone’s life.

    • Jack

      You don’t know any truth. You are just guessing. And you are guessing based on limited information. How can you know real truth when you are and have been locked up in your own little world. And I don’t have to know a thing about you to see this except for your devisive, separatist’s posts. What helped ruin this city are the ones who decided to run away
      and sabotage when you don’t run things anymore. And why would you lower yourself to cooperation, right?

      • Hard Truths

        “Dr” John S. is obviously a shill for the crooks at City Hall and at RDC.

        I bet the good “Doctor” has got HIS Cadillac Escalade.

        His stuff stinks REALLY bad.

  • Sean Brown

    How The city should have entered into a construction contract without a Surety Performance Bond to protect the taxpayers. Phases or not that it seems very odd and should be investigated thoroughly by appropriate agencies. This seems to have strong possibilities of kickbacks and management of taxpayer money. Who approveas the funding without an architect to approve future draws and the where are the surety bonds to protect the City and taxpayer The City is in breach of its financial oversight and this points to kickbacks which will need to be painstakingly
    Traced back into the project and will expose the fraud in detail once and for all for the fine taxpayers of the city. Have a nice night and demand answers about why no construction bonds to protect us taxpayer for a project that started small and grew should have bonds in place every step of the way it seem a rather thorough investigation must move forward. Hint ……it is the general contractor or lead that is suppose to purchase the bonds to protect the taxpayers and city….So lets see these bonds and surely the CIty would.have the bonds which were purchased by the RDC and RDC does not have the bonds required on all public jobs they breached the terms of the contract. They shold be removed from the job site and becase of Fraud Memhis should Breach their corporate vail and go after them on a personal level for all their net equity and the projeproject is back on track.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I have to agree with you, instead of criticizing we the taxpayers and voters should take part and ask demanding questions.

  • takenobull

    Memphis the Detroit of the South. Bunch of people on the city council that cannot properly run their own personal life throwing away Millions with the help of the Mayor. Mean while in the news every day is HOW broke the city is lol

    • Dr. JohnS

      I think you chose the the wrong username, maybe a better name would be I give out the bull. May I ask why you are living in Memphis if you hate it so much? The United States is a large country and I am sure there are towns and cities that could use a person like you.

      Personally I do not think Memphis needs your negativity, whimpering, crying – we need people to give of their talents and energy to make Memphis a city we can all be proud of.

      • donaknowsitall

        Dr. JohnS…I personnaly think that you are full of yourself. First and formost, there are lots of people that like it here, I for one do. Second of all stop with your rhetoric, it’s not becoming of your user name (Dr.). And thirdly, not everyone here in Memphis has the means to just pick up and leave. In case you haven’t noticed there is poverty here also.

    • Hard Truths

      I fear you’re right. 18 years of Bread and Circuses , looting, fiscal irresponsibility, after-me-the-deluge politics, AC Wharton has inherited a real mare’s nest. And no, he isn’t the man to fix the horrible mess King Willie created.

      Everybody who got a six-figure job from King Willie needs to be fired and investigated for criminal activity.

      And this woman Dorchelle Spence — and her grating, garbling voice — gotta turn down this computer.

      And again, Dr. JohnS — are you a REAL doctor, or a pretend doctor like King Willie?

  • Ashamed

    This is an epic disgrace. Everyone involved should resign and the RDC should be closed down. Anyone who votes for any elected official on the board is a fool. Closing down the RDC, and all the tax abatement programs should be the top priority for Memphis citizens. I hope you people will say something to these officials when you see them out in public. And please say it loud enough for everyone to hear. Memphis’ credit rating will be lowered very soon.

    • Dr. JohnS

      I am not sure what a “epic disgrace is” but you seem to have the knowledge. May I ask why you are suggesting others to do the work and speak out? You seem to have a very vocal voice and can easily go to the city council and speak.
      Keep in mind that this is election year, get involved and lets make a change.

      • Dr. WayneM

        Now now doctor. If you’re going to be all snooty, get your writin’ right. You should have wrote “‘epic disgrace’ is” and not “‘epic disgrace is'”. “Is” doesn’t go in the quotes.

    • Hard Truths

      So true. The case can be made that for the past two decades Memphis has been run by a bunch of thieving clowns. And yes, we ARE the next Detroit. Or East St. Louis.

  • Mudraker

    The RDC manages two more empty waterfront restaurant facilities on Mud Island. They do not have natural gas supply lines either. At some point a propane tank was installed to supply the old River Terrace kitchen. Perhaps we need to have another International design contest to figure out where to put the propane tank for BSL.

  • Don

    I am wondering why some Memphis tax payers doesn’t ask the leadership of Kellogg to make decisions about how to run the city.
    When some the people that were employed decided not to give a days work for a day pay they were smart enough to lock out 200 of the people. Those people had good wages and benefits and blew it.

    Memphis would do well to do the same thing. The city employees who are not doing their job should should be locked out, starting with the mayor and down. The leadership and all of the ones who are not giving the taxpayers a days work for a days pay. City Hall is full of those who do not do the work as it should be done.

    There are a lot of jobs that are not needed. Even some of the council are there, not because they are qualified. They are voted in by the people who think a dope head and big mouths will help them. Most of aren’t educated make to make a simple decision.

    The city should and could be run like FED-EX.

  • Jack

    Memphis has two kinds of critics:
    “run away critics”
    “deeply embedded critics”
    To the run away critic. You want to confirm your decision that Memphis is not a good place and that is why you moved out. And from a distance you spew out your negativity, non support, and obvious disdain. And the ones that did not move out, are deeply embedded with your hate eating the city from within. How can Memphis possibly prosper with enemies like you.
    Every city in America has the same financial and social issues as Memphis has. There is nothing wrong with this city that cannot be fixed.
    And our attitude should be that it must and will be fixed because we live here. Unless the haters of Memphis keep pulling it down with hopes it will fail.
    Man, will you ever evolve socially. Your scientific evolution is off the charts. But Memphis is a perfect example of your disgraceful social evolution in relations with one another.
    And you have an amnesia problem too. Boss Crump was the biggest crook that I have read about from Memphis. And the pyramid project was started under Chandler, finished under Hackett (the big dig).

    • stuck here

      “Every city in America has the same financial and social issues as Memphis has”

      Nope. Not even close. You really need to get out more and travel around the US, especially outside of the South.

  • scott guidry

    the BSL project is and will continue to be good for the city; however the planning and financing of the project was poor. Memphis turned its back on the river long ago and BSL is a step in the right direction of celebrating this powerful asset. More will have to be done but this is a great first step.

    Other riverfront cities have done similar projects, including Virginia, Chattanooga, and Nashville (see We are all fighting for tourism dollars, if for nothing else, to help offset the cost to live here and to improve overall quality of life (more $$ coming in = less burden on tax payers). The adage “you have to spend money to make money” holds true here..but we must spend money wisely and have a well thought out and tested plan before we do so. again, the plan is what seems to be missing.

    We can’t undo what’s been done on BSL but we can take what we learned from it and apply those teachings to the next one. If the leaders handled it poorly, or unlawfully as suggested, then they should be helped accountable. Perhaps our reporters should be investigating instead of taking the easy road of stirring the pot. If all are found to be honest and lawful then they should be exonerated by the public and share with us the lessons learned. If we seek perfection, we will be constantly disappointed.


  • Dogrivergrad68

    Is the thing even finished? The four columns at the entrance are supposed to be connected or having something on top of them right? Otherwise, why do they have those bolts or rebar sticking out the top? Also, for $43 million I would have expected quality concrete work. If you look at the where the siding meets the concrete on the north observation circle, you will see lots of very jagged edges. The sidewalks over the arched building are also cracked and sinking in places. I would not have expected that in a project so new.

    I can sort of understand the gas line. There probably isn’t a gas main anywhere near the location. I don’t see why they could just have a big propane tank hidden away inside the structure if the restaurant really needs a gas stove.

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