State OKs TDZ funding for Memphis riverfront plans

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis' riverfront development plans, which include building an aquarium on Mud Island and moving the Brooks Museum to Front Street, took another step forward Tuesday.

A committee of the State Building Commission approved adding the riverfront and cobblestones to the city's tourism development zone, or TDZ. The TDZ already included the Pyramid, Pinch District and Cook Convention Center.

The decision means sales tax revenues captured in the TDZ can be used to fund development without money coming out of the city's operating budget.

“Today’s approval is a major step forward in our momentum and in building a world-class riverfront — one that both Memphians and visitors to our city will enjoy,” Mayor Jim Strickland said.

The city expects to spend a year securing private financial partnerships to help alongside the TDZ funds.

The estimated cost of the aquarium is $125 million and a cultural center would cost somewhere around $80-100 million.

Memphis commissioned a new plan for its riverfront last year, including moving the Brooks Museum out of Overton Park and onto the riverfront. There's much more to the plan and you can read more about it here.