City Council presented plans to transform Tom Lee Park

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — There are grand plans for a Memphis landmark. The Memphis River Parks Partnership laid out their huge plan for the future of Tom Lee Park at Tuesday’s Council meeting.

The new concept would add trees, give the park some shade and added topography. It’s something they say will enhance the music festival experience, like the Beale Street Music Festival.

“We know how many people are coming. We know how big the stage is. We can design for that in here. So, if the stage is here, we know we got 3,000 people jumping up and down in the mud. So that’s where we need our most resilient grasses,” George Abbott, Director of External Affiars with Memphis River Parks Partnership, said.

He says electrical issues and the drainage problems we currently see in the park will be improved.

“We’ve spent well over $100,000 on extra costs on this project just to make sure that Memphis in May is happy,” Chairman Ray Pohlman said.

Council members brought up issues that they’ve had brought to them including how many ADA entrances will there be and possibility of limiting Riverside Drive.

Councilwoman Jamita Swearengen says she’s hear of concerns about food vendors for events feeling like they won’t have as much room.

“There are some legitimate concerns that should be assessed and for us to look in to,” she said. But council members were pleased to have a better look at the plans.

We asked Memphis In May organizers for a comment. They told us there will be a board meeting on Thursday where they will look at the differences and potential impact to the park.

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