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sleepy

Major retailer to the Pyramid?

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Interesting, I read the other day somewhere that Bass ProShops was also rumored to be looking into the possibility of using the Pyramid as a store location. That would be a good retailer IMO for the location, although the one in the article doesn't sound bad at all either.

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I'm sorry but I live here in Memphis and I think this is a stupid idea. What happens in 5 years when this reatil/entertainment deal closes? We'll then have a pyramid that's been retrofitted to house a sporting goods store - that'll be an easy sell to someone else. Also, how in the world do you take a PYRAMID and disguise it enough to sell hunting vests and tents?

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I'm sorry but I live here in Memphis and I think this is a stupid idea. What happens in 5 years when this reatil/entertainment deal closes? We'll then have a pyramid that's been retrofitted to house a sporting goods store - that'll be an easy sell to someone else. Also, how in the world do you take a PYRAMID and disguise it enough to sell hunting vests and tents?

I don't know if retail is the answer, but something needs to go into that building. It's Memphis's number one landmark, and it needs to house something substantial.

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I'm sorry but I live here in Memphis and I think this is a stupid idea. What happens in 5 years when this reatil/entertainment deal closes? We'll then have a pyramid that's been retrofitted to house a sporting goods store - that'll be an easy sell to someone else. Also, how in the world do you take a PYRAMID and disguise it enough to sell hunting vests and tents?

How do you know it will close?

For that matter, why build anything? The new WalMart down the block could close in 5 years.

I doubt if either Cabela or Bass Pro would put a store there without doing the necessary research to see if the store would work.

I don't think any tenant has any plan to disguise the Pyramid. Why would they? I'd think that would be a plus for any retailer.

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I'm sorry, but isn't it used for an arena right now?

Not really.

In exchange for the Grizzlies eating all operating costs of the FedEx Forum, the Forum has the rights of first refusal for most concerts, and so on. I believe the Pyramid is used for convention business, etc.

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Not really.

In exchange for the Grizzlies eating all operating costs of the FedEx Forum, the Forum has the rights of first refusal for most concerts, and so on. I believe the Pyramid is used for convention business, etc.

It's not being used for much of anything right now, except some occasional meetings. Most convention business continues to go to the Cook Convention Center.

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I'm sorry but I live here in Memphis and I think this is a stupid idea. What happens in 5 years when this reatil/entertainment deal closes? We'll then have a pyramid that's been retrofitted to house a sporting goods store - that'll be an easy sell to someone else. Also, how in the world do you take a PYRAMID and disguise it enough to sell hunting vests and tents?

I don't agree. First of all, we're not talking about a run-of-the-mill sporting goods store like Sports Unlimited, or even the Sportsmans Warehouse at I-40/Sycamore View. This would be along the same lines of the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri which is essentially a sporting goods mall. And it's not just vests and tents - throw in boats, jet skis, campers, RVs, golf, etc. They also tend to put activities in there such as rock climbing.

Second, the building is going to have to be retrofitted no matter what happens. Face it - the building isn't going to be used as an arena anymore. No matter what they put in there - aquarium, amusement park, whatever - the building has to be reconfigured. The only alternatives to reconfiguration are to let it sit empty or to knock it down.

Third, any re-use of the Pyramid involves the financial. I would rather unload some or all of that risk on private enterprise than to see local government take it all on themselves (a la Mud Island).

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I don't agree. First of all, we're not talking about a run-of-the-mill sporting goods store like Sports Unlimited, or even the Sportsmans Warehouse at I-40/Sycamore View. This would be along the same lines of the Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri which is essentially a sporting goods mall. And it's not just vests and tents - throw in boats, jet skis, campers, RVs, golf, etc. They also tend to put activities in there such as rock climbing.

Second, the building is going to have to be retrofitted no matter what happens. Face it - the building isn't going to be used as an arena anymore. No matter what they put in there - aquarium, amusement park, whatever - the building has to be reconfigured. The only alternatives to reconfiguration are to let it sit empty or to knock it down.

Third, any re-use of the Pyramid involves the financial. I would rather unload some or all of that risk on private enterprise than to see local government take it all on themselves (a la Mud Island).

Exactly!!! The Bass Pro Shop in Springfield, Missouri is gigantic, ala a small small in itself, with a gigantic aquarium inside it (or it did years ago when I was a youngster). Its a mega attraction out there, and I think putting one inside the Pyramid would be a pretty cool idea. I mean a huge retail store of all sorts of outdoor goods from tents, to boats, to whatever you can possible imagine along with an enormous aquarium or aquarims would be pretty attractive to alot of folks in the region; and IMO could be a major draw of folks downtown. The uniqueness of the Pyramid combined with a mega-store attraction like a Bass ProShop as big or bigger than the one in Springfield could be a goldmine I think. Think of the type of tax revenue it could generate if successful, not just from just itself, but from all the new potential visators it could bring downtown on a regular basis.

Thats not to say it would be a sure bet, but its about the best option I have heard of. Anything put into the Pyramid short of a casino, which isn't going to happen, is going to be a risk.

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This is just jabber, but I'd love to see an IKEA go in...THAT is a true destination store! Cheap furniture for all of Arkansas and West Tennessee! I mean, you'd have all the college kids in Memphis (and probably some from Nashville) going there as well as everyone else in this region booking it down there for home furnishings. Coolness, indeed. Yet, it will most likely be a Bass Pro Shops or Cabella's or something along the lines of that since it is going to cater to West Tennessee and Arkansas. Don't get me wrong, both stores would be great, but I think something in the Pyramid should find a happy middle between the tourist crowd and the local crowd. It shouldn't be just a mass bubba mecca to get fishing supplies...the Bass ProShops on Sycamore View is enough for that purpose. Now, if they pair it with some component similar to Opry Mills, that would rock. On the plane to Philadelphia, a lady was wondering where all the Memphians go to shop since there wasn't a true mall downtown. I just think that if you put an actual mall or great outlet place in the Pyramid, you could cater to tourists downtown and not have all the downtown residents hollering about how the distinct feel of individuality is being lost to chain stores in a mall.

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Implode it - problem solved.

Right. And the $30 million owed on the debris just goes away as well.

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IKEA would be a great draw. I know people that would travel to DC (before the Atlanta store) and make a weekend out of going to the IKEA facility. It would be a good placement as Nashville is a little to close to the Atlanta store for consideration.

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Right. And the $30 million owed on the debris just goes away as well.

I am sure that whatever happens with the building will be better than it just sitting there empty.

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I still think that the inclinator to the top is a very good idea that would be a major tourist attraction and generate some serious revenue. In the meantime though, one of the mega churches in town probably could use the space to do one service instead of 2 or 3. All the while, Wonders could still operate in the base of the building.

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Don't get me wrong, both stores would be great, but I think something in the Pyramid should find a happy middle between the tourist crowd and the local crowd. It shouldn't be just a mass bubba mecca to get fishing supplies...the Bass ProShops on Sycamore View is enough for that purpose. Now, if they pair it with some component similar to Opry Mills, that would rock.

I've thought all along that the Pyramid has enough interior room to be used by more than just one large retailer. There are large spaces on all four sides beneath what is currently the main concourse. These are the spaces used in the past for the Wonders exhibits. Each of these could probably accommodate a large two-level department store. Above that, you could probably build smaller stores vertically 2-3 levels before hitting the sloped sides. The center of the building, above what is now the arena floor, could be an indoor amusement park....surrounded by a 4-5 level square mall.

All of this would require lots of money, of course. I wouldn't want to see public money pay for all this, but to make it work financially for a developer the city would probably have to agree to tear out the existing arena (seats and concrete stands) and prepare it so the developer could start with more or less an empty building.

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It's not being used for much of anything right now, except some occasional meetings. Most convention business continues to go to the Cook Convention Center.

It currently serves as the primary Wonders Exhibition space. It also is serving as movie production studios for Black Snake Moan, a movie written by Memphian Craig Brewer, who landed that record Sundance deal for Hustle and Flow.

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This is just jabber, but I'd love to see an IKEA go in...THAT is a true destination store! Cheap furniture for all of Arkansas and West Tennessee! I mean, you'd have all the college kids in Memphis (and probably some from Nashville) going there as well as everyone else in this region booking it down there for home furnishings. Coolness, indeed. Yet, it will most likely be a Bass Pro Shops or Cabella's or something along the lines of that since it is going to cater to West Tennessee and Arkansas. Don't get me wrong, both stores would be great, but I think something in the Pyramid should find a happy middle between the tourist crowd and the local crowd. It shouldn't be just a mass bubba mecca to get fishing supplies...the Bass ProShops on Sycamore View is enough for that purpose. Now, if they pair it with some component similar to Opry Mills, that would rock. On the plane to Philadelphia, a lady was wondering where all the Memphians go to shop since there wasn't a true mall downtown. I just think that if you put an actual mall or great outlet place in the Pyramid, you could cater to tourists downtown and not have all the downtown residents hollering about how the distinct feel of individuality is being lost to chain stores in a mall.

My impression is that the powers that be are pursuing a two-phase development. One phase will be retail, which consultants have advised is essential to of any redevelopment. The other phase will be touristy -- either cultural, entertainment, educational, or a combination. The consultants recommended this combined approach. The retail would generate dependable revenue with destination retailers, and the touristy/cultural aspect would provide another level of uniqueness to it.

In addition, my impression is that the retail would consist of multiple retailers, not just one. I hope that's the case, anyway.

If the plan for the Pyramid is for there to be a world-class touristy anchor (such as a museum, Egyptian-themed amusement park, or the AquariuMemphis idea, although aquariums are becoming a bit ubiquitous these days), and a multi-retailer aspect to it as well, anchored by destination retailers such as IKEA, LL Bean, Cabela's, etc, then I think it can be a homerun.

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I've thought all along that the Pyramid has enough interior room to be used by more than just one large retailer. There are large spaces on all four sides beneath what is currently the main concourse. These are the spaces used in the past for the Wonders exhibits. Each of these could probably accommodate a large two-level department store. Above that, you could probably build smaller stores vertically 2-3 levels before hitting the sloped sides. The center of the building, above what is now the arena floor, could be an indoor amusement park....surrounded by a 4-5 level square mall.

All of this would require lots of money, of course. I wouldn't want to see public money pay for all this, but to make it work financially for a developer the city would probably have to agree to tear out the existing arena (seats and concrete stands) and prepare it so the developer could start with more or less an empty building.

I would guess that would be similar to the ultimate development of the mall. Not necessarily a 4-5 level mall. But the basement could be turned into retail as you mentioned. The area that constitutes the current arena concourses could be converted into restaurants and retail. And the interior could be converted into the tourist attraction. A restaurant could also be located at the top, with inclinators. The only details are the specific tenants.

There have been indications of interest from aquarium developers (I think Ripleys was one; there has also been a local proponent offering up AquariuMemphis), as well as theme park developers. And the article and the committee are obviously pursuing, with I presume a modicum of positive feedback, some destination retailers as well.

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I would guess that would be similar to the ultimate development of the mall. Not necessarily a 4-5 level mall. But the basement could be turned into retail as you mentioned. The area that constitutes the current arena concourses could be converted into restaurants and retail. And the interior could be converted into the tourist attraction. A restaurant could also be located at the top, with inclinators. The only details are the specific tenants.

There have been indications of interest from aquarium developers (I think Ripleys was one; there has also been a local proponent offering up AquariuMemphis), as well as theme park developers. And the article and the committee are obviously pursuing, with I presume a modicum of positive feedback, some destination retailers as well.

i dont know if a mall would be that good of an idea. peabody place is sorta mallish and im sure they want to keep people around beale. Id like to see it something education. World Class museum, or something really special. something that deserves a monument like that. Tearing it down is not an option, that to me is a landmark to Memphis(which is a named after the egyptian city,hence the pyramid, for those who didnt know)(and if you didnt... im perplexed). whatever they do, they need to bring more people to that side so that we can see some developments that are really cool! haha

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i dont know if a mall would be that good of an idea. peabody place is sorta mallish and im sure they want to keep people around beale. Id like to see it something education. World Class museum, or something really special. something that deserves a monument like that. Tearing it down is not an option, that to me is a landmark to Memphis(which is a named after the egyptian city,hence the pyramid, for those who didnt know)(and if you didnt... im perplexed). whatever they do, they need to bring more people to that side so that we can see some developments that are really cool! haha

Maybe describing it as a mall is a misnomer. I agree, I would prefer that the cultural/educational/entertainment aspect dominate the redevelopment. But it seems, and I think I agree, that a retail aspect is essential to the financial survival of the project. So maybe a 2/3 world class cultural, 1/3 retail or something.

It's such prime real estate, it's such an icon, it presents such an opportunity.

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I agree. I would certainly prefer a great museum or aquarium, but those endeavors are highly unlikely to relieve the city and county of its debt. in fact, it will probably increase it. But a good, smart retail decision has the potential to alleviate that debt even if the city and county have to spend a little (please, not a lot, mayors and council members) to improve this investment. If they could balance money-making retail with a first-class museum/aquarium, that would be the best option in my opinion. I sincerely hope that leaders do not make a hasty decision and get taken advantage of by one of these retailers by spending more money to improve the facility, only to see them drop out in a couple years.

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I agree. I would certainly prefer a great museum or aquarium, but those endeavors are highly unlikely to relieve the city and county of its debt. in fact, it will probably increase it. But a good, smart retail decision has the potential to alleviate that debt even if the city and county have to spend a little (please, not a lot, mayors and council members) to improve this investment. If they could balance money-making retail with a first-class museum/aquarium, that would be the best option in my opinion. I sincerely hope that leaders do not make a hasty decision and get taken advantage of by one of these retailers by spending more money to improve the facility, only to see them drop out in a couple years.

I agree. Retail is the best option to alleviate the city's financial issues involving the Pyramid. I also agree a major attraction aspect to any retail would be the most desirable outcome. Thats why I think Bass Pro Shop would be a good bet. If the city could get an agreement where they would build an attraction level fresh water and/or saltwater aquarium(s) in addition to the retail, I think it would be a good deal for all involved. The attraction level draw of something like an aquarium would bring people both downtown and into the Bass ProShop,which would be a win win situation IMO.

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