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The Great American Pyramid

The Great American Pyramid   46 members have voted

  1. 1. If you could choose the option, what would you turn the Pyramid into?

    • Bass Pro Shop
      4
    • Aquarium
      15
    • Village Roadshow sound stage
      3
    • Theme Park
      3
    • Mall
      2
    • Cultural Center
      8
    • Hotel/Themed Restaurants/Shopping
      7
    • Rent it out to a mega Church
      1
    • Other, please explain
      3

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36 posts in this topic

If you could choose the option, what would you turn the Pyramid into?

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If you could choose the option, what would you turn the Pyramid into?

The thing about the pyramid is this,

1) The city and county still owe 25-30 million$ on the building.

2) The city nor county is willing to put any public financing into it.

3)A company would have to be willing to take over the debt owed and cover reconstruction costs.

4) It is the city's landmark and should be given every viable consideration.

5) It is the most unique structure in the region.

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I would say:

1) Definately aquarium by a long shot, but they are becoming quite common, so

2) An indoor theme park would be pretty sweet, but it would be too small for a theme park worth going to, so

3) Hotel/ theme restaurants/ shopping, but that's not as cool, and would be copying the Luxor, so

1) I still think the aquarium would be the best bet.

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I voted other for a few reasons.....

1) An aquarium is the least original thing to do. With one in Chatt & ATL's $200 million brand new aquarium, the regional competition is too great.

2) How much money can the city generate with a soundstage?

3) The proximity to Peabody Place rules out a mall.

4) Who wants a hotel room on the river with no river view. I'm assuming the costs to add window to the structure would be astronomical.

5) A theme park inside the Pyramid would be too small.

6) We already have too many mega churches in Memphis.

I don't know exactly what could be done, but it should be something that can't be found in Anycity, USA.

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As a note to this, the CNN Center in Atlanta began life as an indoor theme park, so it is possible.

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I voted other for a few reasons.....

1) An aquarium is the least original thing to do. With one in Chatt & ATL's $200 million brand new aquarium, the regional competition is too great.

2) How much money can the city generate with a soundstage?

3) The proximity to Peabody Place rules out a mall.

4) Who wants a hotel room on the river with no river view. I'm assuming the costs to add window to the structure would be astronomical.

5) A theme park inside the Pyramid would be too small.

6) We already have too many mega churches in Memphis.

I don't know exactly what could be done, but it should be something that can't be found in Anycity, USA.

How about a performing arts center? A world class symphony hall at ground level with maybe a black box theater above to complement the very nice and well preserved theater to the south. (I'm sorry, I don't remember the name). :( Memphis is the nation's other Music City and it deserves such a venue.

Nashville's Symphony Hall is actually a building within a building to eliminate outside noise and it seems possible they could do the same within the Pyramid.

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I voted for other on the basis that perhaps the best use of the property is to remove the Pyramid completely and focus on improving that whole end of downtown. The region is already aquarium-saturated with Chattanooga, Atlanta, and New Orleans as large attractions nearby, so you'd be hard-pressed to make a profit in this market. As for a small urban theme park, this has already been done unsuccessfully with Libertyland. Yes it has the cachet of being indoors, but I'd be willing to cede the theme park market to a mega-development near Tunica where it would be a better fit. So my thoughts? Here goes:

First, reconfigure I-40 to connect with 2nd and 3rd streets as the downtown entrance and remove the ugly ramps that connect with Riverside, Front, and Jackson. There is space to do this north of the Wyndham Hotel and on the north side of I-40 south of the Pinch District. That frees up a lot of space on the surface lot south of the Pyramid and laterally up the bluff next to the convention center. This would allow another Cook expansion into the 500K square foot range which would help bring bigger trade shows/conventions to the city and help the already fairly robust hotel industry.

Second, the Pyramid site from Auction Street south to the I-40 bridge is a decent-sized plot of land. It could sustain a mixed-use development with a large hotel, Class A office space, and some retail/dining. Parking could be in a multi-story garage below an expanded Cook Convention Center on the west side of Front Street. The area already has rail/trolley access, so it would be a great tie-in to light rail if we ever go forward with that in the future. Notice I didn't say condo as the rest of the Pinch District is (sort of) embracing this concept, but some residential shouldn't be ruled out.

Third, somehow relocate the MLGW substation away from Jackson/Front as that area is prime real estate. It's a large enough lot for a significant development that would be a great office or hotel space

and could connect between the Cook and a new development at the Pyramid site.

While this idea is not as creative as a movie studio or aquarium, we have to consider something with the ability to generate sufficient tax revenue and this idea, if developed with good density, could do that.

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I voted for other on the basis that perhaps the best use of the property is to remove the Pyramid completely and focus on improving that whole end of downtown. The region is already aquarium-saturated with Chattanooga, Atlanta, and New Orleans as large attractions nearby, so you'd be hard-pressed to make a profit in this market. As for a small urban theme park, this has already been done unsuccessfully with Libertyland. Yes it has the cachet of being indoors, but I'd be willing to cede the theme park market to a mega-development near Tunica where it would be a better fit. So my thoughts? Here goes:

First, reconfigure I-40 to connect with 2nd and 3rd streets as the downtown entrance and remove the ugly ramps that connect with Riverside, Front, and Jackson. There is space to do this north of the Wyndham Hotel and on the north side of I-40 south of the Pinch District. That frees up a lot of space on the surface lot south of the Pyramid and laterally up the bluff next to the convention center. This would allow another Cook expansion into the 500K square foot range which would help bring bigger trade shows/conventions to the city and help the already fairly robust hotel industry.

Second, the Pyramid site from Auction Street south to the I-40 bridge is a decent-sized plot of land. It could sustain a mixed-use development with a large hotel, Class A office space, and some retail/dining. Parking could be in a multi-story garage below an expanded Cook Convention Center on the west side of Front Street. The area already has rail/trolley access, so it would be a great tie-in to light rail if we ever go forward with that in the future. Notice I didn't say condo as the rest of the Pinch District is (sort of) embracing this concept, but some residential shouldn't be ruled out.

Third, somehow relocate the MLGW substation away from Jackson/Front as that area is prime real estate. It's a large enough lot for a significant development that would be a great office or hotel space

and could connect between the Cook and a new development at the Pyramid site.

While this idea is not as creative as a movie studio or aquarium, we have to consider something with the ability to generate sufficient tax revenue and this idea, if developed with good density, could do that.

i dissagree with the removal of the pyramid: that structure is now a land mark etched into the image of memphis. its one of the worlds largest pyramids, and it think will be remembered for this city, especially if it last decades,(or even centuries).

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It probably wouldn't work, but it would be neat if they could turn it into a big dome zoo something like this. http://www.regnskoven.dk/en/zoo/the-domes/...h-america-dome/

This is exactly what I invisioned. An indoor park where they switch up rides annually that way the public won't get used to them. I think Houston is working on this type of project with the AstroDome, I think. Is the land around the Pyramid expendable? Memphis should really expand downtown entertainment, especially with all of the condos going up dt.

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i dissagree with the removal of the pyramid: that structure is now a land mark etched into the image of memphis. its one of the worlds largest pyramids, and it think will be remembered for this city, especially if it last decades,(or even centuries).

I agree. Its a icon for the city of Memphis. Many people think the Pyramid is one of the coolest facilities in the nation.

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I have to agree that it would be a major loss to the city if the Pyramid was torn down for a new development. It's pretty much the city's iconic structure.

There has to be a feasible use for the facility, the question is how soon will the city and county find it. It may take awhile if Bass Pro Shop's deal falls through.

I personally hope the Bass Pro Shop becomes a reality as its about the best deal the city could ask for. It would produce direct lease payments to the city/county to pay off the facility's debt, have the facility revemped and put to a productive use, create sales tax revenue, draw more tourists downtown (many of whom might not normally come downtown), and probably spur other developments around the Pyramid that would feed off the new activity in area of downtown.

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Good point Rural King. I tried to view some of the renderings but they never showed up; Do you know where I can view the Bass Pro renderings??

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Good point Rural King. I tried to view some of the renderings but they never showed up; Do you know where I can view the Bass Pro renderings??

Here's one from WMCTV:

http://files.wmctv.com/pyramid.jpg

Now this is an artist's rendering, and rather basic one at that. So I am not sure if it would look like this in the end.

I don't mind the fish canopy at the base shown in the rendering, but I am not fond of the hook inclinator, as I think a regular old inclinator would be more tasteful.

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Here's one from WMCTV:

http://files.wmctv.com/pyramid.jpg

Now this is an artist's rendering, and rather basic one at that. So I am not sure if it would look like this in the end.

I don't mind the fish canopy at the base shown in the rendering, but I am not fond of the hook inclinator, as I think a regular old inclinator would be more tasteful.

Did the same person who designed the Jungle Room at Graceland do this also?

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A Bass Pro Shop for a structure this beautiful? I don't think so. I'd either convert it into a hotel or a theme park. Memphis has superb retail as is and I think the aquarium thing would be too copycat off of Chattanooga. I can't think of anything else other than a museum. Memphis needs something unique that's never been done before to match how unique it already is.

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thats a strange rendering, looks like an artist doodled it one morning before work :)

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I was hoping the city of Memphis would have bigger plans for such a nice facility. Its a good regional market but a building as nice a the pyramid should have a more national impact. Beggars can't choosers.

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I would really like to see a nice museum: Something that is educational like a natural history museum or science museum, but not aimed only at children. It cold also have special exhibits such as the Wonder series or a year long exhibit from the Memphis in may featured country.

Parents and schools from miles around would love dragging their children to it. Hopefully it would inspire kids towards a productive career.

And the cost would be worth it because it is an investment in intellectual capital.

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I think that's a great idea hgupta but you would have to get some big players to become involved, maybe someone could nudge someone at the Brooks, Dixon, CMOM, or something else that could help fund something like that...the problem would be that the city/county would have to help with funding and they wouldn't want to....

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I don't think it should be an Aquarium. I saw on the John mayos website that Riverbend Crossing will have a Aquarium. I saw somewhere else that it was going to be a Ripley's Aquarium.

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Am I wrong to think that I once read somewhere that the Pyramid sporadically hosted a series of art exhibits, including, approriately enough, a major Egyptian art exhibit? I could have sworn before moving to Memphis I stumbled onto something of this light, but since coming here I've heard nothing along these lines and I'm starting to think I imagined it....

Theme parks and that sort of thing hold pretty much no attraction for me - too Vegas-y. Without taking into consideration any feasibility questions, I would vote for the cultural option. If a billion dollars fell in my lap tomorrow (umm...please?) I would open some kind of modern or contemporary art museum there. The Art Museum at the University of Memphis already has excellent Egyptian collections, so as obvious as that would seem, it also seems redundant, and maybe even too obvious. Memphis is severely lacking a venue to see modern art, except sporadically in galleries, but even there I gather the focus is more on regional folk art (which is great, of course - just not the only thing out there!)

This is, of course, just a completely wild-eyed dream, nothing I'm seriously suggesting. I'm sure there are about 2 million reasons why this is impossible and no doubt there's not even demand for it anyway. But I kinda like the idea of a building modeled after an ancient structure housing a modern and contemporary art museum - it seems very appropriate, actually.

(however I must confess if a billion dollars really DOES fall in my lap tomorrow - I'm probably not going to spend it on memphis. sorry guys...)

S

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Am I wrong to think that I once read somewhere that the Pyramid sporadically hosted a series of art exhibits, including, approriately enough, a major Egyptian art exhibit? I could have sworn before moving to Memphis I stumbled onto something of this light, but since coming here I've heard nothing along these lines and I'm starting to think I imagined it....

S

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