Right now $29.4 million is back in the budget to build a new commercial boat dock for the city. That's about 1/2 what we spent on the Pyramid.
This Tuesday, June 5, at 3:30 p.m. at City Hall, 125 N. Main, the Council will vote "yes" or "no" on the project. If approved, the RDC says work will start this fall.
The February Project for Public Spaces (PPS) newsletter took a look at “Waterfront Renaissance” and the opportunity waterfronts bring to create great public spaces that attract and inspire us?”
Does Beale Street Landing do that? Here's what PPS thinks.
In their draft report on Memphis, PPS says about our current Cobblestone Landing and Beale Street Landing:
Cobblestones – Beale Street Landing
The unique Cobblestone Landing offers a terrific opportunity to create a great destination with minimal investment and infrastructure.
Adding temporary seating, perhaps a food vendor, some public art that children can play on, perhaps a temporary water feature, a spot for private boats to tie-up, a barge restaurant, could start to develop some momentum here and give further clues about what more could work.
In the longer term, inexpensive wood platforms, shade structures (umbrellas, tents, trellises, etc.), water features and planters can help evolve this into a destination where the city meets the river.
The Beale Street Landing will not achieve the desired outcome unless the design is allowed to be more flexible and evolve with a strong plan to emphasize management and programming of the space. While perhaps well intended as a much needed riverfront destination, its expensive rigid design elements will likely preclude this section of the waterfront from becoming a valuable public space.
The design should come out of a community generated use plan and should be more temporary and inexpensive to support a range of changing uses. As this area becomes more successful, it may be that more money should be spent on design, but at that point it will be clearer what the design should support. The direction now seems to be a design that nobody will want and worse nobody will use.
Click here for more information about Beale Street Landing and to access what the Commercial Appeal and Flyer have said.