Bass Pro 2012 ... Meanwhile



Bass Pro won't open in The Pyramid until late 2011 or, more likely, some time in 2012. And it won't solve all of downtown's problems. To see the 52-page lease agreement, go to the city's website, You'll need a lot of patience and some computer memory. In both cases, mine ran out on "Bass Pro Drive" before I was half way through it.

Meanwhile, here are ten other pressing downtown problems/opportunities that can be taken care of before 2012. Feel free to add to the list.

Find a main tenant and secondary tenants for One Commerce Square, the former home of National Bank of Commerce, Suntrust Bank, and the Glankler Brown law firm. An anchor tenant such as Pinnacle Airlines would be a game changer. So would a dark office tower at the center of the city skyline.

Interstate 40 splits the north end of downtown and The Pyramid from the convention center and the rest of downtown. If you walk from the convention center to a restaurant in The Pinch, you go through a dark, dirty no-man's land under the expressway. Clean it up and turn it into a parking lot with some security.

The Horizon is the nearly completed almost-new residential tower on the South Bluffs. It is owned by the lender, Capital One. Is the plan to just let it sit there in its present state indefinitely?

Benny Lendermon, the head of the Riverfront Development Corporation, has called Tom Lee Park "the worst waterfront park in America." Even as casual hyperbole, this isn't true. The park has great views, parking, and decent sidewalks. But it could use shade and drinking water. Is a tent and a snack cart during the summer months out of the question?

Directly across from Tom Lee Park at Beale Street there is an overgrown vacant lot. Clean it up, take down the fence, turn it into green space until something better comes along. Same for vacant lots across from the old Tennessee Brewery on the south end. Clean it, fill it, and green it is a quick, inexpensive, temporary fix.

The trolley tracks on Madison are a pain. What's the point?

Do Memphis and downtown need both the Riverfront Development Corporation and the Center City Commission?

It seems like Peabody Place with its stores and movie theater just sort of disappeared. Time for Peabody Place 2.0.

Cite the owner of the Chisca Hotel — the never-changing wreck south of FedEx Forum — for violation of anti-neglect.

Resolve the ownership of the Memphis Redbirds and AutoZone Park.

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