The Truth about Beale Street Landing
When a civic project costs more than expected, it’s natural to wonder what happened. It is also important to remember why it was proposed to begin with. This highly anticipated riverfront destination is underway and will be a wonderful new amenity when completed. Here is the truth about Beale Street Landing.
The design contract for Beale Street Landing was awarded in 2004 and the original schedule anticipated construction beginning in late 2006 with completion in late 2008. However, due to a number of delays the current schedule calls for completion in Summer 2011.
What has caused the construction delays?
- Two year delay awaiting Section 106 clearance from the State Historic Preservation Office;
- Hurricane Katrina and the extreme increases in the cost of gas and steel caused redesign of some project elements of the project;
City’s budget constraints delayed project funding; and
- High water conditions extend work schedule for projects on the Mississippi River.
Construction delays result in project cost increase while Congressional holdbacks caused project funding decrease
- Cost of Inflation on Construction during these five years increased 25%, adding $6.9 million to the project;
- Approximately $1.3 million was spent as part of the Section 106 Clearance process and in value-engineering for redesign, project management and specialty consultants; and
- Due to Congressional holdbacks, the expected federal funding dropped $1.4 million.
Beale Street Landing Project Costs and Needs
When construction cost increases and funding decreases are combined, the shortfall for Beale Street Landing is approximately $9 million.
The RDC has been fiscally prudent in every aspect of the BSL project:
- RDC has value-engineered various aspects of the project to control increased project costs.
- RDC made the City Administration aware of probable cost increases due to delays.
- RDC continues to ensure that the daily operations of the organization are as efficient as possible.
Economic Impact of Beale Street Landing
- The economic impact of construction alone is $75 million – more than twice the cost
- The Commercial Appeal quotes Kevin Kane, president & CEO of the Memphis Convention & Visitors Bureau, as saying “This project is critical.”
- The Greater Memphis Chamber of Commerce lists it among priorities in the Memphis Fast Forward Plan.
Beale Street Landing is part of the Memphis Riverfront Master Plan approved by the Memphis City Council in 2002. When completed, Beale Street Landing will serve as a unique public space and destination at the terminus of Beale Street in downtown Memphis, provide safe and inviting pedestrian access to the water’s edge, will function as a world-class docking facility for riverboats; and will offer the only restaurant on the Memphis riverfront.
Simply put, the project will reunite the city with the river. As a result of Beale Street Landing, the majestic Mississippi River will be more accessible for area residents and visitors to the Bluff City.
These ongoing efforts are essential to bringing this world-class riverfront to Memphis riverfront for all citizens to enjoy.
Let your voice be heard.
- Send City Council Members an email voicing your support of Beale Street Landing.
- Write a letter to the editor of The Commercial Appeal.
- Contact us to show your support for this important project.