Mud Island River Park Redevelopment RFQCPP

 

Introduction

Join the Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC), a 501(c)3 organization contractually responsible for the management and redevelopment of the Memphis Riverfront, and the City of Memphis in the creation of a vibrant, multi-use destination on Memphis’ premiere riverfront property. The development and repurposing of Mud Island River Park, a 50-acre peninsula along the eastern bank of the Mississippi River and the western edge of the Wolf River Harbor in downtown Memphis, was first envisioned during the creative process for River Vision 2020 – a five year plan for the work of the RDC.

River Vision 2020 encompasses three primary objectives: Goal #1: Activate the Memphis Riverfront by generating a draw to the river 365 days a year; Goal #2: Be an economic development partner by making enhancements to the Riverfront that improve the quality of life of Memphians and creates an environment where development is attracted; and Goal #3: Determine the highest and best use of the Mud Island River Park property in order to make it sustainable.

The RDC is making great strides on each of these goals. The organization is demonstrating its ability to animate and activate the Riverfront with regular, recurring programming and exciting special events that consistently attract residents and visitors. The RDC has recently opened Beale Street Landing, its 6-acre multi-use, $43 million civic amenity where Riverside Drive meets the historic Beale Street providing a platform for additional citizen engagement and the foundation for future development of the Memphis Riverfront. And now the organization is ready to release a Request for Qualifications and Concept Project Proposal (RFQCPP) for Mud Island River Park.

The RFQCPP invites proposals from qualified development firms interested in designing, developing, financing, constructing, maintaining, operating and managing a project on city-owned property at Mud Island River Park. The intended selection of a highly qualified firm and the identification of the desired project will include a two-phase process, which is described here in the request itself.

The desired proposal should capture the unique qualities of the setting and bring new vision and heightened aspiration to the development of this built environment. We encourage proposers to develop visions that are strong enough to activate the waterfront, extend its use, and develop an authentic and potentially iconic response to the site.

To this end, a land use study was conducted by LRK Architects with significant public input in 2010. Proposers are strongly advised to review the Mud Island Land Use Study results found here in Part I and Part II and to incorporate those that make sense for your specific proposal where applicable.

Proposers should also consider the many ways this site is viewed—from the bluff twenty-five feet above Riverside Drive, from Arkansas and the Hernando DeSoto I-40 Bridge, from the A.W. Willis Bridge, from the parks and historic cobblestone landing across the Wolf River Harbor, from Bass Pro Shops – Pyramid, and from the river itself.

We invite you to participate in this proposal process and join us in creating a world-class riverfront destination in Memphis.

The Context

You know that Memphis was the home of Elvis Presley, and that Beale Street nurtured W. C. Handy, B.B. King, and other pioneers of the blues. You know that Stax Records, which introduced the “Memphis Sound” with recording artists such as Booker T & the MGs, Otis Redding, Sam and Dave, and Isaac Hayes, was born in Memphis. You may know, as well, that the National Civil Rights Museum, housing a world renowned chronicle of civil and human rights struggles, is located in the former Lorraine Motel, the site of Martin Luther King, Jr.’s assassination.

You probably don’t know that Memphis has more listings per capita in the National Register of Historic Places than any other city in the nation, or that, with FedEx’s SuperHub, Memphis International Airport is the busiest cargo airport in the world. Did you know that the Memphis Zoo continues to rank among the top five zoos in the nation? Or that Memphis has the world’s largest artesian well water system, or that Greyhound and Trailways bus lines began here, as did Welcome Wagon?

More recently, in May of 2015, Bass Pro Shops opened the largest of their world-wide stores right across the harbor in the former Pyramid Arena, with a birds-eye perch overlooking Mud Island River Park. A state of the art, $250 million NBA basketball arena plays home to the Memphis Grizzlies and a 10,000 seat Triple-A ballpark shines just two blocks to its south. A $1.5 billion expansion is nearing its completion at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, located to the east of Bass Pro Shops, and the Medical Center District, a mile away, hosts a burgeoning biotech center. And The Big River Crossing, a mile-long pedestrian and bicycle trail connecting Tennessee and Arkansas across the Mississippi River at Memphis, is slated to be completed in late 2016.

With the fastest growing residential population of almost any downtown in the nation and corporate headquarters ranging from FedEx to AutoZone, Memphis is undergoing an incredible revitalization. This proposal process allows you the unique opportunity of being a player in its renaissance.

Opportunity for Redevelopment

The Mud Island River Park’s unique location in downtown Memphis significantly enhances its chances for a successful and sustaining redevelopment. The River Park is flanked by the Mississippi River to its west and the Wolf River Harbor to its east.

The River Park will be one of the first Tennessee sites that drivers crossing the Hernando De Soto Bridge over the Mississippi River will see. The River Park is also strategically wedged between two new and exciting developments – on its northeast by Bass Pro Shops-Pyramid and on its southeast by Beale Street Landing.

The Bass Pro Shops-Pyramid is one of the most dynamic and immersive retail experiences in the world. It is not only a store, but an adventure. The 500,000-square-foot sporting goods emporium is styled inside like an old fishing camp. The mega store includes an incredible assortment of fishing, boating hunting and outdoor gear as well as a 103-room hotel with tree cabins, restaurants, 6,000 gallons of water teeming over 1,800 fish, a cypress swamp with alligator pools, duck aviaries, a bowling alley, archery ranges, a Ducks Unlimited museum, and a 30th-floor observation deck looking out over the Mississippi River and Memphis. The Bass Pro Shops-Pyramid opened in May 2015, and after only two months, one million visitors had made their way to the Shop.

The recently completed Beale Street Landing is a $43 million state of the art docking facility and civic center located on the banks of the Mississippi River, just across the harbor from the River Park. This building’s unique, award winning design includes a hydrotech “green” arched roof; a sophisticated passenger boat docking system; a restaurant; and a three-acre river theme public park. The facility provides for the docking of daily excursion vessels and overnight cruise boats, promoting safe and easy boarding and disembarking at almost all water levels. It is estimated that more than 14,000 tourists will enter or leave the city this year from the cruise boat dockings. This number is expected to grow significantly in the coming years with additional dockings being planned by cruise boat companies. Cruise boat passengers are typically from outside Memphis and spend a night or two in a local hotel before or after a cruise and fly in or out of the Memphis airport.

The Beale Street Landing facility with its “green” arched roof serves as a major integrator of the riverfront as it seamlessly joins together Tom Lee Park (a 24-acre park) to its south where the world renown Memphis in May festival is held annually; the historic Cobblestone Landing to its north (one of the few remaining cobblestone landings in the country and included on the National Register of Historic Sites); the historic “Blues” Beale Street (America’s Most Iconic Street by a USA Today National Poll and Tennessee’s Top Tourism Attraction) from its east, and the Mississippi River to its west.

The great expectations for both Bass Pro Shops-Pyramid and Beale Street Landing have accelerated the need to reexamine nearby underutilized real estate that includes Mud Island River Park.

Additional information regarding projects and activities in the downtown Memphis area can be found at the websites for the Downtown Memphis Commission (www.downtownmemphiscommission.com) and the Memphis Convention and Visitor Bureau (www.memphistravel.com).

RFQCPP Schedule

November 16, 2015      
Issue Request for Qualifications & Concept Project Proposal (RFQCPP)

November 23, 2015 thru January 5, 2016    
Optional Individual Pre-Proposal Conferences and Tours are available for proposers. Proposers must contact the RDC staff member listed below to  schedule a conference and tour of Mud Island River Park. Staff will make its best effort to accommodate the proposer’s schedule between November 23 and  January 5, 2016.

Jim Reeder
Via Email: jreeder@memphisriverfront.com
By Telephone: 901.312.9190
Through USPS:
Riverfront Development Corporation
22 North Front Street
Suite 960
Memphis, TN 38103

Nov. 16 – Jan 5, 2016        
Questions Regarding the RFQCPP Must Be Directed to: Jim Reeder

Via Email: jreeder@memphisriverfront.com
By Telephone: 901.312.9190
Through USPS:
Riverfront Development Corporation
22 North Front Street
Suite 960
Memphis, TN 38103

January 15, 2016  
All Responses to RFQCPP Due by 2:00PM
Responses will be stamped with date & time received

Attn: Benny O. Lendermon III, President
Riverfront Development Corporation
22 North Front Street
Suite 960
Memphis, TN 38103

To submit a proposal please download the .pdf here and submit by mail to Benny O. Lendermon III, President.