Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Mississippi River Park Could Get New Look

Posted By on Wed, Apr 25, 2018 at 3:58 PM

  • Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development

The Memphis River Parks Partnership (MRPP) wants to use shipping containers to build a tree house and a pavilion in a re-imagined Mississippi River Park.

The group, which is a recent re-boot of the Riverfront Development Corp., filed for a variance to use the containers to build an elevated tree house with lookouts, bridges, and play places. The plan also uses containers to build a sheltered pavilion with tables.

The plan was proposed in documents to the Memphis and Shelby County Office of Planning and Development Tuesday.

“The designs maintain open green space, highlights river views, and embellishes the rolling topography near Riverside Drive,” reads a letter in the application from project representative Brenda Solomito, of Solomito Land Planning. “The park is a keystone piece in connecting the city’s riverfront network by tying into the greater circulation system.
“The structures located at the northern end of the park are open-air pavilions with flexible furnishings and constructed of shipping containers. Additionally, the playful tree house is elevated over a play area to the northwest.”

Mississippi River Park would also get a bike share station, bike racks, new furnishings, new landscaping, and a new concrete sidewalk that would encircle most of the park.

Shipping containers are not allowed for use, however. But Solomito argued in the application that they were chosen for their ability “to withstand the harsh elements along the Mississippi River and the number of visitors.”

Using them won’t save money, the application says. Instead, “the applicants are building for the future generations and the public good.”

MRPP wasted no time, it seems, to begin re-shaping the city’s riverfront. Carol Coletta, a Kresge Foundation fellow, was named the organization's new president in late March. The organization’s new name and vision were announced Monday.

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