Demolition, $60M renovation begins in Tom Lee Park

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Demolition for the $60 million renovation of Tom Lee Park is underway Thursday in downtown Memphis.

The median on Riverside Drive has been removed, and crews have begun work on the new Cutbank Bluff, according to a release from Memphis River Parks.

Bulldozers and demolition crews with be working to demolition a building between Beale Street Landing and the southern end of the park.

The entire park will be constructed at the same time, the release said.

Carol Coletta, with Memphis River Parks, said, “The intention is to deliver a park that is a fabulous asset for Memphis and Shelby County and one we can all be proud of.”

Coletta said the redesigned park will feature more walking trails, a splash pad for kids and a pier overlooking the river.

Montgomery Martin Contractors and All World Project Management will lead the construction and project management efforts.

Other key players in the park’s renovation include Studio Gang, architect and master planner; SCAPE, landscape architect and park designer; Applied Ecological Services, ecologist; and others.

Community members will have an opportunity to have their names etched in the park by donating $1,000+, the release said.

Officials said the new park will be an “unmatched” venue for events and festivals and will attract more visitors to Downtown’s restaurants, bars, shops and attractions.

An economic impact study estimated the total impact of the riverfront at more than $1 billion in its first decade of operation, according to the release.

The park is known for Memphis in May’s Music Fest and the World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest.

Riverfront Redo: Historic Memphis riverfront, Tom Lee Park see transformation

The park will feature four new spaces, including one that highlights nature and feeds of the Mississippi River’s ecosystem.

Another space will be an education area for kids and teachers. A giant playground is planned, as well as a pavilion for entertainment and sports.

The park will have something for everyone to enjoy.

Developers told FOX13 they took input on designs from students in local schools.

The park is set to be completed in 2023.