Beale Street Landing (Source: Nick Kenney / WMC Action News 5)
MEMPHIS, TN -
(WMC) - Beale Street Landing is celebrating its grand opening this weekend on the Mississippi Riverfront.
The Riverfront Development Corporation (RDC) project says the original budget for the project was $28 million and the final price tag ended up being $43 million. But the RDC says the investment will pay off in the future.
"The money Memphis spent on this riverfront is a fraction of what most any city spent on a riverfront," RDC president Benny Lendermon said. "They're spending $200-$250 million, $75 million."
He continued, "It's just everything we hoped it would be. Public projects are so hard. They take so much criticism and people have a hard time understanding what you're accomplishing until it's actually built."
To kick off the festivities, the Riverfront Development Corporation hosted a grand opening for the kids playground area.
The rest of the park, including the bar and grill and gift shop, will have a grand opening celebration Saturday afternoon.
"This is an investment. It will be paying for itself over decades and decades and decades and Memphis will embrace it and love it," Lendermon added.
John Stokes is the first chairman of RDC. His name can be found on the playground's giant catfish. He says success will be measured in visitors.
"It's been a long battle," he said. "Our whole effort has been to enhance what we think is our greatest asset and to create things down here that bring people here.
The public is invited to attend the park's grand opening. Bring the children and enjoy music, food, drinks, face paint, magicians, and other activities. It will begin at noon on Saturday, June 28.
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