MBJ: Pop-up park Downtown will have skating rink, basketball courts, food trucks
A “pop-up park” is headed to the Mighty Mississippi’s Fourth Bluff.
RiverPlay — a temporary public space and recreation area — will make its debut at the Mississippi River Park in early May.
The City of Memphis, the Memphis Grizzlies, Riverfront Development Corp. and the Downtown Memphis Commission (DMC) are partners on the project.
“Memphis has the best natural riverfront in the country, and it is important to find ways to make the most out of every square inch of these remarkable public spaces,” said Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland in a release. “As our Downtown core continues to develop and welcome new residents, workers, and visitors all the time, programs like Fourth Bluff and innovative projects like RiverPlay illuminate exactly why our riverfront is so special.”
A four-block segment of the riverfront, the Fourth Bluff is part of a larger area called the Promenade, which encompasses the Cossitt Library, the law school promenade, Memphis Park, Mississippi River Park and sections of the Riverwalk.
In September 2016, the City of Memphis announced those locations would be part of a Fourth Bluff revitalization effort under the Reimagining the Civic Commons initiative, which is a national effort to revitalize and connect public spaces as a way “to bring together people from different backgrounds.”
The City of Memphis received a $5 million grant as part of Reimagining the Civic Commons via The JPB Foundation, Knight Foundation, The Kresge Foundation and The Rockefeller Foundation. Akron, Chicago, Detroit and Philadelphia are the other participating cities.
Funding for the RiverPlay pop-up was made possible by the Civic Commons grant and contributions from the DMC and Memphis Grizzlies.