WATCH: Demolition begins at Tom Lee Park ahead of multi-million dollar renovations

Published: Jul. 22, 2021 at 9:35 AM CDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2021 at 10:07 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Crews are tearing up Tom Lee Park in Downtown Memphis ahead of the multi-million dollar renovations in store.

Workers began tearing down a structure at the park Thursday morning kicking off the start of a years-long renovation plan.

City leaders hope the $60 million redevelopment will increase park participation. But the matter of parking is becoming a disputed topic.

Parallel parking spaces along Riverside Drive will now be free, but there are only 68 of them. Sixty-two other free spaces on the east side have been eliminated.

“The fact that we’ve done this [renovation] to increase park participation but cut parking in half? I don’t think those two things are congruent,” said Councilman Martavius Jones.

Paid parking will be available in the new Mobility Center at Beale and Main, expected to be complete in 2022, but critics argue the center is too far from the river.

Tom Lee Park is expected to be complete in April 2023.

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