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Millions of dollars have been put into the Mud Island River Park, but what's next?

Future projects are being planned but awaiting a study to lay out general concepts for the island.

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Millions of dollars have been allocated to Mud Island over the last 12 months and whether you notice it or not, millions have been used.

Carol Coletta, the President and CEO of Memphis River Parks Partnership, said there are renovations currently taking place and upcoming projects as Memphis attempts to revitalize Mud Island.

"Nine and a half from the city is all about the escalators, the elevators, the lighting – all of the roof titles – you know, not fun to talk about, but has to be redone if you’re going to get tenants over there," Coletta said.

That's $9.5 million approved by Memphis City Council to transform Mud Island into a social island.

Future projects are being planned but awaiting a study to lay out general concepts for the island.

"We are in the midst of doing a study to look at multiple scenarios for the future of Mud Island," Coletta said. "And each of those scenarios will kind of lay out a general concept – what the public benefit would be, what money would be required, where that money would come from and that would give all of Memphis a better opportunity to evaluate any idea from Mud Island."

With new initiatives coming into the area in the form of accessibility in elevator and escalator installations, investors are starting to look to the area to build new projects.

A Chicago investor, Jeremie Bacon, has taken steps to put in one of his businesses, The Forge Adventure Park, which would consist of ziplines, climbing towers, and ropes courses.

"What we've proposed building is what would be the region's first largest and most exciting and extensive ziplining system. Imagine a zipline tour that takes you over a quarter of a mile at a speed that you can only really achieve in a car over the harbor into the central piece of Mud Island," Bacon said.

The initiative has not yet been approved by the city but could be on the table for talks on revitalizing the area.


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