Shelby Farms Park $52M Renovation Includes Restaurant - FOX13 News, WHBQ FOX 13

Shelby Farms Park $52M Renovation Includes Restaurant

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    Friday, October 4 2013 3:43 PM EDT2013-10-04 19:43:45 GMT
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EAST MEMPHIS, Tenn. (FOX13) - Shelby Farms Park, a popular summertime hot spot in Memphis, is getting a makeover. It's undergoing a $52 million renovation. The project will take two years to complete but the park conservancy says the wait will be well worth it.

When you visit Shelby Farms you're sure to find people exercising, fishing, and taking advantage of what the 45,000 acre park has to offer.

MORE: Shelby Farms Asks Commission $3M For Park Transformation
MORE: Shelby Farms unveils improved wetland area


"I like riding my bike around the lake,” said Emily Segura, 9.

It's a place for people of all ages and now, new opportunities with the park breaking ground on $52 million in improvements. The biggest part of the project details the expansion of Patriot Lake from 55 acres to 72 acres.

"Ooooh, I'd love that very much!," Emily said.

The idea is already popular with park guests, which comes as no surprise.

"It's one of the things we heard most through our master planning process," said Laura Adams, Executive Director Shelby Farms Park Conservancy. "When we took this out to the public, people loved the idea of big water."

Adams said "big water" will bring big changes, including a restaurant at the park, something it currently does not have.

"On the far eastern edge of Patriot Lake is where the restaurant and retreat center will be," Adams said. "The restaurant will be about a 120-person seated restaurant with a large 80-person patio that overlooks the long view of the water."

Adams added that several restaurant owners around Memphis have already expressed interest in moving into the space.  

Jennifer Bland, who visits Shelby Farms Park weekly, is excited for a restaurant on the park grounds.  

"I think it's great," Bland said. "“We won't have to stop by and get food before we come. We can just eat here."

The restaurant and lake expansion will take a couple years but the park will likely have new improvements, including a zip line, ready for use as early as June 2015.

"We've usually had to travel to go do stuff like that, so that's great!," Bland said.

It's an exciting time at Shelby Farms Park, but with some growing pains ahead Adams said the park is committed to keeping it open and active and relocating some of the activities guests normally enjoy to other parts of the park.

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