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Latest renovation plans for Tom Lee Park unveiled

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Officials with Memphis River Parks Partnership unveiled the latest plans for a major renovation of Tom Lee Park Thursday.

“I think (the renovation) is probably the most significant civic project in my lifetime,” MRPP President Carol Coletta said.

The designs include a two-mile running loop, fitness zones and a large water feature with misters and fountain jets. Other aspects of the $60 million project include an elevated walking path through a canopy that’ll resemble a forest and unique play areas for kids.

“So, not your kind of off-the-shelf slide and swing set but really somewhere that’s super engaging,” MRPP official George Abbott said, “So, much of what’s in this park is inspired by the shapes, the forms, the sounds, the movement of the Mississippi River.”

The initial designs for the park renovation were released in 2019 and were met with criticism from Memphis in May organizers who feared a number of planned hills and trees would force key events like the Beale Street Music Festival and Barbecue Fest to find new homes. Eventually, both sides reached an agreement that accommodated MIM’s needs so the events could stay at Tom Lee Park.

The renovation plans also call for increased parking, accessible routes for people with disabilities and clearly marked, flashing signs at crosswalks on Riverside Drive.

“Really making a safer Riverside Drive,” Abbott said.

MRPP says it’s secured most of the project’s funding, claiming more than half of it comes from state dollars, federal dollars and private donations.

“It’s a big project. There’s a lot to get done, but we’re on a path,” Coletta said.

Coletta says crews are expected to break ground by the end of 2020, and she hopes the project will be finished by 2023.

Under the current plan, Riverside Drive will remain at four

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Why do Derek Jeter and Tom Brady need 16 bathrooms in this house?

Forget the hand-carved Connecticut granite or the saltwater lap pool or the club room with the full-service bar.

Let’s talk bathrooms. Eight full and eight partial. That’s 16 toilet flappers to replace. Sixteen chances to clean grout. Sixteen mirrors to collect toothpaste splatters.

Baseball player Derek Jeter listed his Tampa house Tuesday for $29 million. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady and supermodel Gisele Bündchen rent the Davis Islands waterfront property, which has seven bedrooms and… * checks notes * … yep, still 16 bathrooms.

Apologies if you are very rich and already know this! But mansions often have more bathrooms than bedrooms. Those of us with a mere two bathrooms last renovated in the 1970s cannot fathom needing, or even finding time to use, 16 porcelain thrones.

Does each bathroom have a special purpose? Is one for pedicures and another for tweezing? Is one Gothic revival and another coastal eclectic? Do any have secret passageways?

For an explanation, I called Bob Glaser, CEO of Smith & Associates Real Estate, the firm handling the Jeter listing. He politely pointed out the obvious:

Luxury homes are not regular homes. They are sprawling compounds of privacy and convenience. The Jeter house is about 22,000 square feet, roughly the size of a Publix. We’ve all been in the yogurt aisle when the bathroom is up by the lottery tickets.

“Just start with the bedrooms,” Glaser said.

Five is typical in luxury properties. That’s a bathroom for each bedroom. Then, you’re going to have an entertainment area, a pool deck, a guest wing.

“What are we at, eight?”

Maybe there’s an in-law suite, areas for the housekeeper and nannies. Maybe there’s a hobby room. And consider parties. Homeowners don’t want guests peeking at their nasal strips and prescriptions (of course you would open that

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