By Graham Sweeney
Plans for the construction of a future miniature golf course at 380 Market Blvd. hit a bunker on Monday night.
The town’s Board of Mayor and Aldermen unanimously opposed a ‘conditional use permit’ for Malco Towne Mini Golf during its regularly scheduled semimonthly meeting.
The entertainment venue, slated for construction on a portion of the Malco parking lot on the east side of Market Blvd. near Civic Center Drive, was designed to include arcades, concessions, party rooms, virtual reality games and an 18-hole miniature golf course.
However, the town’s aldermen agreed that pedestrian traffic and streetscape aesthetics would be an issue.
“Based on the feedback,” said Alderman Maureen Fraser, “citizens really want a miniature golf course. I personally have a problem with that location though for pedestrian traffic.”
Fraser asked if the project could be moved north of the cinema on the parking area farther away from the businesses on Market.
However, Jack Muffoletto, project architect, said that the other parking area was not considered due to a “lack of visibility.”
He added that the project design would include greenspaces to improve the “sea of asphalt” that is currently visible on the property.
Project applicant Donald Terry added that moving the project to the north would create a “choke point” for traffic.
“The only way to have access to this area is the street to the north, which has never been completed and does not go anywhere,” he said.
Alderman Bill Patton said that this type of project could lend itself to similar entertainment options in the area and that the project was too close to the street.
“It’s not the streetscape that we want in Collierville,” he noted. “Maybe if it was pushed farther back. Maybe behind McAlister’s Deli.”
Noting that the project would “enhance” business at Malco, Alderman John Stamps said the miniature golf course doesn’t fit the current mixture of businesses in the area.
“Maybe another area would be better,” he concluded.
The conceptual design for the project was inspired by the Town Square Depot and Gazebo.
There are currently 797 parking spaces at the Malco Theatre, which seats 1,690.
Four hundred and twenty three spaces are currently required for the theater and 60 parking spaces will be required for the new venue.
So, the venue already has enough required parking.
Sounds associated with the venue will not violate the town’s anti-noise regulations.
Shelby County currently has two miniature golf courses, Putt-Putt Fun Center in Memphis and VP Mini Golf in Cordova.
By Graham Sweeney