Graceland Looks For Further Expansion Including Hotel Additions and Cabins.
EPE representative Joel Weinshanker participated in a Memphis City Council meeting regarding further possible Graceland expansion. The goal is to move forward with possible redevelopment of Graceland – if Memphis city leaders agree on the plan. EPE indicated the first step is increasing the amount of money put into the project. “Just an increase from 50 to 65 percent, but it will put more money into the city treasury – where guaranteeing that by increasing a TIF, the amount that we put into it, doesn’t go down,” Weinshanker said.
EPE sued the City of Memphis after complaints of delaying the approval process for expansion at Graceland recently. They wanted an arena, but city leaders said it could violate a non-compete agreement with the FedEx Forum. EPE said Graceland will agree not to build the arena for now without court approval or settlement.
Now, they’re asking to move forward with other major projects such as retail, plane hangars, an additional wing to the hotel and cabins.
“If you look what we’ve done, since we’ve started the hotel and Elvis Presley’s Memphis we’re putting more than $1 million a year more into the city treasury than we did before,” said Weinshanker.
City of Memphis’ chief operating officer, Doug McGowen, indicated they will stand behind the project because aside from the arena, the proposal doesn’t violate a compete agreement. EPE will withdraw the existing application that consisted of adding a new 6500 seat arena and submit a new application with the four new elements.
McGowen said although they want to move forward, they are tied up in the litigation process, which prevents them from moving forward with other projects. “In addition to the manufacturing jobs, we have not yet seen an application for the incentive there, but we are eager to see that proposal and eager to receive it and evaluate any incentive that might come along with that,” he said. Graceland’s local impact over the next 30 years is expected to be $9.3 billion dollars. Some councilmembers said they are in favor of other expansion projects.
SOURCE: FOX13 Memphis