Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Graceland Could Expand With a $50M Event Center Adding 150 Jobs to Whitehaven

Posted By on Wed, Aug 23, 2017 at 10:46 AM

Rendering of the proposed $50 million event center at Graceland - ELVIS PRESLEY ENTERPRISES
  • Elvis Presley Enterprises
  • Rendering of the proposed $50 million event center at Graceland

Graceland could soon be the new home of a proposed 6,200-seat arena that officials with Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) say could easily achieve 50 events a year.

The group told a Memphis City Council committee Tuesday that the near $50 million project proposed for the north side of Graceland would create additional retail and museum spaces there, too. Officials say this will "broaden the scope" of what visitors see at Graceland.

Officials with the group say the goal of the arena is to attract more events to Memphis, as well as more people to Whitehaven.  They say it'll be built to be flexible, able to hold concerts, graduations, and other community events.

Attorney for EPE, Jay Campbell Jr. says the new addition would add about 150 new jobs at Graceland and many of those jobs would be filled with people from the Whitehaven community.

In order to "build a theater on the level everyone expects from Graceland," Campbell says EPE will need to extra financial assistance, by way of an increase in their tax increment financing (TIF) agreement, which reinvests taxes paid to offset project costs.

Campbell says a fee will be added to event tickets and the surplus will be donated to the Economic Development and Growth Engine for Memphis and Shelby County (EDGE) to be used throughout the community, specifically in the Whitehaven neighborhood surrounding Graceland.

He says this will "turn into real money for the community," but the group does not yet have the exact numbers that the plan would yield.

Because "the guys at Graceland like to move quickly," Campbell says the group is looking to have the project completed by early 2019.

The step next, Campbell says is meeting with EDGE members and working through the changes the group seeks with the TIF.


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