$35M Graceland renovation plan gets mixed reviews - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

$35M Graceland renovation plan gets mixed reviews

(Source: Elvis Presley Enterprise) (Source: Elvis Presley Enterprise)
MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) -

A $35 million plan is in the works to revamp and expand a new part of Elvis Presley's estate. The changes could impact Graceland West, located across the street from the mansion.

Elvis fans are finally getting comfortable with the idea that Heartbreak Hotel will close when a 45-room hotel opens in October 2016. And now, there is more news to digest -- and it's getting mixed reaction.

"I'm super excited," said Elvis fan Leah Gordon.

"I'd say keep it the way it is," Brandon Dobbs disagreed.

According to Elvis Presley Enterprise's plan outline, the area that now houses museums, food, and Graceland's registration area will be demolished and redeveloped.

The drop off area would lead to a pedestrian plaza on the Elvis Presley Boulevard side. Beyond that, a one-story commercial building would be encircled by other one-story buildings.

The grassy area behind Graceland West would be used for warehouse space.

Some worry the Graceland experience could cost more.

"It'll draw more people and more money and I imagine everything is going to go up," said Elvis fan Jerry Davis. "The prices are not going to stay the same, which are probably already extravagant now."

Others want to maintain Graceland's authenticity.

"I can understand where they're coming from, but it's kind of history," Dobbs added. "You don't want to keep knocking down history and trying to revamp things. Don't break something that's not broken."

Some fans, though, are hoping Shelby County's Land Use Control Board will approve the plan on October 8.

"In order for the Elvis memory to continue and to continue to get people to come to the great town of Memphis," Gordon said. "We need to update and show them what we have to offer."

Community leaders are hopeful the new redevelopment plan will be complete when the hotel goes up next fall.

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