Commission seeks long term management for Beale Street

Commission seeks long term management for Beale Street

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - The growing fight over who should pull the purse strings on Beale Street got a little closer to a solution Friday.

The Downtown Memphis Commission made it official Friday that they wanted to manage Beale Street long term and have the resources to do so.

"We are as suited as anyone to commit to the community and reinvest and lift up a prized asset," DMC President Terence Patterson said. "We've been month to month essentially and it's our feeling that we need to take a longer term view and perspective on how we manage the street."

Patterson said long term management could mean long term results.

The DMC has been serving on an interim basis for the past three years over Beale Street. Patterson said they can now begin talking more officially with the City of Memphis about ways the commission can play a more permanent role.

His top priority? Safety on Beale Street.

"We've identified some challenges and we made a proactive five or six step plan to increase the security and safety measures on Beale Street," Patterson said.

The commission also wants to preserve the Beale Street heritage.

However, one person voted against the plan - State Representative and DMC board member Barbara Cooper.

Cooper said the vote against it was simple - she hasn't seen the plan for Beale and the nature of pending lawsuits.

"No plan. I haven't seen that and that was one of the reasons I couldn't support that," Cooper said.

Cooper said she has concerns amid pending lawsuits alleging a company has not been chosen to manage Beale because of racism and discrimination.

"That has me concerned because of the nature of the lawsuits," Cooper said.

The Beale Street Tourism Development Authority will ultimately have to choose who will serve in the permanent managing role.

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