MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Elvis Presley Enterprises said it is ready to move forward with a massive expansion plan on the Graceland campus in Whitehaven that promises 1,000 jobs.
The plan, at least for now, leaves out a concert arena that’s been a point of contention in the deal.
This agreement is a framework for EPE and the city to move forward, and it establishes the types of projects that could be eligible for incentives.
“An agreement has been reached,” said Memphis City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad.
Tuesday, we learned Elvis Presley Enterprises and the City of Memphis are seeing eye to eye again about some of the developments proposed for the Graceland campus after intense negotiations.
“It’s critical because there’s a community that’s at stake and involved in this and I represent part of that community,” said council member Patrice Robinson, who represents District 3.
EPE announced it will file a new application for public incentives that does not contain a concert venue.
The projects include 80,000 square feet of soundstages, more retail and exhibit space, 30 guest cabins, a relocated RV park, plane hangars, and updates to existing rooms and an addition of 150 rooms to the Guesthouse at Graceland.
Some construction could start at year’s end.
“We came to an agreement that set aside an agreement on the concert venue,” said EPE attorney James McLaren. “That is still in litigation. But we want to move forward with what we can all agree to and move forward with today.”
EPE sued the city after Mayor Jim Strickland said an arena would violate a non-compete agreement with the Grizzlies over FedExForum and could not be publicly funded.
Specifics of the incentives EPE plans to seek in the new deal were not announced.
“If there was going to be any request for increased public revenues we wanted to see what the kinds of development would be for that,” said City of Memphis COO Doug McGowan.
Attorneys for EPE said all jobs will pay $15.50 an hour and EPE will make a $750,000 investment in the Whitehaven community.
No action was taken at Tuesday’s meeting, and more discussion is expected in two weeks.
We’ve also been told Whitehaven residents will have first priority of expanded jobs as part of the deal.