Are Renovation Plans Around Graceland Enough?

Are Renovation Plans Around Graceland Enough?

Small business owners question if pretty streets and lights will be enough to spruce up the area outside of the King's house in Whitehaven.
MEMPHIS, TN-- Small business owners question if pretty streets and lights will be enough to spruce up the area outside of the King's house in Whitehaven. The Elvis Presley Boulevard Project started in late 2012. It covers a 3 mile stretch starting at Shelby Drive and ending at Brooks Road.  A lot of work has gone into the $43 million project. Surrounding small business owners say this project will be more successful if they get a piece of that pie too.

"I think things can be added to help the businesses grow. That's the most important thing," said small business owner M. Latroy Williams.

Williams has invested 19 years of his life into several small businesses in Whitehaven. He wants to build a movie theatre in the area. He loves how Elvis Presley Boulevard is getting all "shook up" but there needs to be more.

"You can build all the beautiful streets and roads you want to but if the businesses don't strive it doesn't do any good," said Williams. "There should be grants made available for the small businesses here on Elvis Presley the same as it is in Germantown and in midtown and other areas of the city."

So far we've seen a few new businesses laying their foundation along Elvis Presley Boulevard and neighbors are thrilled.

"Yes I'm very excited because a Family Dollar is going to be closer to me and everything," said a Whitehaven neighbor Lajuan Hicks.

Behind the Family Dollar, a Holiday Inn Express will be moving in. Also setting up shop along Elvis Presley Boulevard is a CVS. Councilman Harold Collins has been at the forefront of this renovation project. He says everything is on budget and on schedule. When everything is said and done he knows exactly how he will celebrate.

"What I'll probably do is a concrete angel, you know like a snow angel, a concrete angel," said Councilman Collins. "Just to say you know what hard work does pay off."

By the end of this year work will start on Elvis Presley Boulevard and Winchester. The entire renovation project is scheduled to be completed by 2017.
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