MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Editor's Note: The video above is from December 2021.
The company behind a plan to turn the Red Roof Inn in Whitehaven into low-income apartments is withdrawing its application, according to a Memphis City Councilman.
Previously, One-Stop Housing LLC of Florida proposed a 137-unit at the hotel on Elvis Presley Blvd., in an area that should be a Whitehaven Tourism District. The company originally said in their proposal that the project is "harmonious" with the character of Whitehaven.
But many Whitehaven disagreed, and created a petition opposing the plans. Michael Harris with the Greater White Haven Economic Redevelopment Corporation told us last month that the redevelopment was an insult towards the community.
"When you are trying to revitalize and when you are trying to grow and do better, low income is not the way to go," he said.
Red Roof Inn sits about a mile away from the Graceland mansion and about three miles from the Memphis airport. The company has already converted two properties off of Springbrook Avenue and Airways Blvd. This third planned complex would have been similar to those low-income apartments.
The company’s plans for the hotel were scheduled to appear before the Land Use Control Board next week. In a statement Thursday, Councilman JB Smiley Jr. said the company would be withdrawing its application.
“The representative and applicant care about the responsible use of this property and hear the concerns of those who want to maintain the character of this treasured neighborhood. They agree that it would be better suited for a different use in the future and will be withdrawing their application that was scheduled to appear before Land Use Control Board on January 13th. I also want to recognize my colleague Councilwoman Patrice Robinson, who supported Whitehaven residents in their concerns with this project,” said Smiley in a statement.
Harris responded to the news with a statement Thursday, "Today is a such a great day for Whitehaven! One Stop Housing, LLC has pulled their application to convert the Red Roof Inn into low-income housing in Whitehaven. This would not have been possible without the coming together of organizations, civic leaders, neighborhood associations, residents, and supporters from across the city!! This win represents how our fighting spirit and collaborative advocacy will only strengthen our relationships, create more equitable opportunity, and ensure Whitehaven’s revitalization will be a success – because WE WELL WORK TOGETHER!"