Plans for a new 6 thousand seat performance venue at Graceland remain on hold months after their announcement.
Legal snags with Fedex Forum about public tax incentive money have stalled the project.
Tomorrow folks in Whitehaven will have the opportunity to voice their concerns over what happens in their own backyard.
Since this project was first announced it’s gotten a lot of support from the Whitehaven community.
Residents see Graceland’s expansion as a renewal for all of Whitehaven if done the right way.
Hazel Moore is known as the mayor of Whitehaven.
She’s run a beauty salon on Elvis Presley for decades.
“Business has really changed,” said Moore. “I’ve seen a lot of business go and come.”
She remembers a cinema once stood across the street from her salon where a McDonald’s now stands.
Moore says that McDonald’s was struggling to survive just further south on Elvis Presley,
a move closer to Graceland picked business up around the golden arches.
“I know it’s going to come,” said Moore. “We’ve just got to work on it a little bit harder and steady push and get out there and let the business know what we want and what we’re looking for.”
Moore says she’s noticed what’s happened since the arrival of the 5-star Graceland Guesthouse.
“They’re booked up with events and I think the more other things they bring out here will be booked too,” said Moore.
She’s counting on a new Graceland arena and exhibition hall to help attract more business to Whitehaven.
Harold Collins once represented Whitehaven on the Memphis City Council.
“We’ve already opened the Holiday Inn Express right here because that’s a spin-off of what we’ve done in the last couple of years,” said Collins.
He’s seen all the proposals Graceland has offered and sees a win for the entire community in the new plan.
“You’ve seen when the city gets behind a developer that what happens in Midtown,” said Collins. “Not taking away from anything the city has pushed for in Raleigh with the Town Center or what they’ve done out east or in Germantown corridor, but why not do the same for Whitehaven. Why not get behind an already proven entity that has invested millions of dollars in the community.”
Graceland’s new expansion project promises one thousand new jobs with most of those hired coming from the Whitehaven area