Elvis Express Radio News
Elvis Express Radio brings news of Elvis releases and provides free online entertainment & news to fans around the world.  We DO NOT sell any Elvis products
EPE FILES SUIT AGAINST EDGE AS DISPUTE INTENSIFIES
March 25,  2018   -   By Dave Mowitz  for Successful Farming  /   Elvis Express Radio
Earlier this week, Elvis Presley Enterprises’ principal alluded to imminent legal action. Today, that allusion became reality.

Elvis Presley Enterprises (EPE) filed a “verified complaint for declaratory judgment and other injunctive and equitable relief” against the Economic Development Growth Engine
(EDGE) for Memphis & Shelby County on Friday, March 23, in Shelby County Chancery Court.

Following a March 21 delay by the EDGE board to vote on a bond issuance for a Graceland project, Joel Weinshanker, EPE principal and manager of Graceland Holdings LLC, told
the Memphis Business Journal the company’s next steps could include “documents submitted as part of actions.”

Those documents are now known. (To see the March 23 complaint in full, scroll to the bottom.)

An excerpt from the filing states, in part:
“This action arises from EDGE’s wrongful refusal to actually hold a meeting to consider for approval what has been coined the Supplement to Economic Impact Plan for Graceland
Economic Growth Area, which includes plans for EPE to build a 6,200-seat arena on the Graceland Campus; and unlawful denial of EPE’s request to use tax increment revenues to
pay for the eligible costs associated with EPE’s development of an approximately 80,000-square-foot convention facility on the Graceland Campus (“The Convention Center”). Both
actions by EDGE were and are contrary to its written policies.”

During its Wednesday, March 21 meeting, the EDGE board tabled a discussion on a bond issuance of up to $20 million for a new, 80,000-square-foot events and exhibit facility on
the Graceland Campus.

Though separate from EPE’s proposed 6,200-seat entertainment venue — a plan that has raised questions and led to previous legal action about whether it would violate the
FedExForum arena use and operating agreement between the city, county and Memphis Basketball (Memphis Grizzlies) — the EDGE board decided it would address both projects
at a specially called meeting to occur before its next regularly scheduled meeting April 18.

The “prayer for relief” portion of the March 23 complaint asks the following:
1. That the Court issues a declaratory judgment declaring that EDGE has acted in an arbitrary and capricious manner by refusing to consider and actually vote on The Arena and
The Convention Center;

2. That injunctive relief be granted enjoining EDGE and its officers, directors, employees, agents, managers, shareholders, principals, and/or owners, or anyone acting on or under
EDGE’s behalf or at EDGE’s direction, from refusing to place Graceland’s Supplemental Economic Plan and The Convention Center on its meeting agenda and refusing to consider
and actually vote on The Arena and The Convention Center; and

3. That EPE be granted and awarded any such other, further, or different relief to which this Court might find EPE to be entitled.

Representatives from EDGE declined to comment on the complaint.

James McLaren, a partner at Adams and Reese LLP who represents EPE, said a settlement proposal was also sent March 23 to the attorneys involved in the previous arena
litigation, from November 2017 (Elvis Presley Enterprises et al v. City of Memphis et al). That complaintasked Shelby County Chancery Court to rule that using public incentives to
help pay for Graceland's proposed 6,200-seat venue would not violate the FedExForum arena use and operating agreement.

Chancellor Jim Kyle dismissed that case Feb. 15, and the City of Memphis then filed a motion to modify though not change the ruling of Kyle’s order March 7.

When asked if he could comment on the settlement proposal, Weinshanker said there was a settlement on the table. A copy of the settlement was not provided to MBJ.

“It is laid out the way we have always intended it — but, very specifically — it only incorporates aspects of the project that, when you read [City of Memphis chief legal officer] Bruce
McMullen’s and the Grizzlies’ attorneys' comments, are compatible with what they are saying. We are not asking for anything that they have not said is not a problem. We anticipate
a quick, positive response from the city, and we hope that this happens so we can move forward and do what’s best for Whitehaven and for the City of Memphis and for Shelby
County.”

Weinshanker previously told MBJ that EPE offered to build its proposed arena without using tourism development zone (TDZ) or tax increment financing (TIF) dollars but was still not
allowed to proceed by the city — a claim that McMullen refuted.

Today, when asked if EPE’s alleged settlement offer included language that would waive the TDZ and TIF funding for the arena, Weinshanker confirmed that was part of the
proposed compromise.

As of 3 p.m. Friday, a representative with the City of Memphis said it had not received anything from Weinshanker or McLaren.

WANT TO HAVE YOUR SAY?
Write into us here at EER and share your thoughts on this issue. Fill in our Online Request form or Email in your comments along with your song choice HERE