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I DON'T THINK THEY'RE MOVING SAYS COUNCILOR
It was unclear this week when a twice-delayed City Council vote related to incentives for a Graceland expansion planned by Elvis Presley Enterprises will happen.

Meanwhile, a representative for Elvis Presley Enterprises has said the company has fielded offers to move the famed mansion elsewhere.

A council vote on the issue has already been delayed twice since an agreement was reached between the city and Elvis Presley Enterprises about future potential incentives for the
Graceland expansion.

Some nearby residents asked the council to hold off on voting until they had more details about the plans. Meanwhile, there have also been ongoing negotiations around the sound
stages that are planned in the expansion.

City Council Chairman Kemp Conrad said in an email Thursday he doesn’t intend to move forward with a council vote until those issues are resolved.

Joel Weinshanker, the head of Elvis Presley Enterprises, was quoted in The Wall Street Journal saying the company has had offers to move Elvis Presley's Memphis home to other
locations — from Nashville to Asia.

“We’ve had substantial offers to take every piece of wood and panel and move it," Weinshanker told The Wall Street Journal.

Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland said Thursday he "doesn't know what to make of" Weinshanker's comment.

"I don't think they're moving," Strickland said. "...I don’t think Graceland is moving, I don’t think the whole infrastructure that’s been built here, I don’t think it’s moving."

Reached Thursday by The Commercial Appeal, Weinshanker refused to comment.

Strickland's administration reached a deal with Elvis Presley Enterprises earlier this year that charts a path for Elvis Presley Enterprises to pursue public incentives for its planned
expansion of the Graceland campus.

Conrad called the incentives “speculative,” because the company would need to demonstrate a need to obtain public incentives, “not because we think they are going to move.”

Under the agreement, the company will reinvest $750,000 into the Whitehaven neighborhood where Presley's estate sits, and give residents of the area priority for the more than
1,000 new jobs that are expected to be created as part of the Graceland build-out. Those jobs would earn at least a $15.50 hourly wage.

The agreement is also a precursor to a community benefits agreement that will govern how the company reinvests in Whitehaven as it expands and pursues incentives. That
agreement would be the first of its kind in Memphis.

More: Can development do more for communities? Some hope Graceland deal with Whitehaven will start trend

The city and Elvis Presley Enterprises have long been at odds over a piece of the planned Graceland expansion, an arena, because city officials have said public dollars going into
an arena project could violate a non-compete clause in an agreement with the Memphis Grizzlies for the FedEx Forum.

The agreement between the city and the company does not include the arena proposal, and doesn't settle pending litigation between the two over that issue.

Councilwoman Patrice Robinson, who represents Whitehaven, said the community has been "open and welcoming" to Graceland.

"I’m excited to offer an opportunity for Graceland to expand in our community. We’ve spent a lot of dollars Downtown, we want some spent in Whitehaven and we deserve it,"
Robinson said of the community benefits agreement proposal.

"No one has called me and said 'we don't want it.' We do. We support Graceland and Elvis Presley Enterprises because they support the economy of our community. More jobs,
more opportunity to share the wealth down Elvis Presley Boulevard."

Originating Source - Jamie Munks of the Memphis Commercial Appeal

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Joel Weinshanker of EPE and Whitehaven Councilor Patrice Robinson says community has been "Open and Welcoming" to Graceland.