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 Post subject: EPE
PostPosted: Wed Jan 30, 2008 10:07 pm 
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Plans for area remain in refinement stage


By Amos Maki (Contact)
Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Elvis Presley Enterprises Inc., which is preparing for a $250 million overhaul of Graceland and the surrounding area, has bought another apartment community near Elvis Presley's former mansion in Whitehaven.

EPE bought the Craft Manor apartments at 1032 Craft from Michael E. Reed for $1.575 million, but the company is remaining tight-lipped about future development of the area.

"EPE Inc. continues to plan for future redevelopment of the area surrounding Elvis Presley's Graceland mansion, a National Historic Landmark," said Kevin Kern, media relations manager for EPE.

EPE officials aren't saying much publicly, but they -- and officials with parent company CKX, Inc. -- continue to refine their plans for the Graceland area and have been in contact with the administrations of Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton and Shelby County Mayor A C Wharton, as recently as last week.

Memphis City Councilman Myron Lowery, whose district includes Whitehaven and surrounding neighborhoods, said a little more conversation from EPE officials would be a good thing.

"The community wants to know more, and I told (EPE chief executive officer Jack Soden ) that several months ago and he said that would be forthcoming, " Lowery said.

"At some point they have to make their plans public and ask for community support and ask for government support," he said. "The community is concerned, and rightfully so. On a project of this magnitude, because it's so important to the future growth and development of that area, more information should be known."

Robert Lipscomb, director of the city's Division of Housing and Community Development and city point man on most large redevelopment projects, said he has remained in touch with EPE officials.

"It's moving forward, and we're excited about it because any time you get that kind of investment, particularly in that area, it's a good thing," Lipscomb said.

As Robert F.X. Sillerman, the chairman and CEO of CKX, who acquired an 85 percent stake in EPE in 2005, works on plans to transform Graceland, EPE and its affiliates own or control more than 105 acres around the mansion, an area larger than the Memphis Zoo.

Since January 2006, EPE companies have spent at least $13.4 million acquiring property, according to Shelby County Register Tom Leatherwood' s office.

Revamping Graceland will include razing the cramped visitor center -- located in a former strip mall across the street from the white-columned mansion -- and replacing it with a facility seven times the size of the mansion.

The Tennessee legislature approved a bill last spring that authorizes the creation of a tourism development zone (TDZ) there, which will allow some local taxes collected within its boundaries to be used to help finance the project. The City Council supported the creation of the TDZ in November.

Sillerman also plans to build new hotels, improve the public spaces around Graceland and create more convention and exhibition space to showcase the King's memorabilia.

Sillerman serves as chairman and CEO of FX Real Estate and Entertainment Inc., an entertainment- oriented real estate development company that plans to pursue real estate and entertainment- based projects around the globe.

FXRE has licensed from EPE the right to use Elvis Presley in the development of its real estate and entertainment projects and will "play a major role" in the redevelopment of the Graceland area, according to company filings.

The existing 128-room Heartbreak Hotel will be razed and replaced by a much larger convention hotel on the mansion side of Elvis Presley Boulevard.

The side of the street that is currently home to the visitor center and Heartbreak Hotel would see "more hotels, more entertainment, food and beverage, retail, kind of a village," Soden said in previous interviews.

"What I've heard through the media, and not from them, has been great," said Lowery.

Sillerman and Graceland officials have been working on the transformation plan for over a year.

CKX was seeking a "mutual cooperation agreement" with local government for highway and utility improvements and renovation help for other businesses in the area, particularly along Elvis Presley Boulevard, the commercial strip that slices through Whitehaven's middle- and upper-middle- class neighborhoods.



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 1:33 am 
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Thank you so much sweet Di for passing this information along to us. :D


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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 2:54 pm 
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Thanks you DI for the update. i been reading lots about it latey. I just hope nothing at graceland itself gets touched.



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PostPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2008 5:19 pm 
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That is my hope too dear Lindsaygirl---that the home itself and nothing inside or outside of it is touched or changed. :? I think it only respectful to Elvis' memory to leave the one place that he truly called home alone and as it is. Although, I just read somewhere online recently that they are thinking of using the absolute latest in high-tech. technology to make it seem as if Elvis himself is actually in the house while you are taking the tour. :shock: From what I read they are going to make it very realistic although I'm not quite sure exactly how all of this is going to be done?? :?: :? What do you guys think of the possibility of something like this happening? It's supposedly being done to increase the amount of visitors to Graceland each year. :roll:


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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 9:39 am 
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glad I got to see Graceland before all that circus was there...

Elvis is dead, let him rest in peace and visit his home with quiet respect , and dignity don't make Disneyland of it.....

Such a shame



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PostPosted: Sat Feb 02, 2008 10:08 am 
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MaryInTheMorning wrote:
That is my hope too dear Lindsaygirl---that the home itself and nothing inside or outside of it is touched or changed. :? I think it only respectful to Elvis' memory to leave the one place that he truly called home alone and as it is. Although, I just read somewhere online recently that they are thinking of using the absolute latest in high-tech. technology to make it seem as if Elvis himself is actually in the house while you are taking the tour. :shock: From what I read they are going to make it very realistic although I'm not quite sure exactly how all of this is going to be done?? :?: :? What do you guys think of the possibility of something like this happening? It's supposedly being done to increase the amount of visitors to Graceland each year. :roll:


Hello
I don't think they will touch inside of graceland itself till lisa says they can which l really hope she says no. I think graceland is fine as it is and shouldn't be messed up anyway. For the people who live in memphis it good to hear they cleaning up the surrounding areas cause lots of people l talked to from there says it needs to be done. Here is some information

FAQs About Recent Announcements Regarding The Future Of Graceland
3/16/2006For many, many years, members of the Elvis Presley Enterprises management team, including Priscilla Presley and Lisa Marie Presley, have dreamed of building visitor center, hotel and Elvis exhibition facilities far superior to the nice facilities we have developed thus far. Today, with the resources and leadership available to EPE with its new parent company, CKX, headed by Robert F.X. Sillerman, it appears that our dreams could be coming true very soon. We anticipate much of it could be completed within three years. Recent news coverage of CKX/EPE’s plans for the future of the Graceland properties has been inaccurate and misleading. Reporters misconstrued some of the information they were given. Here, we answer the most frequently asked questions from Elvis fans and our colleagues in the tourism industry.

Will Graceland tours close temporarily during the development of the new facilities? No. Graceland tour operations will not be interrupted at any time as a result of the construction.

Will the Heartbreak Hotel on the Graceland complex be closing soon to make way for the new hotel? No. The proposed new hotel could be as much as three years in development. Heartbreak Hotel will continue in full operation at least until the new hotel opens, and it is possible that Heartbreak Hotel could continue operating on a permanent basis after that. We recently completed another round of upgrades to Heartbreak Hotel for the comfort and enjoyment of our guests and are about to start work on a new second elevator to supplement the operation of the existing one. We will continue to make the unique experience of staying at Heartbreak Hotel a pleasure for all our guests.

Will there continue to be new and exciting exhibits added to the Graceland experience between now and when the new exhibit facilities open? Absolutely. Each season, as always, there will be something new to see as items rotate in and out of our primary exhibits at Graceland Mansion that present the story of Elvis’s life and career, and in the annual re-theming of our Sincerely Elvis Museum across the street in Graceland Plaza. This year’s new exhibit for Sincerely Elvis just opened. It is called Elvis ’56 and it takes a month-by-month look at the year Elvis Presley was catapulted to superstardom. Also just opened is a new exhibit in the Graceland Crossing shopping center called Elvis After Dark, which is themed around the nightlife of Elvis in his personal and professional life.

Is opening the upstairs for tours part of the plan for the Graceland tour experience? No. Our company policy and the personal policy of Graceland Mansion’s sole owner, Lisa Marie Presley, is that the upstairs is to remain private. See our regular FAQ item about this matter.

Will there be new construction on the Graceland Mansion grounds or any remodeling of the house? No. Our goal and our sacred responsibility is to preserve the Graceland Mansion and grounds and maintain their historical integrity forever. One change in the tour experience once the planned new museum opens in our new visitor center is that we will have the space to present the story of Elvis’s life and career in greater context, so the trophy room and the racquetball court at the mansion no longer will be needed for that purpose. The trophy room then can be used for special Elvis exhibits yet to be determined and the racquetball court can return to its original look.

References have been made to Disneyland or Disney World in descriptions of the new development of the visitor center properties. Does that mean Graceland is about to be surrounded by a theme park setting including rides? Some media coverage has suggested there might be a Vegas or hotel casino type of look – is that true? No. Any references that have been made to Disney have been because Disney is thought of as setting and maintaining the platinum standard for beautiful visitor facilities and outstanding guest service. Some press misconstrued that. And any suggestions that we are going for a Vegas type of look are pure fabrication. Our goal with the new development of our visitor center properties is to create an elegant, beautiful atmosphere for the Graceland visitor experience.

Will the Elvis Radio/Sirius 13 studio booth in Graceland Plaza go away because of the new development? Someday the booth could be relocated somewhere else on our visitor center property, but that will not happen anytime soon. Elvis is the only artist with his own full-time radio station and ElvisRadio on Sirius Channel 13 has become one of the best ways fans around the world celebrate Elvis. The dee-jays will continue to create their popular shows and the booth will continue to be one of the must-visit stops when visiting Graceland.

Will the Graceland Plaza visitor center - including the Elvis Presley Automobile Museum and the Elvis airplanes exhibit - and the Graceland Crossing shopping center go away? Eventually, most or possibly all of the structures on these properties will be removed to make way for new facilities. But, that will not happen anytime soon. Whether the automobile exhibit and airplanes will remain in their current locations or be moved elsewhere on our complex remains to be determined. The current Graceland Plaza and Graceland Crossing and all the shops and attractions there will remain in full, uninterrupted operation for a good while to come and we will continue to maintain and refine these properties in the meantime.

There have been statements about possible improvements to the neighborhood that the Graceland complex is part of. What’s that about? On February 23, 2006, CKX chief Robert F.X. Sillerman, with the supportive presence of Tennessee Congressman and Senate candidate Harold Ford, Jr. and EPE CEO Jack Soden, reached out to local business and government leaders at a breakfast meeting of the Memphis Chamber of Commerce with some basic information about our plans. Then, Sillerman, Ford and Soden had meetings with Memphis Mayor Willie Herenton, Shelby County Mayor A.C. Wharton, and some key business leaders. The goal was to garner the support of the local government and business community for the Graceland developments and to inspire them to redevelop and revitalize the area leading up to and surrounding the Graceland complex. Community revitalization efforts in recent years, although successful to some degree, have been slow. Our hope is that the CKX/EPE major reinvestment in the Graceland complex will touch off a faster paced beautification and revitalization of the whole neighborhood. This would be a pleasure for Elvis fans and others visiting Graceland and, of course, could do wonders for the economy of our community and the betterment of the lives of our neighbors.



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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 1:50 am 
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Thank you so much dear Lindsaygirl for posting this additional information for us about EPE and their future intentions for Graceland. :)


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PostPosted: Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:42 am 
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I searched around again online and found the article I posted about in my previous post above in reference to making it seem like Elvis is still in Graceland with you when you go on the tour. From what the article says, apparently there are also going to be other well known "guests" mingling around with Elvis too. :o :? Any thoughts on the matter would be greatly appreciated. :)



BRINGING ELVIS BACK.

Elvis is being brought back from the dead to walk the corridors of Graceland again.

The new owners of Presley mansion intend to reincarnate the legendary star using state-of-the-art computer techniques developed for Hollywood movies.

The sensational 15million project will be announced on Thursday the 30th anniversary of Elvis death.

The movie is part of a 125m boost for the lavish Graceland estate in Memphis, Tennessee, aimed at doubling the number of visitors currently 600,000 a year.

The Daily Star Sunday can also reveal there are plans for a new movie based on Elvis? life.

Goodfellas star Ray Liotta, 52, is being lined up to play Elvis at the end of his life.

But film bosses are still looking for an up-and coming actor to play the younger version.

Robert Sillerman, boss of American company CKX, bought majority rights to Presleys image and name from his daughter Lisa Marie two years ago.

He said the new images of the King at Graceland will have visitors believing they are seeing the real thing.

Sillerman said: Short of Elvis returning from the dead, it will be as true to life as anything ever produced.

People will actually think Elvis is there. His image will actually appear solid and human they'll experience exactly what it's like to be up close and personal with the King.

Sillerman's company hired members of movie director Michael Bay's Geek Army, who helped create mesmerising special effects for the blockbuster Transformers.

Tens of thousands of miles of archive footage of Elvis will be scanned into amonster computer main frame so technicians can create lifelike images of the King walking, talking and singing.

And the Daily Star Sunday has learned the company will portray Elvis at various stages of his life.

During his Hound Dog era in the fifties and early sixties, fans will see a lean, mean, hip-thrusting sex symbol.

They will also see Presley the movie icon, possibly mingling with other stars of the era such as James Dean, Marlon Brando and Tony Curtis, who will also be computer generated house guests.

There will also be the Elvis of the 70s. The CKX source said: There will be nothing that insults his memory. But we are going to stick to the truth to let him tell his story in person of how it really was.


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