VOL. 130 | NO. 197 | Friday, October 9, 2015
Graceland West Gets LUCB’s Green Light
By Madeline Faber
Graceland is getting another expansion with a recently approved planned development dubbed Graceland West.
A car museum, two restaurants and a museum are among the amenities going into the ‘Graceland West’ planned development
(Elvis Presley Enterprises; Inc.)
On Thursday, Oct. 8, the Shelby County Land Control Use board unanimously approved rezoning the area on the west side of Elvis Presley Boulevard to accommodate an entertainment complex with limited commercial mixed use.
Part three of Graceland’s $250 million expansion will soon be underway. One of the remaining pieces was rezoning the 46-acre lot on the northwest corner of Elvis Presley Boulevard and Craft Road from its original residential urban and commercial use districts. In recent years, Elvis Presley Enterprises bought the plaza across the street from the mansion and demolished the apartment building behind it.
Graceland West will turn what is a place for visitors to congregate and take shuttles up to the Graceland mansion into a destination of its own. The design from Hnedak Bobo Group includes a car museum, a new shelter for Elvis’ two jets, two restaurants, a soundstage, retail, a museum to be called “Elvis the Entertainer,” storage facilities, parking and significant landscape improvements.
“They have made substantial improvements to that property over the years in removing some undesirable apartment properties. And otherwise, this proposed planned development is going to result in other significant improvements to the property,” said Glankler Brown member Hunter Humphreys, representing Graceland.
“It’s a good looking plan, and I believe it will really galvanize and improve the area,” said board member Scott Fleming. “I know the architecture is going to blend well with the existing mansion.”
Among the last-minute, mutually agreed amendments was language to permit the sales of motorcycle parts and accessories as well as the restoration, repair, showcasing and sale of custom-order vintage automobiles.
Graceland Harley-Davidson currently occupies space in the Graceland Crossing shopping center, which sits in front of Elvis Presley’s Heartbreak Hotel. The hotel and shopping strip are intended to be demolished.
No future use for that land is shown on the plan submitted with the application.
Graceland executives have talked about a plaza renovation as the third phase of a large-scale redevelopment of the mansion’s surrounding area. It already includes an archives building that opened earlier this year and the $90 million, 450-room resort hotel that is under construction.
Last month, EPE set an opening date for the Guest House at Graceland of Oct. 27, 2016, which also will mark the formal closing of Heartbreak Hotel.