Graceland, the third most famous home in the United States next to the White House and the Biltmore and one of Memphis’ most powerful economic engines, is the centerpiece of a $137 million, three-phase redevelopment project. The massive undertaking will also serve as the catalyst for the redevelopment of Memphis’s Whitehaven neighborhood.
- Phase I (completed 2016): Graceland Archives Studio, a 200-seat theater allows guests an in-depth look at the vast Graceland archives
- Phase II (completed 2016): The Guest House at Graceland, a 450-room full-service resort/meetings hotel, with 16,000 square feet of meeting and ballroom space, a 500-seat theater, two restaurants, a pool, and other amenities
- Phase III (completed in 2017): Elvis Presley’s Memphis, a 200,000-square-foot entertainment complex featuring museums, restaurants, gift shops, and more.
Additionally, planned across the next three to five years, Memphis and the State of Tennessee will spend an estimated $43 million improving Elvis Presley Boulevard.
To finance the Graceland project, a public-private mix will be engaged backed by $124 million worth of private funds, a combination of public incentive funds, and $125 million in bonds.
To assist the project, EDGE, the City of Memphis, Shelby County, and the State of Tennessee worked together to provide the following:
- Tourism Development Zone (TDZ), where increases in sales tax revenue from the Graceland campuses go to help finance the project.
- Tourism Development Zone Surcharge, an extra 5% charged on all purchases made on the Graceland campus goes to help finance the project. The TDZ does not encompass any area outside of the Graceland property. So, increases in sales taxes generated in the rest of Whitehaven will be available for other uses.
- Tax Increment Financing (TIF), where increases in property taxes from the Graceland campus go to help finance the project.
- 125 million in Debt Obligations (essentially bonds) sold to major financial institutions, to be repaid from the TDZ, TDZ Surcharge, TIF, and other revenues from the project (not the City/County/EDGE)
Approved by the EDGE Board of Directors, Shelby County Commission, Memphis City Council, and the State of Tennessee, the project will have an estimated economic impact of nearly $1 billion with more than $50 million in additional tax revenue created and more than 500 new jobs in Memphis and Shelby County.