Multi-million dollar plan to revitalize Whitehaven outlined

Published: Mar. 9, 2012 at 8:47 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 9, 2012 at 10:51 PM CST
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(WMC-TV) - The Memphis City Council is advancing a $43 million resolution that will expand and enhance the Whitehaven community.

Councilman Harold Collins said Whitehaven embodies Graceland, but can offer so much more.

"This is Whitehaven, and the people of Whitehaven care about their community," said Collins.

Whitehaven residents filled a standing room only meeting Thursday night outlining the community's redevelopment project.

"The turnout was overwhelming when you consider a stormy, cold night and the U of M Tigers playing the first game of the Conference USA Tournament," said Collins.

The meeting was held at Middle Baptist Church where Pastor Lester Basken, a Whitehaven resident for over 40 years, said the community saw the layout and now they are ready to put in the labor.

"We're not going to sit on the sideline and let them do it," said Basken.  "We want to be a part of it."

The multi-million dollar redevelopment project is set to take place on Elvis Presley Boulevard.  Council members in support of the project said it should bring a historic amount of new capital to Whitehaven.

"People in Germany call me to say this is well worth the investment," said Collins.

Plans include restaurants, new businesses, new light fixtures, repaved roads, and a gateway on to Elvis Presley Boulevard from the interstate.  Residents said they are hopeful for a rebirth.

"Years ago, Whitehaven used to be like I'll say Goodman Road," said Basken.  "They built up down there, they moved down there, and we expect them to come back."

"With the redevelopment, along with Graceland's expected redevelopment, we believe this will be a renaissance for that community," said Collins.

The groundbreaking for the project is set to begin in November.  It is expected to happen in three phases along Elvis Presley Boulevard from Brooks Road to Shelby Drive.

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