March 27 - EPE Sues Economic Development Board

The Mid-week chart update:

USA (Billboard chart week of March 31, 2018)
  • On the Classical Album chart the "The Wonder of You" cooperation by Elvis Presley and the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra remained steady at #11.
  • The "Elvis Christmas with the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra" dropped off the  Classical Album Top 25 chart.
  • On the Top Christian Album "Elvis: Ultimate Gospel" compilation dropped from #25 to #29.
  • On the Country Catalog album chart The "Heart And Soul" compilation is a re-entry at #19.
  • On the Country Catalog album chart The "Elvis: Ultimate Gospel" compilation dropped from #19 to 24.
Canada (Billboard chart week of March 31, 2018)
  • On the Album Chart the "40 Years On" compilation dropped eleven places to #61.
Spain

  • On the Spanish Top Album chart (current chart week) the "Elvis: El Disco De Oro" dropped from #79 to 95.
EPE Sues Economic Development Board

Elvis Presley Enterprises has sued an economic development board in an attempt to force a vote on incentives to expand the Graceland complex.

The lawsuit cries foul over alleged interference by city government and the Memphis Grizzlies, while asserting that the city, Shelby County and team aren't parties to the legal action.

Elvis Presley Enterprises filed the Shelby County Chancery Court lawsuit Friday against the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE) of Memphis and Shelby County.

The lawsuit seeks an injunction barring the EDGE board from not voting on the Graceland applications. A hearing was scheduled for April 16.

The filing came two days after the EDGE board tabled an application for incentives, citing fears of a legal challenge from Graceland or the Grizzlies.

The board voted March 21 to schedule a special meeting to hear two Graceland projects: a $20 million bond issue for exhibit space addition, which was up for a vote that day, and a previously proposed $110 million request for bond financing of a 6,200-seat performance venue.

Graceland officials say the city and Grizzlies have opposed their expansion based on an interpretation of a FedExForum non-compete agreement.

City chief legal officer Bruce McMullen on Monday denounced the latest lawsuit as a negotiating tactic. “It appears that EPE is once again using the Courts to aid them in negotiations over what is allowable use of TIF funds.  Immediately after this latest suit was filed, we received some settlement proposal requesting TIF funds (taxpayers money) but no information on the justification for the tax money nor clarity on how it would be used. The suit appears to be a negotiation tactic.” 

The EDGE organization declined comment.

A TIF (tax increment financing) district was one of the measures put in place by the city, county and EDGE board in 2014 to help Graceland build a resort hotel, The Guest House at Graceland, and a 220,000 square foot exhibit complex, Elvis Presley's Graceland, which opened last year.

Graceland last year proposed to increase its share of a tax increment financing (TIF) revenue to help finance the performance venue. The increase requires approval by EDGE, the City County and Shelby County Commission.

The EDGE board is an industrial development board with authority to grant property tax abatement, issue bonds and take other actions to spur economic activity. 

Graceland sued the city, county and Grizzlies' owner Memphis Basketball LLC last fall in Chancery Court, seeking a declaratory judgment on whether the FedExForum non-compete agreement applied to Graceland's proposed performance venue. 

A judge dismissed the lawsuit in February. The ruling said in part that the court couldn't consider Graceland's complaint before its application was voted on.

The latest delay by EDGE came after board member Tom Dyer said he feared the board would be sued by the Grizzlies if it approved the incentive and by Elvis Presley Enterprises if the incentive was rejected.

Dyer's comments prompted the Grizzlies to make a statement through the team's attorneys, saying in part: "To be clear, Memphis Basketball has never directly or indirectly threatened to sue EDGE with respect to any EPE initiative or otherwise, nor does it intend to do so."

The lawsuit contends Dyer offered to vote for the incentives if the Grizzlies give written approval of the Graceland expansion or a court issues a final, non-appealable order stating that the facilities don't violate the non-compete agreement.

"Put simply, as it relates to EPE, EDGE essentially is improperly surrendering its power and authority to The City and Memphis Basketball," the lawsuit states.

The non-compete clause grew out of decision by public officials to steer concert business to the FedExForum after the $250 million public arena opened in 2004.

Elvis Presley Enterprises contend the clause doesn't apply to a private projects.

(Source: Laser Freak / Commercial Appeal)

No comments:

Post a Comment

Give your opinion.