If anyone out there wanted to find the poster child for America’s economic decline, one needn’t travel much farther than the city of Memphis. From the homeless situation to Mayor Wharton basically selling the city off like a foreclosure, the only business looking up is buying foreclosures.
Not too long ago we covered a series of Memphis homeless incidents, and like most people we were also trying to give Mayor A.C. Wharton the benefit of the doubt. Then his assistant sent his “ten year plan” to Everything PR News, a plan to do something about street people’s lives there today. Pitiful is the only word we could come up with to describe that, and now the good mayor wants to sell of whole streets of the city – more mediocre boat peddling when real fiscal expertise is needed. Wharton’s plan to sell of all of the Beale Street entertainment district. Evidently, “the home of the blues – birthplace of Rock-n-Roll” is a commodity Wharton feels can help fill the city coffers – or get it out of a black hole of red ink.
Beale Street, if the city does not pay attention, may well revert back to it’s ghost town appearance before Performa Entertainment Real Estate redeveloped it. With Peforma broke, and no one to pick up the pieces, Wharton has his hands full yet again. This time trying to bail water from Memphis’ sinking tourism and entertainment business. And as for real estate in general?
Well, just look at the top Google search for “Memphis real estate.” Memphis real estate dot com looks about like downtown Memphis as websites go. Rivertown Realtors must be hurting is all I can say. The online presence of their official site is nothing more than a date poster ad. How they got SEO value to the top of Google, I will have to ask my partner. Founder Haley Parker does not seem to exist online outside the company website, and it appears his affiliate Chris Kirtley had a domain which is a dead link now. Like the city, a prevalent domain is a shell basically.
Court battles over foreclosure controversies, a vast array of other “questionable” issues surrounding Memphis, everything points to the city becoming a ghost town itself if someone doesn’t turn things around – and no one has confidence Wharton will now. Memphis has come to represent a sort of feeding frenzy for International real estate sharks, even the Australians are homing in on the corpses of the city’s property industry. And Wharton appears to want to accelerate the process. Suing slum lords is not going to get it where credibility and rebuilding Memphis are concerned. And, with homeless people now freezing there in Memphis Wharton talks about turning old city school buildings into condos? What is wrong with this picture?
Just declaring things like; “Poverty is Memphis’s defining crisis,” is nowhere near what it will take to revive Memphis. Last we heard from anyone in the city about this situation, some churches are helping – that seems to be about it. Wharton, no Memphis’ whole political and business community have done little to shrug the city’s title of “Hunger Capital of America.” Wharton will read this undoubtedly. I hope he does. People depend on the skill and effort of their leaders, and by all accounts Wharton has the skill. What’s wrong there in Elvis’ home? Likely the same endemic as elsewhere, only worse than most. The “King” has to be rolling over in his grave, seeing home in worse shape than ever before.
Phil out for now.