(Memphis) – Club Crave is prime property at the foot of Beale Street. The City of Memphis doesn’t own it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it can’t control what happens there.
“The city like any other entity or agency of the state has eminent domain powers, that’s the authority to condemn and acquire property for a public purpose,” says Memphis City Attorney Herman Morris.
Eminent Domain could give the city of Memphis a legal move to take over Club Crave from property owner George Miller.
City Attorney Herman Morris says it will be decided by a judge.
“It requires you to give reasonable value for what is acquired. You can’t take private property under our system of laws without giving just and reasonable compensation,” says Morris.
The City will have to reach a financial compromise with Miller, who leased out the building for years to club owners and watched as the D.A.’s office shut it down after constant crime problems.
You might say it’s been a work in progress.
The city recently got ownership of the other parts of historical Beale Street, giving it a vested interest in what happens at Club Crave.
Thursday’s shut down of the club as a public nuisance assured the business would not operate.
Now eminent domain could demolish it.
We couldn’t reach George Miller, but those who know him say he may not go quietly.
“He’s always been a fighter. You can say yes and he will say no. You say yellow and he will say blue. He will differ with the city on this unless the right amount of money is offered,” says Randle Catron of the Beale Street Development Corporation.
But many agree the building needs to go and be replaced with something more conducive, like a parking garage.
The City says whatever goes up, it won’t be anything like what is going down.