Developers wait to reveal plan for Aretha Franklin’s birthplace

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Trying to figure out how to honor the queen of Soul should take some time. But the clock has been ticking for a while now.

According to Jeffrey Higgs, who is the receiver on the 406 Lucy Avenue home, planning isn't the problem. They just aren't ready to let it out the bag yet.

"If you reveal too much too soon, suddenly land values go up. And suddenly you are unable to do what you need to do," he said. "We told the judge we want to work in silence more before we unveil what we are going to do."

And then there's the issue of multiple plans floating around.

Community leader Patricia Rogers showed up with her own plan in hand. It's separate from the one Higgs is working on.

"I was expecting to present it to the judge today, because during the last court preceding he wanted us to come with a plan," she said.

Rogers says her plan is the one the homeowner, Vera House, agrees with.

"it's simple. The house should stay at 406 Lucy Avenue. She has a legacy there with her and her 12 children."

Higgs says he knows that everyone has an opinion about how things should go.

"There are people who want to move the house. Let me be clear about that. And there are people who want it to stay where it is."

He says House and her ideas won't be overlooked.

"We have been working very closely with Ms. House," Higgs said.

Hubon P. Sandridge Jr. is a community activist who thinks the Queen of Soul's memory deserves nothing but respect.

"This is an international star. You can't just take her house, move it where you want and make it what you want. No, no, no."

He thinks, eventually, all plans will merge.

"You will get people on the same page, but it won't be overnight," Sandridge Jr. said.

In court, there was a lot of talk about the condition of the home and reinforcing the frame to make it more sturdy.

That's the first thing that everyone agrees needs to be taken care of.

As for Ms. House, she got an attorney on Friday to protect her interest. That attorney will be working with the receiver on the home to make sure everyone gets on the same page moving forward.


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