Performa Free to Transfer Beale Street Lease to City
By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor
Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc. has cleared the final roadblock in the way of finalizing a lease transfer agreement with the City Of Memphis for the Beale Street Entertainment District. Such comes after a federal bankruptcy judge ruled that John Elkington and Performa were in compliance with the terms of their lease agreement with Beale Street Development Corporation (BSDC) and that there was no proof of default by Performa in payments owed to BSDC.
After more than two years of complex financial litigation woes in which John Elkington took the successfully operating Performa into bankruptcy, trusting the Federal Bankruptcy Court’s competence to accurately evaluate the suit, the company and its leader were found to be in compliance with all terms of the lease between Performa, its predecessor company and the BSDC.
Performa’s predecessor leased the city-owned Beale Street Entertainment District for a period of 50 years, starting in 1982. The lease agreement relied heavily on Performa investing substantial amounts of capital in the entertainment district, as well as ensuring its profitability.
The overall opinion seems to be that Elkington and Performa have met those terms. According to a press release, the Beal Street Entertainment District is currently one of the most visited Tennessee attractions. Preston Lamm, founder and president of River City Management—a company that owns and operates several Beale Street establishments, declared: “Over the past three decades, John, his Performa team and the merchants worked hard to create a successful national attraction and a great place for Memphians.”
Anchored by the Orpheum Theatre, the Hard Rock Café and a myriad of clubs, restaurants and retail options, Beale Street lies in the heart of Downtown Memphis. Dating back to 1841, declared a National Historic Landmark in 1966 and officially declared the Home of the Blues by an act of Congress in 1977, the Beale Street Entertainment District was named “perhaps the greatest urban success story combining black history, culture and commerce” by USA Today. Performa has consistently received accolades and high marks both from the Urban Land Institute and the Department of the Interior for reviving the district while keeping its historic accuracy.
Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc. is a privately owned real estate development and advisory firm located in Memphis, Tenn. Founded to manage and develop the Beale Street Historic District for the city of Memphis, Performa handled construction, marketing, leasing and asset management of the district, creating the entertainment theme through a selection of tenants and events.
Through the company’s work on reviving Downtown Memphis, Performa has become a U.S. leading developer and consultant for urban entertainment districts, which is a highly specialized niché of the development industry and one experiencing an upsurge, as urban clusters throughout the country start claiming back their inner cities and downtown areas.
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