MEMPHIS, TN (abc24.com) - Fixing the trouble spot, 380 Beale Street in Downtown Memphis, has been a fight years in the making. On Wednesday, November 2, 2011, the two sides met in court.
Beale Street Development Corporation (BSDC) is trying to end a 99-year lease with George Miller, but his family says they have the right to buy the property. Now it's up to a Shelby County judge to decide.
380 Beale has been host to several clubs throughout the years. In 2010, the Plush Club was shut down by the Shelby County District Attorney General's Office. The new club in its spot, Crave, has seen its share of violence since it opened.
But those who run the BSDC say the real problem is with the man leasing that property, George Miller.
"It's black and white," says Randle Catron, the executive director of the BSDC. "It's spelled out in the lease. Miller violated the lease."
George Miller wasn't in court because of health issues. His daughter, Cylenthia LaToye Miller says the BSDC hasn't honored their lease option to buy the property.
"Our corporation," she tells abc24.com, "through ourselves and tenants have paid all of the bills, taxes, everything that had to be paid at this point for almost 40 years now."
It's a he said, she said that's been going on for years. Both sides have been wrangling over the lease to get the violence off Memphis' most famous street. The BSDC wants to keep troublesome clubs off the property by breaking the lease with Miller.
"They're claiming it has something to do with an alleged rent of about $200," says Miller. "It's wrong to attribute past problems to this tenant. The reality is all of Beale needs more police attention and cooperation."
Catron says there have been several violations of the lease and after seven years in court he hopes they can finally get the property back.
"That's the reason were here in the court now," he tells abc24.com, "to let the judge decide."
This isn't the end of the battle. Club Crave's owner, Double Entity Inc., is leasing the property from George Miller and has made $300,000 worth of improvements to the building.
If the BSDC gets the lease back, Crave will be out. The club's owners plan to file a lawsuit against Miller and the BSDC if that happens.