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Wharton talks about Beale Street expansion

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Mayor Wharton says Beale street already has plenty to offer, but he adds that there is untapped potential. Mayor Wharton says Beale street already has plenty to offer, but he adds that there is untapped potential.

(WMC-TV) - Memphis Mayor A C Wharton says the city is working on plans to expand the entertainment portion of Beale Street all the way to the Mississippi River.

Wharton tells Action News 5 the final legal obstacle regarding Handy Park has been finalized, and the city of Memphis will have control of the street within two months. Once in control, Wharton says negotiating with business interests and expanding Beale Street will become a reality.

"Beale Street may be the most iconic now, but let me tell you: You ain't seen nothing yet," Wharton said.

Beale Street Merchants Association President Ty Agee, who owns Polly's, says the expansion would be a positive change. He says the city must protect its investment, and any commitment may mean sorely-needed advertising and marketing help.

"It would be nice to get everything really going well down there and then going down to the river, but however it works more business down here makes it better for us," said Agee.

Mayor Wharton says Beale street already has plenty to offer, but he adds that there is untapped potential.

"The most active part of Beale Street ought to be down there where historic Beale Street meets the mighty Mississippi River," he said. "That's our Broadway. That's our Times Square. And we're going to take it there."

Mayor Wharton says he will make a presentation to the city council on Tuesday to explain how the legal battle has been finalized.

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