Gary, Indiana is seeing tough times. The steel mills have disappeared, as have the associated jobs, and the population is dwindling. But now the city, the birthplace of Michael Jackson, is proposing a Graceland-like development that would honor the late singer. More via the Wall Street Journal: "Plans for a $300 million project outlined at a news conference here Wednesday include a 300-room hotel, shops and restaurants as well as a golf course and conference center. Likening the project to Graceland—the Elvis Presley museum in Memphis, Tenn.—[Gary Mayor Rudy Clay] said he expected it to draw 500,000 to 750,000 visitors a year. He hopes those people would pump $100 million to $150 million into Gary's economy." The development has the support of the Jackson family, but it doesn't yet have the support of the lawyers for the estate of Michael Jackson, who are said to be considering another project to honor the singer.
Via the Associated Press: "There also was no mention Wednesday of Michael Jackson's estate. It is considering a different museum plan and must give written approval for any use of the singer's name and intellectual property, including his music, attorney Howard Weitzman said.
"The Estate of Michael Jackson was never consulted about, nor is it involved in, the Jackson Family museum being proposed in Gary, Indiana," Weitzman said in a statement. "The Estate has no connection to this project."
Additionally, it's not clear where the money would come from for the Gary development. Meanwhile, the Jacksons still own the small home that Michael grew up in, a residence that became a "shrine," after his death, according to the paper. And what thrifty neighbors live nearby. "Across the street, the entrepreneurial resident of a home the same size and layout as the Jackson's charged tourists to come inside in groups of 11 to get a flavor of Michael's childhood and feel how crowded it was for the family."
·; City Aims to Shed 'Bad' Image With a Jackson Center [WSJ]