Bankruptcy judge rules Memphis can take over Beale district

9:12 am | November 1, 2012

MEMPHIS — A federal bankruptcy judge has ruled that the city of Memphis can take over the Beale Street Entertainment District from Performa Entertainment Real Estate Inc.

The city owns the entertainment district and Beale Street Development Corp. holds the lease. But that company has sublet management to Performa since 1982.

After Performa filed for bankruptcy, it agreed in 2010 to assign its lease to the city. The Beale Street Development Corp. opposed the settlement, saying Performa had defaulted on its sublease.

The Commercial Appeal reports U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jennie Latta on Tuesday ruled in favor of the arrangement between Performa and the city.

If Latta then approves the overall settlement, Performa would hand over the day-to-day management of the four-block strip of music clubs, restaurants and shops. Approval of the overall settlement also will mean that a long-running Chancery Court case between Beale Street Development Corp and the city, which at one time also included Performa, will resume.

Latta said Tuesday that Beale Street Development Corp. failed to prove that Performa had violated its sublease.

Mayor A.C. Wharton has appointed a 31-member panel to explore the street’s future management.

“I want to say to the public right now, A.C. Wharton does not want to run Beale Street,” the mayor said. “We will not be running Beale Street. Professionals will be running Beale

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