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Graceland Expansion Monitored by Aerial Imagery


Mar 2016

See how construction professionals use high-resolution aerial images for the expansion of Elvis' Graceland to survey and monitor progress with confidence.

Mar 2016

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A new construction project next to an American icon is a big site planning challenge. See how construction professionals can use Nearmap high-resolution aerial images of projects like this to survey and monitor progress with confidence.
In 1957, Elvis Presley purchased a property called Graceland Farms. The site included a colonial revival mansion in an oak grove and several acres of land. At the time of that purchase, Graceland Farms was miles away from Memphis’s urban core, in what was then a rural area. This location suited Elvis very well, as he was trying to get away from the attention of fans and paparazzi who had gotten in the habit of hanging outside his first home in Memphis.
Fast forward a few decades and Graceland Mansion is now listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was declared a National Historic Landmark. It is also one of the most-visited private homes in America, with over 700,000 visitors at its peak, including heads of state, rock stars and celebrities of all kind.
In spite of its high profile, a visit to Graceland has been up to now, a quaint experience. First, there’s the location. While no longer in a rural area, it's still far from downtown in what is now suburbia. Accommodation options are limited, with the equally quaint and kitschy Heartbreak Hotel fulfilling that need, and there are few shopping and dining options.

Transforming a Legend

All that quaintness and kitsch is set to change now that a $6.8 million construction permit has been filed with the City of Memphis by a contractor. The permit will pave the way for a 46-acre development across the road from Graceland mansion. It will include display areas for Elvis’s two private jets, two restaurants, a sound stage, retail stores, an “Elvis the Entertainer” museum, parking and greatly improved landscaping. In a nutshell, kitsch is out and Las Vegas style entertainment is in. Elvis has indeed made a building.
The crowning achievement of the new Graceland expansion project is the new 450 room resort hotel, already in the final stages of construction in a lot next to Graceland mansion along Elvis Presley Boulevard.
The new $75 million Elvis Hotel & Resort (a.k.a The Guest House at Graceland) will be Memphis’s third largest hotel, and the biggest built in the city since the Convention Center Hotel opened in 1984.
The new resort will be one of a kind, and will provide millions of future visitors with world class entertainment, hospitality and non-stop everything Elvis.
Projects like this are a huge site planning challenge for local city governments and for the construction firms that undertake them. A large worksite in the middle of a residential area requires multiple planning permits and studies, and organizing the day-to-day logistics of such a big worksite is a challenge in itself.
Fortunately, City Governments and construction firms now have access to advanced site planning tools like Nearmap. With Nearmap, city assessors can inspect the site remotely and run impact reports with Nearmap ArcGIS compatibility. Then, during construction itself, site managers can keep track of progress with Nearmap timeline tools. In addition, Nearmap aerial maps are up to six times more detailed than satellite imagery. Therefore, managers can examine every inch of their work site at a resolution of 2.8 inches or better.