Plans for a huge $300 million Michael Jackson Family Center complete with a hotel, housing, golf course, performing arts center and elevated rail line shuttle are moving forward to be built in Michael’s birthplace of Gary, Ind.
The Gary Post-Tribune reports that Mayor Rudy Clay has said the Family Center is privately funded by the Jackson Family Foundation and will be built without use tax dollars for Gary residents.
“This is not a promise,” Rudy said during a press event Wednesday announcing the plans. “This is going to be done.”
However, the executors of Jackson’s estate may not agree with him.
“The estate of Michael Jackson was never consulted about, nor is it involved in, the Jackson Family museum being proposed in Gary, Indiana,” lawyer Howard Weitzman said in a written statement. “Michael Jackson’s music, name, likeness, memorabilia and other intellectual property are assets exclusively owned by the estate for the benefit of his children, his mother during her lifetime and charities as specified in his will. These properties cannot be exploited legally without written authorization from the estate. … The estate is considering a world-class museum that would include memorabilia, music and other intellectual properties at a site yet to be determined. The estate has no connection to this project.”
A lawyer for Gary said the announcement of the plans was the “first step,” that Michael made a commitment in 2003 to build a performing arts center in Gary and that Joe Jackson and Katherine Jackson have endorsed the plan.
The project would take three to five years to complete with groundbreaking starting in early 2011.
Is this a Jackson tribute you’d like to see happen?