Federal courthouse parcel consolidation request no longer on commission agenda

Wednesday, February 23, 2011 at 10:05pm

The federal government seemingly has placed on hold its effort to have the Metro Planning Commission approve the consolidation of downtown parcels that are slated to eventually accommodate a U.S. courthouse.

In mid-January, the Nashville office of land surveying company Thornton & Associates Inc. applied for what the Metro Planning Department calls a lot combination. T&A is working with the U.S. General Services Administration, which would serve as courthouse developer.

Originally, the request was on the planning commission’s Feb. 24 agenda but was no longer as of Feb. 23. A T&A official said he is uncertain of the status of the parcel consolidation request. The next commission meeting is Thursday, March 10.

GSA officials could not be reached for comment.

Listed as Parcel No. 22 in the original planning commission agenda document, the 3.36-acre site is bordered by Church Street on the north, Commerce Street on the south, Rosa Parks Boulevard (Eight Avenue North) on the west, and Seventh Avenue North on the east. The site does not include the land on which is located the historic Berger Building (Parcel No. 32).

Craig Owensby, Metro Planning Department spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon in an email that the parcel consolidation is “still under review and we’re waiting for a revised plat.”

President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget does not include funding for new federal courthouse construction, likely further delaying the long-stalled facility that would replace the outdated Estes Kefauver Federal Building on Broadway.

Congressman Jim Cooper, in whose Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District the courthouse would sit, has tried to fast track the project over the years.  A Cooper aid attended the Feb. 24 commission meeting and the office is monitoring the situation.

In 1992, the federal government deemed the current courthouse inadequate.

The GSA released full details and a rendering of the proposed building in early 2001.

2 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 2/24/11 at 6:04

From the article: "Congressman Jim Cooper, in whose Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District the courthouse would sit and who has tried to fast track the project over the years, could not be reached for comment..."

So the one thing we send "Stupor" Cooper to Washington to do, secure funding for one of the few items actually listed in the Constitution (funding for courts), he has failed to do. LOL... you get exactly what you deserve Nashville. Oh, by the way, have you guys seen the federal courthouse that Atlanta has built (17 years ago), and added onto five years ago with $200 million in security upgrades? LOL... but that's okay, Atlanta doesn't have a pig-headed backbencher like "Stupor" Cooper. He'll vote to increase the debt by $5 trillion, but he won't get our city and district a modest courthouse.

By: airvols on 2/24/11 at 11:56

I can't believe Congressman Cooper can't get a Courthouse for Nashville, we don't call on him for much and can't deliver on the basics. He gets my vote no longer, time to get somone that can make things happen for the city.