Five architectural/engineering firms have formally placed bids to begin the design and planning process of Metro’s proposed fairgrounds park.
According to Richard Duncan, lead contract specialist of the Metro Finance Department, the five firms are Carol R. Johnson Associates Inc.; EDGE Planning, Landscape Architecture and Graphic Design; Gresham, Smith and Partners; Hawkins Partners Inc.; and Lose & Associates Inc.
Metro issued a request for proposals for the park on Dec. 15, with proposals having been due Jan 14. Metro is expected to award the contract in February.
In the fall, the Metro Council unanimously approved Mayor Karl Dean’s capital spending plan, which set aside $2 million to begin the design and architecture phase of the park. The 40-acre park is to go on land that falls within the city’s floodplain.
The company chosen for the job would be tasked with creating a park master plan, drafting construction documents, facilitating public input, producing cost estimates for development recommendations and working with all relevant agencies.
Metro’s request for proposals had described the fairgrounds racetrack in past tense, calling it “a former racetrack,” an assumption that it would be demolished.
But with the council’s decision earlier this week to spare the racetrack for the time being, it appears the construction of the park may have to move forward with the speedway still intact.
Nashville-based Gresham, Smith and Partners, one of the five bidders, recently assisted in the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce’s study that found redeveloping the fairgrounds to accommodate a corporate tenant could produce 6,500 jobs and $2.5 billion in economic impact.