Mayor makes case for moving Music City Center forward

Tuesday, April 14, 2009 at 12:28am
Music_City_Center.jpg
Architects released several renderings including this aerial view of the proposed Music City Center.

One week after his administration promised property taxes would not be used to finance the proposed new downtown Convention Center, Mayor Karl Dean appeared at a special Council meeting Monday to make the case for moving forward with the next stage of the project.

At Monday’s special meting, Dean called the proposed new $635 million Music City Center, to be located in SoBro, “a vital economic development tool for our city that our citizens won’t have to pay for, but will greatly benefit from — both during and after construction.”

District 26 Councilman Greg Adkins applauded the project and called it “Nashville’s own stimulus plan.” The project will create 3,000 construction jobs and another 1,000 service jobs once it is opened.

Convention Center advocates, including Dean’s administration, are pushing for Council to approve allocating $75 million in tourism taxes to begin land acquisition.

“This is an extremely complicated project and there are a lot of pieces that have to all fall together,” Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling said. “I think the feeling that all of us had is we do it incrementally but never take our sights off the goal, and the goal is to build this project.”

Project designs revealed


Architects revealed a design for the project, which includes a sustainable green roof and many elements recommended by citizens during the public input period of the last year.

Some Council members are worried that Metro might be putting the cart before the horse, should it approve land acquisition before the final financing for the project is in place.

At-large Councilman Jerry Maynard recommended dealing with the Metro budget and then addressing the land acquisition for Music City Center sometime in July. Riebeling cautioned against that move and stated there is still a timeline to be met in order for the convention center to be meet its Jan 1, 2013 opening date.

It was also announced the attached hotel would have a developer selected, by the Metro Development and Housing Agency, some time next month.

Butch Spyridon, president for the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau, painted a rosy picture for booking the proposed new facility. Spyridon said 100,892 room nights have already been booked for the center, with the end goal of 1 million room nights before its opening.

Council will consider the legislation filed to move forward with the land acquisition at its April 21 meeting.

17 Comments on this post:

By: JeffF on 4/14/09 at 8:34

"Some Council members are worried that Metro might be putting the cart before the horse, should it approve land acquisition before the final financing for the project is in place."

well duh. The point is to build up Sunk Costs to the level where elected officials are bullied into approving or be viewed as wasteful.

Table any further expenditure requests until the financing plan is brought forward. Quit playing games with the timeline and let everybody see the big pile of manure hiding behind the curtain. Do not let the mayor trot out any more "experts" until the financing one presents the plan. The ra-ra has been seen enough, now lets see the dirt that will lead to that referendum.

Everyday it looks more and more likely that G.O. debt and notes are on the way (they are already in the debt to buy the land). Every step they take is designed to try to make the project to important or too far along to kill. They have practiced their "this is a done deal language" and some council members are finally beginning to feel bullied and are calling them on it. There is no other logical reason a financing plan has not been submitted. They know that the market will not buy revenue bonds at a workable rate (Dallas mayor probably told them). They know it is not going to recover in time to start building this turkey. They are still looking for paths around a debt referendum.

When it occurs be prepared for the normal tirade of people workign to change your minds. We are backwards hicks, are clueless, we do not want Nashville to succeed, it will make us look bad to the rest of the country... Vote correctly and send the tourism overlords back to their Williamson County homes to regroup.

By: producer2 on 4/14/09 at 11:12

"One week after his administration promised property taxes would not be used to finance the proposed new downtown Convention Center, Mayor Karl Dean appeared at a special Council meeting Monday to make the case for moving forward with the next stage of the project.

At Monday’s special meting, Dean called the proposed new $635 million Music City Center, to be located in SoBro, “a vital economic development tool for our city that our citizens won’t have to pay for, but will greatly benefit from — both during and after construction.”

District 26 Councilman Greg Adkins applauded the project and called it “Nashville’s own stimulus plan.” The project will create 3,000 construction jobs and another 1,000 service jobs once it is opened."

See I can cut and paste also. I will paste the positive and you paste the negative.....
The majority of those Council members (even the ones who had some concerns) went on record as being a proponent of the facility.

By: JeffF on 4/14/09 at 11:21

You know what else can create 3000 jobs? Schools. Building more and staffing them. Also road construction. Sidewalk construction. Stormwater construction. Don't let the weak tourism industry fool you into thinking that they are the only ones capable of producing jobs with tax money. There are institutions actually under the purveyance of government that can do it as well. Just have to focus on governing, not listening to the same shrill downtown business owner voices. They will just ask you for something else once this is finished.

By: Kosh III on 4/14/09 at 11:36

You know what else can create 3000 jobs?

I'm so glad Dean wants to keep the illegals employed.

By: producer2 on 4/14/09 at 2:28

JeffF,
Getting some resistance? Setting out your demands in a world you don't rule is kinda bold don't you think... If only you were king...lol

By: idgaf on 4/14/09 at 4:21

How many more times are the same idiots going to fall for the same sales pitch?

A BILLION dollars is some serious cash.

By: producer2 on 4/14/09 at 4:37

you are one twisted dude. Government needs industry to survive, whether it is public or private. That is why they invest. Sadly you just don't get it. Statements like "When exactly can we quit investing in tourism and sit back and watch the money flow in? " are a prime expample. Money flowing in from what? The industry you want to squelch. Here is another one 'Having to perpetually keep putting new money into something without ever seeing any measurable money come back is the definition of a bad investment." Just because you refuse to recognize the measurable economic impact does not mean everyone else can't count to $100 million a year in tax revenue. Good luck living on your own planet....

By: gratefulted on 4/15/09 at 4:54

You are full of it Jeff