A Davidson County judge this morning granted the Metro Development and Housing Agency ownership of the Musicians Hall of Fame & Museum, handing Metro the final property it needs to make the $585 million Music City Center a reality.
Under the court’s ruling, handed down by Circuit Court Judge Barbara Haynes, the Sixth Avenue South property will officially be turned over to Metro within a week. The hall’s founder and CEO Joe Chambers has seven days to vacate the building.
“I don’t think anybody’s ever happy in a condemnation suit,” Haynes said. “Certainly land owners aren’t happy.”
Metro has offered $4.8 million for the museum’s property, but Chambers has said the cost to relocate his facility would total $8.9 million. Chambers and his legal counsel plan to head to court later this year to settle on a value.
Chambers, who doesn’t know where he’ll move his museum, said he didn’t agree with “the process” in which MDHA handled the land acquisition.
“If they knew they were going to build a convention center here for 10 years, why didn’t they buy the property then?” Chambers asked. “If they had, I wouldn’t have had to go through all that I have.”
One idea bandied around has been for the hall of fame to operate out of space inside the new convention center. MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan told The City Paper that scenario is still “certainly possible.”
Ryan said ultimately renting convention center space to the hall of fame would be at the discretion of the nine-member Convention Center Authority. For it to happen, he said Chambers must establish a board of directors, a charter and be granted official nonprofit status.
Chambers said no one has handed him any contract to move into the Music City Center. “I haven’t heard anything but words,” he said.