New federal courthouse one step closer to construction

Tuesday, January 18, 2011 at 5:27pm

The U.S. government will request the downtown site of the proposed federal courthouse be given final approval to create one lot on the property, the next step in what has become a 10-year process.

The Metro Planning Commission’s Feb. 24 agenda lists the request.

Rep. Jim Cooper, who represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District (which includes downtown), has tried to fast-track the project over the years. Peter Boogaard, Cooper’s spokesman, said he had no information regarding funding for the project. However, Boogaard said that information could be available in a few weeks.

Listed as Parcel No. 22 in the planning commission document and containing multiple parcels, the 3.36-acre site is bordered by Church Street on the north, Commerce Street on the south, Rosa Parks Boulevard (Eighth 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. The General Services Administration is overseeing the project, a rendering and details for which were released in early 2001.

The Metro Planning Department has no specific information regarding the request, which includes Nashville-based surveyor Thornton & Associates Inc.

“The application is a standard lot combination request and says nothing about the applicant’s intent,” said Craig Owensby, Metro Planning Department spokesman.

A Thornton & Associates Inc. official declined comment. GSA officials could not be reached for comment Tuesday afternoon.

In 1992, the federal government deemed inadequate the Estes Kefauver Federal Courthouse, located at Seventh and Broadway.

The Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts has a system for analyzing the need for courthouses based on various factors, including the number of trials held there, the general safety and post-9/11 security of the building, and the ability to conduct a proper trial there.

According to a Government Accountability Office report released in May, more than a quarter of the overall space in the 33 courthouses built since 2000 is excessive, and 27 exceed the size authorized by Congress when their funding was appropriated.

Filed under: City News

14 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 1/18/11 at 8:55

Leave it to Jim Stupor to get this project moved to the "next step". Considering the first step took 18 years, I suppose we can expect to see ground broken in 2025. Leave it to Stupor to finally get funding pre-approved when the feds are tightening their belts.

So listen to this logic. Stupor was part of the Tennessee delegation that named the "new" courthouse for Senator Frist (when?) 7 years ago! So the never-built building had a name before it was even funded. That's our US Congress for you! Then these geniuses picked a site for this fictional building that was (how many?) three blocks away from the current courthouse and federal building, while there are two (count them! 2!) vacant lots adjacent to the existing federal buildng. And the US Government owns them! All of that happened more than five years ago!

Fast (not so fast) forward to last year. While Nashville's congressman Stupor had dithered as the ineffective nothing that he is (while the Dem-wits dominated Congress), Atlanta's representative John Lewis has secured a second round of federal funding ($70 million) for what? (A courthouse? No, he got that 17 years ago when the GSA said that Nashville's need was a "Critical Need" (thanks again Jim Stupor). Nope, John Lewis got the second funding (a total of $120 million in four years) for a yet-to-be-built streetcar line from Atlanta's Centennial Park to Auburn Avenue. Meanwhile, Nashville continues to "hope" for a new federal courthouse someday. And by the way, the thing has already been designed and it looks like an Embassy Suites.

So Nashville, this is your Congressman.... [drum roll]... Jim Stupor. Enjoy your incompetent do-nothing representative. You guys deserve him!

By: shinestx on 1/18/11 at 9:01

From William's article: "Rep. Jim Cooper, who represents Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District (which includes downtown), has tried to fast-track the project over the years. Peter Boogaard, Cooper’s spokesman, said he had no information regarding funding for the project. However, Boogaard said that information could be available in a few weeks."

This says so much. First, that Jim Stupor "has tried to fast-track the project over the years". Um, doesn't that just say it all? Hey, Nashville, if your dolt congressman couldn't get the gimme-gimme-gimme money when the Dem-wits ran Congress, do you think he has the [proverbial] snowball's chance of getting funding pushed through with the GOP running the House? Hmmmmm?

Then when Stupor's spokesman was actually asked the question about funding, he knew nothing. You guys had your chance to get rid of this nothing-burger, but you [like a city full of ignorant rednecks] didn't. LOL

By: NewYorker1 on 1/19/11 at 8:59

shinestx, since these people are "Dem-wits" and "incompetent do-nothing representatives", my question to you is, what are YOU doing to help? We are so quick to call people names and point fingers, but what are you doing to make a difference?

"If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, then change your attitude. Don't complain."
-- Maya Angelou

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 10:01

LOL... Your question is typical of leftists who never seem to have to defend their positions. It also appears to be borne out of either the typical leftist arrogance that they never actually have to explain their policies (e.g. It's only necessary to have good intentions), or perhaps it shows a bit of criticism fatigue that the leftist Dem-wit party rightly deserves, a target historically reserved for the GOP. Ooops, I used the word "target"! Is that going to be censored?

Anyway, I'll oblige with an answer. Lucky for you, I have an article that I wrote about a year ago from which I can cut/paste and edit a bit here:

First, I vote against these corrupt Dem-wits every single time I can. I am conservative, and firmly believe that conservative policies are the best for this country. Second, I take every opportunity to educate people (many of whom rarely paid attention to differences between the parties before they realized how much they affect the economy) and use facts about what their government is doing, especially where liberalism is the root cause (and there are so many examples). While they continue to try with non-legislative controls like net neutrality, the "Fairness Doctrine", political correctness and attacking conservatives for actions like the Tucson shootings, the Dem-wits haven't yet silenced their opposition. So I'll continue to speak out against their corruption and mismanagement, along with the same from irresponsible RINOs, every chance I get.

Conservatives are always challenged on their views, while Dem-wits never seem to have to defend their positions by the media. (Why weren't the "savings" double counted with the Doc-fix and the Medicare cuts in the Obamacare bill scrutinized by the media? Why wasn't the failed history of Keynesian policies made an issue by the media?) So people like me have to do the job of a reckless media. For example, I'll point to the Dem-wits' budget busting "stimulus" from 2009, which caused $1 trillion in additional spending for what (?) bailouts and "shovel ready" projects that never existed (later the B.O. admitted there is no such thing LOL). More than fifteen years ago (!) this federal courthouse was cited as a need (I have worked at the Kefauver building and I know). It would have been the perfect outlay of federal funds, and would have actually provided a stimulus to the economy. But that wasn't really what the "stimulus" was about. Was it?

You still never hear about serious proposals to cut spending from the Dem-wits. It's always couched as a "so what are you guys [conservatives] going to do about it?", and usually expressed in a snide manner. Despite the huge erosion of their audience, the major news media continue to aid and abet the Dem-wits in avoiding the hard questions.

So people who care what has been done in the wake of liberal spending (yes, there were misguided liberal Republicans ... called RINOs and many neo-cons... who have been purged, for the most part) and irresponsible outlays will speak out. In 2008, voters put the Dem-wits in charge of the legislative and executive branches to repudiate the GOP. Granted, there was a huge mindless love affair with Obama from certain groups who had previously no interest in politics. Lots of these people were just caught up in the emotion flamed by the Dem-wit allies in the media.

Just like Moveon.org arose to defend a president who had perjured and suborned perjury, there is anger from the people who don't like what the ruling elites are doing. So we have the rise of the Tea Party. Just look around NY1 at all the states that are in deep d00-d00 with their public employee pensions, almost all of them run by Dem-wits. Geez, do the government unions have anything to do with that? What is their responsibility to keeping the state/federal governments from going insolvent? Where is their commitment to responsible government? Why are they never asked by CNN/CBS/NBC/ABC why bigger and bigger government is the best solution (obviously a presumption most in the media would agree with)? How come we never hear the outrage against those groups on the left as extremist. Ever noticed that the far left are always called Obama's "base" whiile the far right are called "extremists" in the media? In the wake of the failed "stimulus" and thousands of pages of (both legislated and non-legislated) mandates, I assure you that outrage among conservatives and independents is quite real. Yet, the Dem-wits in Congress, led by Nanzi and her Peloshiveks, ignored the outrage and the backlash against their predecessors, a GOP that had lost its conservative bearings. And the double standard is glaring too. It wasn't enough that the Dem-wits addressed a recession (btw, you never hear in the media that the Dem-wits ran Congress when it started) with more reckless spending and tons of regulations, but they also did not depart from the very policies they (Loudly) criticized (Gitmo, Patriot Act, Iraq, and most funny of all, Obama's admission that the end of the Bush tax rates would actually hurt the "recovery", another myth).

So what are people like me doing about it? We are calling the liberal media out on their irresponsible (and lazy) failure to do what a truly free press should do to protect our rights.
What are you doing about it? Let me guess... you'll keep voting for the Dem-wits because you have been taught to hate conservatives.

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 10:02

Quick correction: The Dem-wits were put in charge of Congress in 2006.

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 10:08

Quick correction: The Dem-wits were put in charge of Congress in 2006.

By: airvols on 1/19/11 at 10:56

Cooper can't even get a Federal Courthouse, gee everywhere else in the country already has a new one. If Jim Cooper can't pull this off he should no be re-elected next time.

By: producer2 on 1/19/11 at 11:24

shinestix,
Meet Bill Clinton, Democrat...Here is a bit of history from Wikipedia:
Clinton has been described as a New Democrat.[3] Some of his policies, such as the North American Free Trade Agreement and welfare reform, have been attributed to a centrist Third Way philosophy of governance, while on other issues his stance was left of center.[4][5][6] Clinton presided over the continuation of an economic expansion that would later become the longest period of peace-time economic expansion in American history.The Congressional Budget Office reported a budget surplus in 2000, the last full year of Clinton's presidency.

versus Dubya:
Facing opposition in Congress, Bush held town hall-style public meetings across the U.S. in 2001 to increase public support for his plan for a $1.35 trillion tax cut program—one of the largest tax cuts in U.S. history.[54] Bush argued that unspent government funds should be returned to taxpayers, saying "the surplus is not the government’s money. The surplus is the people’s money."[54] With reports of the threat of recession from Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan, Bush argued that such a tax cut would stimulate the economy and create jobs.[93] Others, including the Treasury Secretary at the time Paul O'Neill, were opposed to some of the tax cuts on the basis that they would contribute to budget deficits and undermine Social Security.[94] O'Neill disputes the claim made in Bush's book "Decision Points" that he never openly disagreed with him on planned tax cuts.[95] By 2003, the economy showed signs of improvement, though job growth remained stagnant.[54] Another tax cut program was passed that year.
Under the Bush Administration, real GDP grew at an average annual rate of 2.5%,[96] considerably below the average for business cycles from 1949 to 2000.[97][98] Bush entered office with the Dow Jones Industrial Average at 10,587, and the average peaked in October 2007 at over 14,000. When Bush left office, the average was at 7,949, one of the lowest levels of his presidency.[99] Unemployment originally rose from 4.2% in January 2001 to 6.3% in June 2003, but subsequently dropped to 4.5% as of July 2007.[100] Adjusted for inflation, median household income dropped by $1,175 between 2000 and 2007,[101] while Professor Ken Homa of Georgetown University has noted that "after-tax median household income increased by 2%"[102] The poverty rate increased from 11.3% in 2000 to 12.3% in 2006 after peaking at 12.7% in 2004.[103] By October 2008, due to increases in domestic and foreign spending,[104] the national debt had risen to $11.3 trillion,[105][106] an increase of over 100% from the start of the year 2000 when the debt was $5.6 trillion.[107][108] Most debt was accumulated as a result of what became known as the "Bush tax cuts" and increased national security spending.[109] By the end of Bush's presidency, unemployment climbed to 7.2%.In December 2007, the United States entered the longest post-World War II recession,[16] which included a housing market correction, a subprime mortgage crisis, soaring oil prices, and a declining dollar value.[112] In February, 63,000 jobs were lost, a five-year record.[113][114] To aid with the situation, Bush signed a $170 billion economic stimulus package which was intended to improve the economic situation by sending tax rebate checks to many Americans and providing tax breaks for struggling businesses. The Bush administration pushed for significantly increased regulation of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2003,[115] and after two years, the regulations passed the House but died in the Senate. Many Republican senators, as well as influential members of the Bush Administration, feared that the agency created by these regulations would merely be mimicking the private sector’s risky practices.[116][117] In September 2008, the crisis became much more serious beginning with the government takeover of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac followed by the collapse of Lehman Brothers[118] and a federal bailout of American International Group for $85 billion.

There is more but you get the idea....

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 1:10

A sure tell-tale sign that the libbies "got nothin'" is when they resort (and they usually do) to "But Bush did it!". Nevertheless, I'll play...

The "centrist" Jim Stupor voted for a boondoggle healthcare bill and the stimulus too. Proving my point yet again, the leftists in the media will call a Dem-wit who adds nearly $3 trillion to the national debt a "centrist".

Producer2, when did Bill Clinton become "centrist"? Duh! After the GOP sweep of 94. He is a master of political manipulation (which he "wears" proudly). Of course, with the leftist media winds at his back, he certainly could look like a "centrist", and a lot of people were fooled (apparently you). Or do you not remember Clinton famously saying "I'm gonna change this law!" when he grudgingly signed welfare reform? Who held his feet to the fire on the budget to produce that "surplus" (a little creative forward accounting notwithstanding)? A Republican Congress, until they lost their way (meaning, they moved away from conservative principles... which is my whole point here). Wikipedia has correctly noted that George Bush expanded Medicare (Part D) which we could not (then and now!) afford. I mentioned the wayward Republican spendthrifts (also known as RINOs and neo-cons) who got their wakeup calls. Okay, I'll add one more nugget for thought (if you can), since this article is about Nashville's Dem-wit representative: How many of those "responsible" Dem-wits in Congress duriing the Clinton administration actually voted for the bills that the GOP sent to the president? By the same token, how many of those "fiscally conservative" (or blue dogs... BLUE?, I thought you couldn't use the color blue to describe conservatives) voted against Bush's expansion of federal entitlements that we couldn't afford? So the examples you cite merely prove my point. And then there is the final nail, and perhaps the most powerful argument, phrased in a question here: Why have the centrists in the Dem-wit party become an endangered species?

Now Producer2 (btw, Who is producer1?), it appears you are more motivated here by simple-minded partisan defensiveness rather a serious defense of Rep. Jim Stupor's ineffectiveness as a Congressman, or as you might put it, Stupor's fiscal responsibility. I know your history of support for the hugely expensive, government-funded new convention center downtown. You certainly are no fiscal conservative, nor a Clinton "centrist" for that matter, and have no credibility on that issue.

I can only imagine that you likewise are in favor of a huge price-tag for this federal courthouse. As a conservative, I am dismayed when our congressman cannot even get one of the expenditures prescribed in the Constitution for the federal courts. I am not even advocating the so-called Taj Ma Law federal buildings like you see in Atlanta and St. Louis. But (once again) the comparison there further proves my point that Stupor is a lousy representative (e.g. he voted to increase the national debt by $3 trillion, but took a stand on "principle" against earmarks, denying this district a lousy courthouse).

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 1:19

Oh, and Barack Obama is no Bill Clinton, a pragmatic left-of-center and well-liked "Bubba figure". In short, Clinton could defy the image of being a member of the liberal elite government establishment, which of course, he was solidly a member. That's something lots of Dem-wit partisans regret so much. Of course, there is also the reality that this is not the same political environment Bill Clinton found himslelf in back in 1996. Not only was Clinton able to play the much more consolidated (on the left) media against the "Gingrich that stole Christmas" (remember that one from the "impartial" Time magazine?), but Obama does not even have a fraction of the "people smarts" that Clinton had. Rumor has it that B.O. is book smart (of course, those transcripts have never been released to the public like George Bush's college transcripts were)... but I'll go along with that assumption. He is also a very good teleprompter reader, so much so that many of the Dem-wit followers actually think he is speaking to them (aka a great orator). But stripping all that away, you don't have Bill Clinton. And of course, we conservatives are quite glad for that.

By: shinestx on 1/19/11 at 1:31

I just re-read the "But Bush did it too..." cliip you inserted from wikipedia and something else struck me. Shall we compare all those statistics with B.O.'s? After all, I shouldn't have to remind you (as we all don't need reminding) that Bill Clinton is not the president anymore. I know that makes Dem-wits upset, but it certainly has made quite clear to the American people the difference between Keynesian big-government programs as completely embraced now by the Dem-wits and smaller, conservative (affordable!) government. Trust me on this one... Americans choose the latter over the former by almost 2:1. According to Gallup, 40% of Americans call themselves conservative, versus 22% who call themselves liberal.

By: producer2 on 1/19/11 at 1:49

Shinestix,
all I am commenting on is your misconception of fiscal responsibilities as it relates to modern history and the entire population, not just a few. I'm not saying Bush did it, history is...

By: producer2 on 1/19/11 at 1:50

by the way Jim Cooper is a Blue Dog Democrat which by definition makes him fiscally conservative.

By: producer2 on 1/19/11 at 2:27

finally labeling someone who considers themselves to have a social conscious does not make them "liberal" or a Democrat any more than someone who is fiscally conservative make them a "Republican" One can actually be both...