Omni Hotels and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum still haven’t reached an agreement on how the two companies would connect their respective buildings under Metro’s plan for a new convention center headquarters hotel.
“Both sides feel strongly in their positions,” Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling told Convention Center Authority members on Thursday. “We’re making progress.”
Under the hotel plan originally laid out by Mayor Karl Dean, officials from Omni and the Hall of Fame discussed a possible connector between the new 800-room hotel and the Hall, where officials are planning an expansion to the south. The two parties would be neighbors along Fifth Avenue South, directly across the street from the new $585 million Music City Center.
Riebeling said Omni and the Hall of Fame are looking at two models: one in which the buildings would be “fully integrated” and another in which the hotel and Hall would essentially be separated by a property line.
“The key issue on the integrated model is: Can the Hall fit what it wants in its expansion into that space?” Riebeling said.
“I believe all parties are desirous to get there,” Riebeling said. “But, as you can imagine, two different people, two different needs and interests — getting that all together is not an easy task.”
Riebeling said the goal is to reach an agreement by November.
The authority has already approved a preliminary agreement for the public-private financing plan to pay for the $273 million hotel. A final agreement between Metro and Omni is expected to go before the authority next week. It would then be subject to Metro Council approval.