One of the city's worst-kept secrets was confirmed Tuesday, when Omni Hotels was announced as the developer of the Fifth Avenue convention center hotel.
In the rotunda of the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum – which will be the neighbor of the 800-room, $250 million project slated to open around the time of the convention center's grand opening in 2013 – civic and business leaders cheered the announcement, lauded by Mayor Karl Dean as "a championship win" for the Music City.
"After months of discussion, we have come to terms with Omni," he said.
This was no great surprise. Tower Investments – which owns the land for the hotel, roughly bounded by Fourth and Fifth avenues, Korean Veterans' Boulevard and the Hall itself – confirmed they had an agreement in principle with the hotelier in July.
A source close to the deal told NashvillePost.com it would be valued between $18 and 25 million.
Omni is in line for some incentives from Metro government, though the details will not be finalized until Thursday's meeting of the convention center authority. Metro plans to provide $103 million in tax incentives, based on revenues generated by the project, over the next 20 years. In addition, the city could provide the bulk of the financing for the land acquisition. Irving, Texas-based Omni will pay cash for the development, fronting the cost of construction itself.
If the city fails to generate enough revenue from the tourism taxes to pay Omni, it will make up the differences with "non-tax revenue." Those tourism dollars are also slated to pay off the convention center bonds.
Omni President Mike Deitemeyer said the hotel will reflect the unique qualities of Nashville and while a final design is not yet complete for the structure, he is committed to reflecting "Nashville's dynamic downtown." He did say there would be a physical and aesthetic connection to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Some of the land, in fact, would be used as a place for an expansion for the hall, which hall executive director Steven Turner said would roughly double the museum's size.
Omni further committed to 300 full-time jobs at the hotel, 200 of which will be filled by Davidson County residents, with another 50 filled by Middle Tennesseans. In addition, at least 20 percent of the construction jobs will be awarded to diversity businesses and 20 percent of construction spending will be local.
- FAHLEKAMP, BROOKE FEYE; KEPLEY, JOHN; KEPLEY, BROOKE FAYE; KEPLEY, BROOKE F
- GLENN, JEREMY; GRAYSON, THERESE S; GRAYSON, ALAN L
- CRABTREE DAVID P GREEN HILLS FAMILY INVESTMENTS LLC; DAVID P CRABTREE GREEN HILLS FAMILY INVESTMENTS LLC; HTC VI PARTNERS
- HAMMOND, GRANT; RADER, ERIC STACEY; RADER, KRISTIN