Well, it looks like it’s too late now to wonder about what might have been.
What was supposed to be the one of, if not the, largest corporate relocation in downtown’s history has, according to Metro's economic and community development point man, officially fizzled.
“We are no longer in conversations with IQT regarding locating their operations here,” said ECD head Matt Wiltshire in a tersely worded statement this morning. “We spoke with the company last night, and it appears unlikely IQT will move forward with its proposed operations in Nashville. We are disappointed these job opportunities won’t be available to Nashvillians, but it is important to point out that no incentive dollars were expended. We are dismayed about what happened in Canada and don’t think workers anywhere should be treated that way.”
IQT’s decision to layoff more than 1,000 Canadian workers last Friday surprised Metro as evidenced by the letter Wiltshire sent the company yesterday, demanding a “full accounting” of factors leading to such a move. But more importantly, it also seems that Metro was equally surprised that IQT saw fit not to mention a cut of this magnitude to Nashville prior to news of its showing up in the media.
The company had promised to move into downtown’s CB Ragland building and bring with it 900 new jobs. For now, it looks like Nashville will just have to keep about the business of filling the 1,100+ technology jobs it already has unfilled.
Michael Hayes, whose Ragland Building had been set to house IQT, said the company had not yet signed lease papers for space at Korean Veteran Boulevard and Second Avenue. He said he's cautiously optimistic about the prospects of finding a tenant for his 40,000-square-foot building.
"Although I'm disappointed, it wasn't going to create revenue for us for quite some time," said Hayes, who is vice president at C.B. Ragland. "We've been talking to other prospective tenants for quite some time. [...] It could certainly take some time, but we see the office market tightening."
NashvillePost.com will update this story with any new developments as they become available.