HCA division relocations to jumpstart West End Summit

Parallon, Sarah Cannon Research Institute to anchor long-awaited Midtown project

In what Mayor Karl Dean called the largest jobs announcement in Nashville since Dell, HCA Holdings announced this morning it will move the headquarters of two of its business units to the much-maligned West End Summit property.

Parallon Business Solutions and Sarah Cannon Research Institute will occupy two towers on Alex Palmer's property at the West End/Broadway split — for years a giant hole (the result of the development's stalling after initial on-site work began in the mid-2000s) awaiting a building — bringing with them an initial 1,000 jobs with another 1,000 expected to be added by 2017.

The $200 million project is expected to begin construction in early 2013, with Mayor Karl Dean joking he expected the water in what Midtowners derisively call "Lake Palmer" to be pumped out soon.

The proposed development would consist of two towers of approximately 20 stories each with a total of 900,000 square feet of office space. (Palmer's original plans for West End Summit had an InterContinental hotel and condominiums making up one of the towers.) HCA and Palmer's company have a memorandum of understanding for a 15-year lease beginning in 2015. Parallon is expected to occupy about 350,000 square feet in one tower and SCRI about 150,000 square feet in the other. The office complex will include a parking facility with about 2,500 parking spaces. Another 300,000 square feet of new Class A office space will be available either to attract other new companies or for expansion by the HCA entities.

Parallon will relocate 750 jobs to Nashville from Williamson County with plans to add approximately 800 to its workforce by 2017. SCRI will consolidate 200 Nashville-area employees into one office with plans to double in size by 2017.

Though HCA CEO Richard Bracken said his company "never wanted to go anywhere else," both Metro and the state are planning on ambitious economic incentive packages. Metro's package, which requires council approval, includes:

• A 15-year property tax abatement capped at $3 million per year, with an option of a five-year renewal. A performance clause makes the abatement contingent on meeting certain job growth thresholds.
• Economic and Community Development Incentive jobs grant of $500 per employee for seven years.
• A $1 million Urban Development Action Grant.
• Requirement that a Disadvantaged Business Enterprise program be developed with respect to the hiring of minority and women-owned companies during construction.
• Requirement that the companies conduct job fairs and use other tools to hire a local and diverse workforce for the permanent jobs.

Gov. Bill Haslam said the state's own package will give $7,500 for each new job, a total of $7.5 million.

The average salary of new jobs at Parallon — which will relocate its employees from Williamson County — is between $80,000 and $90,000, according to Dean.