First Baptist agrees to massive land deal

Giarratana plans Marriott across from Music City Center

The congregation of First Baptist Church voted Wednesday night to accept an offer for a large portion of its property that fronts Demonbreun Street and runs between Seventh and Eighth avenues.

Once the $11 million sale is completed, Giarratana Nashville plans to develop a Marriott hotel on the site across from the new Music City Center. Details of the planned transaction, including the scope of the hotel and who might be backing developer Tony Giarratana, are not yet clear.

Members of First Baptist Nashville, located in the heart of downtown, agreed Wednesday night to sell the property, which includes a small building that provides housing for women in life transitions, to pave the way for the church’s ministry expansion. The property does not include the building home to Goodyear and that fronts Eighth.

Giarratana, who has developed Nashville high-rises Encore, The Cumberland and Viridian, confirmed the church has granted his company an option to purchase the property and that the site is "one of several being evaluated for a new hotel." Giarratana, who declined further comment on the FBC site, has also targeted a SoBro parcel that sits on the northeast corner of Fourth Avenue South and Molloy Street for a hotel.

If the deal materializes, the church will use the proceeds — still undisclosed — as part of its campus renovation.

“The people of First Baptist Nashville love our city," said senior pastor Frank R. Lewis. "Tonight’s decision represents our commitment to continuing the life and work of Christ in downtown Nashville. The vote allows us to be a good neighbor to the Music City Center by providing needed space for a new hotel. It also gives us the opportunity to move forward with our campus redevelopment including a Community Ministry Center that will be available to partner organizations and community groups needing space to meet within the urban core.”

The church's campus master plan, approved by the congregation in February 2012, includes a modern three-story building overlooking Broadway and a music venue.

We will update this story as more information becomes available.