The Nashville Sounds didn't stop its architect from doing more work on designing the ballpark. The architect quit when it wasn't being paid.
That was one of eight reasons Metro lowered the boom on the Sounds today, holding the team in default on the memorandum of understanding. Glenn Yaeger, the team's general manager, has said for months that he stopped work on the design because it looked as though development partner Struever Bros., Eccles & Rouse couldn't pull its financing together.
"The Metropolitan Government is advised that the Sounds have failed to timely compensate its architectural firm, HOK, resulting in a refusal of HOK to continue necessary work on the construction plan," Sue Cain, Metro's acting legal director, wrote in a letter to the Sounds (a copy of the letter is available at this link). Failure to develop a construction plan and schedule was a breach of the MOU.
For a couple of months, talk in the back channels has been that the Sounds had run up a tab with Kansas City-based HOK of about $750,000 that had not been paid. NashvillePost.com called an HOK representative on Monday, but no confirmation has been received.
Yaeger said he has yet to see the default letter and wouldn't comment until he has seen it. Metro sent it by certified mail to his home address in Hinsdale, Ill.
The MOU expires on April 15, and the team has until then to cure. If the Sounds can't remedy the situation, Mayor Bill Purcell announced that the former Thermal site would be put into Riverfront Development plans that have been underway since last year with Metro Parks and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. That seems to leave out the possibility of Struever Bros. going through a cure period.
The developer, however, will submit a new plan after April 15. Yeager told council members and the mayor yesterday that the team would submit a new plan as well but with a new developer.