The Nashville Convention Center Authority announced today that the Metro Codes Department has issued a certificate of occupancy for the Music City Center — one week before the construction completion deadline of the soon-to-open 2.1-million-square-foot convention facility.
The certificate of occupancy, which certifies compliance with all local and state codes and regulations, was issued following 250 final inspections and approvals by the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville agencies and departments.
“I applaud the project management team and its crew for finishing construction of the Music City Center ahead of their deadline,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “It is no small feat to finish construction on time, but to do so for a project of this scale is truly remarkable. I look forward to our grand opening festivities on May 19-20 when members of the public can see for themselves the size and beauty of this magnificent building.”
The contracts for architects TVS Design and construction management firm Bell/Clark, a joint venture, specified construction of the SoBro-based center be finished by April 30. With the certificate of occupancy now in place, the project and development, construction, and design leaders can progress with the contractual documentation of substantial completion.
With the Tennessee State Museum badly in need of new space — and with the National Museum of African American Music eyeing the existing Nashville Convention Center as a possible home — we wondered the following: Could the state museum, a new building for which has long been proposed for the North Capitol area, lease space in the convention center?
When asked, Lois Riggins-Ezzell, Tennessee State Museum executive director, provided this response.
“This is the first we've heard of any suggestions regarding the old convention center as a potential home for the new museum," Riggins-Ezzell told the Post in an email message. "The future of the new state museum lies solely with Governor Haslam's administration, the TN General Assembly and the State Museum Commission.”
Nashville-based LMG Inc. has been awarded a multi-year contract to serve as the audio-visual supplier for the Music City Center.
LMG’s new 24,000-square-foot Nashville office and warehouse, located fewer than five miles from the Music City Center, opened in October and houses state-of-the-art equipment inventory to support the clients of the convention center for general sessions, breakouts and exhibits. In addition, the LMG Design Studio is located within the central business district and near the MCC
To manage the onsite operation, LMG has hired Curt Wallen as accounts manager. Wallen (pictured) has more than 20 years of experience supporting event production in venues across the country, and will direct the LMG onsite team at the MCC, overseeing client accounts, operations, marketing and business development.
The development team led by Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates has wrapped up its master plan for SoBro. The report is too big for us to upload, but you can get at it here. We're going to peruse the plan in greater detail soon, but here are some first impressions.
FYI, parts of this plan already are moving forward: UDA was recently awarded a contract to draw up plans for a pedestrian bridge from SoBro to The Gulch and for the redesign of the former Thermal plant site.
SEE ALSO: MDHA's recent report projecting the commercial and residential growth of Nashville's core.
The rendering above shows the designers' ideal street grid. Below is a quick look at how they would get there.
Hotel developers of all stripes have plans to build up various parts of the Korean Veterans Boulevard corridor. The UDA team sees that type of development extending beyond the roundabout at Eighth Avenue all the way to Cummins Station.
This is a view looking toward the roundabout from Fifth Avenue.
The reconfiguration (including a reductions of lanes) of Lafayette Street — with an extended Division Street feeding into it — also receives a good bit of attention in the report.
The CMA Foundation will donate $250,000 to help construct the first-ever physical Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame, to be located at the soon-to-open Music City Center.
“Songwriters are an important constituency group for the Country Music Association,” Troy Tomlinson, CMA Board chairman and CMA Foundation member, said in a release. “For the CMA Foundation to see fit to honor the songwriters in order to preserve the legacy of their work and creative impact on the format, speaks to the very heart of why the CMA Foundation was created.”
The Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame will consist of two elements. The actual Hall of Fame inside the Music City Center will feature graphic displays and artifacts as well as a state-of-the-art interactive, digital exhibit. Outside the Music City Center’s Hall of Fame lobby (see image below) will be a “Songwriters Square” complex, consisting of an exterior plaza and stair-step walkway that will be engraved with the names of Nashville Songwriter Hall of Fame members, the year they were inducted and the title of their most well-known composition. The project will be unveiled when the Music City Center officially opens this summer.
“Honoring the accomplishments of our songwriting community is important to CMA,” said Steve Moore, CMA chief executive officer. “The CMA Foundation’s decision to fund this important initiative is just another example of our commitment to preserving the legacy and recognizing excellence in our songwriter community.”
Read more here.
The Tennessee Court of Appeals ruled Friday that the Convention Center Authority must release the addresses of contractors who have worked on the $600 million Music City Center. An official with the International Union of Operating Engineers had taken the Metro entity to court in late 2011 in an attempt to find out just how much of the work on the city's new convention complex has been done by local workers.
In their opinion, Judge David Farmer noted among other things that, "Taken to its logical extension, the CCA’s contention that the employees in this case are 'public employees' would render any employee working on a construction project for which a public entity is ultimately responsible, or which is supported by public funds, a public employee entitled to the benefits and subject to the restrictions thereof." View the full opinion here.
With a goal of booking one million rooms prior to its official opening later this year, the Music City Center has sold 829,574 “room nights,” according to the Nashville Convention & Visitors Bureau.
“Surpassing 800,000 room nights is a great milestone and further validates Nashville as a destination and the Music City Center as a catalyst for economic development,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “As the second largest industry in the city, the hospitality sector is a significant economic engine in our city, and that role will only grow when the Music City Center opens.”
According to the NCVB, the 829,574 room nights for the soon-to-be-finished convention center represent 101 individual meetings. The average size of a group being booked for the Music City Center is 6,800, almost three times what the Nashville Convention Center is now hosting.
“I continue to be impressed – but not surprised – by the market’s response to Nashville. The city is an incredible meetings destination and has one of the most unique convention campuses in the country,” said Butch Spyridon, NCVB president. “I am confident we will reach our million room night goal. Then it’s on to fulfilling our ongoing goal of booking a million room nights for the entire city annually.”
The meetings booked for the Music City Center range from its opening year of 2013 to 2026 and include multi-year agreements for many groups. The most recent groups to commit include the National Emergency Number Association booked for 2014 and the International Reading Association, booked for 2015.
The Nashville Convention Center Authority announced Thursday that reports issued to the Tennessee Comptroller of the Treasury verify the Music City Center has spent more than $120 million with minority-, small- and women-owned businesses.
The figure signals the project has already met the 20 percent Diversity Business Enterprise goal with fewer than six months left until completion, the authority said.
According to the recent report — filed on behalf of the project’s Diversity Business Enterprise (DBE) program — 30.8 per cent of spending has gone to DBE firms. For third quarter 2012, DBE firms received $8.9 million, or 38 percent, of all funds spent for the quarter.
Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Council stipulated the project management and construction management teams ensure a minimum of 20 percent construction spending go to DBE businesses as a condition of project approval.
Of the total $120 million spent to date, minority businesses have earned $46 million, women-owned businesses $32 million and small business enterprises $43 million.
“The project management team was charged with making the DBE program a priority and a success,” Marty Dickens, chair of the Convention Center Authority, said in a release. “I think we all feel like we’ve set a benchmark on this project for the way DBE programs should be run and we just need to keep pushing to ensure we finish strongly.”
Since the project broke ground in February 2010, the DBE program has consistently exceeded the 20 percent requirement, the authority said.
MCC construction is about 90 percent complete and near full completion is slated by April 30, 2013. The first convention in the new building booked for June.