Prickly

The mayor is against rescinding the city's agreement with Belmont on Rose Park.
The Mayor does not sup port the leg is la tion to ter mi nate the con tract with Bel mont Uni ver sity regard ing Rose Park,” Dean’s spokes woman Janel Lacy said. “The Rose Park project was sup ported by the Coun cil and Bel mont has acted in reliance upon the con tract.  The ter mi na tion of the con tract would unnec es sar ily cost the city mil lions of dol lars.  Money that we can not afford to waste.” Hollin pointed out last week that the city has already established an anti-discrimination policy for its own employees. He said Metro should not contract with private institutions “with policies that are in conflict with ours.” Lacy said the effect on the neighboring community was too great to justify rescinding the agreement. “The Council member from the district, Erica Gilmore, has rightfully pointed out that the park project has deep support in the neighborhood and she believes it is a benefit to her constituents,” Lacy said. “We understand that the intention is to require organizaions that partner with Metro to adopt nondiscrimina­tion policies, but in the end, this legislation only serves to hurt the taxpayers of Davidson County and the neighbors of Rose Park.”
Dec 21, 2010 8:00 AM
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'We cannot sit idly by'

Speaking to the Downtown Rotary Club yesterday, Mayor Karl Dean again made the case for redeveloping the fairgrounds into a mixed-use project.
Continuing a new tendency, Dean again brought up the fierce debate from 18 months ago over the proposed $4 billion May Town Center, the controversial mega-development planned for the rural Bells Bend community, which ultimately stalled in the Metro Planning Commission. “You had proponents saying that we needed to develop this space to compete with Cool Springs to grow our tax base,” Dean said. “You had opponents saying, ‘Yes, we need economic development, but not in a location that takes away green space, lacks necessary infrastructure and with neighbors that don’t want it.’
Dec 14, 2010 8:18 AM

The Mayor heads back to May Town

Joey Garrison details some of the latest discussion points in the fairgrounds redevelopment debate, which include Karl Dean resurrecting some of the arguments made about the proposed May Town Center — a project he never publicly supported or opposed.
At first glance, Dean’s comments could be dismissed as the mayor going slightly off-script. But the next evening, at a special fairgrounds meeting organized by a council committee, Alexia Poe, the mayor’s office’s economic and community development director, continued the argument.
Nov 15, 2010 9:06 AM

Chamber to Metro: Get a move on with the Fairgrounds

Calling the Fairgrounds site "an ideal, development-ready site," Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce officials today called on Mayor Karl Dean — who this morning said the area's status quo won't do — to move ahead with plans to prepare the area to house a mixed-use project.
"The growth of our region’s prosperity through business development and job creation is a priority for the Chamber. We know that having development-ready land in the core of our region is vital to Middle Tennessee’s economic future. One of the reasons our state has been so successful in economic development – particularly with projects like Hemlock and Volkswagen – has been based on the availability of prepared sites."
The chamber says a mixed-use project with 1 million square feet of Class A office space could generate 6,500 jobs and $200 million investment in Davidson. SEE ALSO: Fairgrounds site could spur $2.5B in economic impact
Nov 8, 2010 1:02 PM
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HealthSpring to make it official

Medicare Advantage plan provider will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Monday for its $53 million expansion project in MetroCenter. The 11 a.m. event will feature HealthSpring's brass, Mayor Karl Dean and Cam Sorenson of the building's developer, Southeast Venture. After the roughly 98,000 square foot building is constructed, there will be just 53 acres of undeveloped land in MetroCenter — less than 10 percent of the area's usable land. HealthSpring (Ticker: HS) this morning reported solid third quarter 2010 earnings results. The company is in the process of buying competitor Bravo Health for $545 million.
Oct 28, 2010 1:39 PM

Airport Authority's new board members

The Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority has two new members on its 10-member board of commissioners: Saul Solomon, president of Bridgestone Americas U.S. and Canada Commercial Tire Sales division, and Deborah Wright, owner of business services firm Amenacorp Inc. Solomon, who was appointed by Mayor Karl Dean and confirmed by Metro Council in August, will serve as one of the board's industry, commerce and finance representatives. Wright, appointed and confirmed Sept. 7, is one of the board's neighborhood representatives.
Oct 15, 2010 11:26 AM
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Dean decrees complete streets

Mayor Karl Dean today signed an order that calls for Metro to build new and reconstructed streets that take into account pedestrians, cyclists and other forms of transportation beyond the automobile.
“For decades Nashville roads were built with only cars in mind,” Dean said. “We have come a long way in recent years in terms of adding sidewalks and bikeways, and making mass transit more convenient for people to use. This Executive Order will ensure that now and in the future we continue to take all reasonable measures to develop new and reconstructed streets in a way that makes all of these modes of transportation more accessible. It’s important for the health of our citizens and for our city’s long-term sustainability. And I could think of no better time to move forward with this policy than during Walk Nashville Week when the entire city is focused on the importance of walking.”
SEE ALSO: Preparing for a new era of economic growth for Nashville from a recent City Paper editon
Oct 6, 2010 3:08 PM

Loews ribbon cutting Wednesday

Loews Hotels CEO Jonathan Tisch on Wednesday will cut the ribbon on the company's new 40,000-square-foot business services center in the Fifth Third Center downtown. Loews announced plans for the center in May, pledging to bring more than 200 workers with its $12 million investment. At the 10:30 event, Tisch will be joined by Economic and Community Development Commissioner Matt Kisber and Nashville Mayor Karl Dean.
Sep 13, 2010 2:22 PM

Ego-driven backbiting in Metro government? Nah...

Jeff Woods digs a little deeper into the personalities and possible motivations behind the Dean administration's deal with hotel developer Robert Rowling and finds some folks wondering if Gaylord CEO Colin Reed showed up alone to a tag team match.
Another insider says: "Nobody's said it publicly of course, but it looks like Omni came in here with such a good deal in Nashville just to screw with Reed. The fact that Rowling owns it is going to stick in Colin Reed's craw. At the end of the day, Reed's just going to have to eat it."
Sep 9, 2010 12:12 PM
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Preliminary Omni deal approved

The Convention Center Authority today gave the nod to a preliminary development agreement between the city and Omni Hotels, the first hurdle for the public-private financing plan that will allow Omni to build a $250 million hotel next to the new convention center. The City Paper's Joey Garrison has the story:
Under Dean’s plan, Omni would cover $250 million in development costs up front. Omni would then collect $103 million in tourism tax revenues generated by the new hotel over the course of 20 years. Omni would also receive a 62.5 percent property tax reduction and take in $25 million through tax-increment financing. Charles Robert Bone, who provides legal counsel to the authority, said the preliminary development agreement contains “90 to 95 percent” of the language that will be in formal agreement. Besides setting the parameters, Bone said the preliminary development agreement also obligates the authority to cover up to $1.15 million in land option costs if a development agreement is not reached.
SEE ALSO: William William's story from earlier this week on Marriott's disappointment with the Omni deal.
Sep 2, 2010 2:23 PM