City selects developer to build Music City Center hotel - WKRN News 2

City selects developer to build Music City Center hotel

Posted: Updated: June 17, 2009 11:37 AM CDT
Planned Music City Center hotel. Planned Music City Center hotel.
Artist rendering of the planned Music City Center. Artist rendering of the planned Music City Center.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - The city is moving forward with plans to build a $300 million hotel to serve guests of the new convention center proposed for downtown Nashville.

The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency on Tuesday selected Colorado-based Phelps and Atlanta-based Portman Holdings to lead the development team.

The developers beat out nine others from around the country to design and build the facility that will sit just south of the County Music Hall of Fame and adjacent to the planned Music City Center.

"This team was selected because they have extensive experience, an exciting vision and a commitment to Nashville," MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan said.

The developers Tuesday morning unveiled the conceptual design of the 40-story, 1,000-room hotel, which will also include 100,000 square feet of meeting space, ballrooms, restaurants and retail areas.

Several local firms including R.C. Mathews and Morgan & Morgan construction companies, Earl Swensson Associates architects and the Nashville office of Tower Investments, will also be involved in the project.

The announcement comes just two weeks after the Metro Council approved funding to acquire land for the Music City Center, which will be located south of the Sommet Center, between Fifth Avenue South and Eighth Avenue South.

The new convention center is expected to bring in an extra $600 to $700 million in visitor spending each year and many believe the new hotel is necessary for it to survive.

"If advanced bookings are any indication, we're going to exceed our projections," said Butch Spyridon, president of the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

City leaders said the convention center and hotel's impact on the Nashville economy will be "enormous."

"We have a goal to drive the visitor industry impact from $4 billion to $5 billion and the convention center and headquarter hotel are the key to driving that next million," Spyridon continued.

The city is still working on financing construction of the hotel.

"By the first quarter of 2010, we'll have the design developed to a point, we'll be able to finalize the budget and start construction three months after that," said Eric Wilson with Phelps Development.

If all goes according to plan, the hotel will open in early 2013.

It is not known who will run the hotel.  The city is still seeking proposals from hotel operators and plans to select one in 30 to 60 days.

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