Mayor says courts will decide convention center land dispute
The city offered Tower Investments $14.8 million for their five-and-a-half acres of land downtown.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A court hearing is scheduled for Friday regarding the plot of land the city has proposed building a new convention center on, specifically, its monetary value.
The city is looking to purchase the 15-acre plot bordered by Demonbreun Street to the north, Korean Veterans Parkway to the south, 5th Avenue to the east and 8th Avenue to the west, and offered Tower Investments, partial owner of the land, $14.8 million for their five-and-a-half acres.
Citing the land's potential, the northern California-based real estate investment firm said Wednesday the city's offer is not enough.
Nashville Mayor Karl Dean responded Thursday, saying the city's offer is more than fair.
"This is clearly a public purpose to build a public convention center and this has been talked about before they even bought the land, frankly," the mayor said. "All the city can pay for land is the fair market value."
Dean said he is perfectly happy with letting the courts decide the land's value, adding, "That's why we have courts."
In 2007, Tower Investments paid $14,780,000 for the property. Metro's offer was $22,000 more.
In addition to claiming they are owed more for the property, Tower Investments has their own plan for developing it.
They would like to develop a hotel that would be separate from the hotel proposed as part of the current convention center plans.
Mayor Dean said the opposition isn't surprising.
"This is a huge project," he said. "It's a big deal and there's going to be bumps in the road, people disagreeing and there's going to be politics and all sorts of other things going on."
The mayor said he is confident the courts will make a fair decision.