The federal government seemingly has placed on hold its effort to have the Metro Planning Commission approve the consolidation of downtown parcels that are slated to eventually accommodate a U.S. courthouse.
In mid-January, the Nashville office of land surveying company Thornton & Associates Inc. applied for what the Metro Planning Department calls a lot combination. T&A is working with the U.S. General Services Administration, which would serve as courthouse developer.
Originally, the request was on the planning commission’s Feb. 24 agenda but was no longer as of Feb. 23. A T&A official said he is uncertain of the status of the parcel consolidation request. The next commission meeting is Thursday, March 10.
GSA officials could not be reached for comment.
Listed as Parcel No. 22 in the original planning commission agenda document, the 3.36-acre site is bordered by Church Street on the north, Commerce Street on the south, Rosa Parks Boulevard (Eight Avenue North) on the west, and Seventh Avenue North on the east. The site does not include the land on which is located the historic Berger Building (Parcel No. 32).
Craig Owensby, Metro Planning Department spokesman, said Wednesday afternoon in an email that the parcel consolidation is “still under review and we’re waiting for a revised plat.”
President Barack Obama’s proposed federal budget does not include funding for new federal courthouse construction, likely further delaying the long-stalled facility that would replace the outdated Estes Kefauver Federal Building on Broadway.
Congressman Jim Cooper, in whose Tennessee’s 5th Congressional District the courthouse would sit, has tried to fast track the project over the years. A Cooper aid attended the Feb. 24 commission meeting and the office is monitoring the situation.
In 1992, the federal government deemed the current courthouse inadequate.
The GSA released full details and a rendering of the proposed building in early 2001.