Metro eyes redevelopment of roads flanking fairgrounds

Thursday, February 11, 2010 at 2:36pm

Transforming two of Nashville’s inactive corridors into vibrant destinations would require aggressive action from the public sector, according to leading experts on land use.

Nolensville Pike/Fourth Avenue and Franklin Pike/Eighth Avenue — streets that flank the disputed 117-acre Tennessee State Fairgrounds property — are the subjects of an ongoing study conducted by the Urban Land Institute, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit that teamed up with Metro officials over the past month to explore ways to encourage infill development along underutilized corridors that feed into downtown Nashville.

Under the organization’s Daniel Rose Fellowship program, the cities of Minneapolis, Philadelphia and Phoenix are participants of similar studies.

An Urban Land Institute advisory team released an initial report Thursday, supplying Metro government with tools to potentially transform the heavily industrial area directly south of downtown into a true neighborhood, making the corridors “places within themselves” rather than unwelcoming accessways.

Weak capital markets will require Metro to offer a wider variety of incentives, experts said. Recommendations for the public sector include: assembling sites for development, assisting developers with financing structures and offering incentives, loans and grants to developers willing to build in the urban core.

Experts also said the city could start by revitalizing the streetscape along Nolensville Pike through a beautification project or enhancing the aesthetics at Eighth and Douglas avenues over the coming 12 to 18 months. Both are actions that could “set the table” for future development, they suggested.

“The key thing for this to succeed is to have a combination of the public and private working together,” said Mayor Karl Dean, who asked the ULI team to analyze the area sandwiched by Fourth and Eighth avenues. “Nashville is positioned to take advantage of some of the low density in the core of city, which makes us unique and gives us a real special opportunity here that we should take advantage of.” 

Asked if he plans to announce a government-led initiative for the area south of downtown, Dean said the process is ongoing and depends largely on the future of the fairgrounds, which seems poised for redevelopment. He said the next step is to solicit community input.

In terms of energizing the area, advisors said to “think big” and agreed the redevelopment of the fairgrounds property would be critical to future growth, recommending that the city find a use that could generate a large tax base, perhaps through the combination of a corporate campus and park.

Suggestions for the area as a whole include: creating a “gateway park” at the fairground property; turning Browns Creek into a greenway; offering better transit services along Nolensville and Franklin pikes and extending Wedgewood Avenue — which currently stops at the fairgrounds — eastward to Murfreesboro Pike.

49 Comments on this post:

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/10 at 1:52

corporate campus and park, huh?

By: nashwatcher on 2/11/10 at 2:34

very progressive...this area has huge potential in the coming years if infrastructure is properly planned. think big! redeveloping 4th, extending wedgewood...good vision...!

By: some1else on 2/11/10 at 3:18

[i]In terms of energizing the area, advisors said to “think big” and agreed the redevelopment of the fairgrounds property would be critical to future growth, recommending that the city find a use that could generate a large tax base, perhaps through the combination of a corporate campus and park.[/i]

Do not be mislead by Dean's double-talk that destruction of the fairgrounds is required for this effort. "Revitalization" of the existing fairgrounds would accomplish the same goal, perhaps better, in fact.

Please see this proposal which addresses beautification, bus transportation, re-working of Wedgewood, greenways, etc to bring the fairgrounds up to par, while still retaining it's functions as a fairgrounds/exhibition/entertainment venue. http://www.scribd.com/doc/26739959/Proposal-Rev

The consultant hired to accesses the fairgrounds, Markin Associates, estimated that replacing the fairgrounds with commercial development would bring in an estimated $12-42 million per year in property and sales taxes. However, the current fairgrounds as it *is* has an economic impact of approximately $60 million, bringing in an estimated 1-1.5 million visitors to Davidson County each year.

So redevelopment into a commercial area would actually reduce the economic impact of the property, while incurring a loss in jobs and visitors to the county, whereas improving and revitalizing the operation would bring additional economic growth.

The citizens and the county would be much better off to invest a relatively small amount into the fairgrounds operation, which has operated over 100 years from it's own income, never costing the county a penny.

The Markin Report estimated that only $5-7million would be needed to give the fairgrounds a 'makeover' , less than what Metro pays out annually to cover shortfalls by the Preds, and less that what it pays to cover shortages at LP Field.

Metro council recently voted to spend approx. $600 million on a new civic center in the hopes of attracting an estimated $135 million in economic impact. It seems like a small investment in the fairgrounds would be in the best interest of the county and its citizens.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/10 at 3:39

i have no faith that the fairboard would be able to do a good job with beautification or management of the property. it's time for someone else to take the helm. and whatever that property becomes affects a lot more than just the tax revenue from that piece of property alone. it would encourage the development of the area around it.

redevelop 4th and extend Wedgewood!

By: localboy on 2/11/10 at 3:40

good points, some1else - I'm sold.

By: some1else on 2/11/10 at 3:46

Blanket -- you're correct about the *current* fair board-- they and the previous couple of fair boards are why we have a problem. And the current board, instead of attempting, or even searching for a solution, simply gave up and abdicated the public trust invested in them... so a new fair board is called for as well..

And if you read the proposal, in addition to the fair board itself, there should be a citizen's advisory committee to help develop ideas and plans for the fairgrounds and its activities. The committee should not only be just citizens, but representatives of "stakeholders" as well, such as the 4-H, FFA, Dept. of Agriculture, Dept of Nat. Resources, etc...

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/11/10 at 3:53

i say it's time to try something different and let it go private. i'm tired of having that piece of property sitting around unkempt and crime ridden while everyone sits around wringing their hands.

By: idgaf on 2/12/10 at 8:38

This guy must know he is a one termer and trying to put as many "deals" as he can.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 9:22

i don't agree with the convention center, but i'm totally behind Dean on this one.

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 9:25

idgaf. And who do you suppose is going to run against him? I did not vote for him the first time but I will most certainly be voting for him this time around.

So, we have now been told by an expert fairgrounds consultant and by this Urban Land Institute, a Washington-D.C.-based nonprofit that the fairgrounds property needs to be developed and that a green space needs to be included in the development plan. Let’s stop talking and having meetings about this property and move forward! The next meeting I want to attend is one that includes blue prints from development companies.

Some1else I have looked at your proposal and to me it just looks like another weak and sad attempt for you and the rest of the Racetrack Preservation Group to continue to try to keep the racetrack. It is time for you to move on or work with the City to make sure this property is developed in a manner that benefits all of Nashville.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 9:41

how many fair boards to we have to go through to figure out that the property needs a change in a big way? develop it already!

By: concernedtaxpayer on 2/12/10 at 9:52

Many individuals in the area are complaining that this location is an eyesore. However, it is the common man meeting place for county taxpayers and does not cost Metro Taxpayers one dime. Name something else that Metro does that does not cost taxpayers one dime. It is hard to think of one. And with the fairgrounds bringing $6 million in sales tax revenue per year, how would that be recouped with redevelopment in that area? If the fairgrounds is closed and another location is not built, the difference in sales tax revenue will have to be made up out of taxpayers pockets.

As a side note, the fairgrounds has been there since 1906 and how many individuals in the area were even living in 1906? The big response is that the individuals that live in the area knew the fairgrounds was there when they purchased their home.

By: stlgtr55@yahoo.com on 2/12/10 at 9:58

concernedtaxpayer, you nailed it!!!

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 10:46

Concernedtaxpayer

Did you attend the fair in 1906? Is anybody alive in Nashville that attended the fair in 1920? Weak argument. Just because one knew the fairgrounds was there doesn't mean they don't have to the right to be proactive in trying to improve their neighborhood.

Metro loses money every year by not doing something esle with the property. If the property is developed, it wil not only increase tax base revenue for the City at the fairgrounds property but it will also spur growth and increase tax base revenue in the surrounding area.

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 10:48

117 -- you need to be a bit better informed-- perhaps you should have paid a bit more attention at the public hearing Monday night.

Firstly, the "expert fairgrounds consultant" did NOT say that the property *needs* to be developed-- development was one of three options he offered, another being to retain the current fairgrounds.

And as far as this "Urban Land Institute", if you check them out (Google is your friend!), you'll discover that it's a consortium made up of real estate development firms, and real estate investment banks.... not exactly what you'd call an impartial source.

Just like you and your team who's trying to kill the fairgrounds, they're primarily engaged in real estate speculation.

Sorry you don't like our proposal, but most of your neighbors do... they are not involved in real estate speculation with their homes like yourself -- they want to live in *that* neighborhood, not turn it into something else....

And *try* to stick to the truth if you can-- we presented our position on the racetrack at the Council meeting...

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 11:08

Metro loses money every year by not doing something esle with the property. If the property is developed, it wil not only increase tax base revenue for the City at the fairgrounds property but it will also spur growth and increase tax base revenue in the surrounding area.

there you go with misinformation again!

For metro to lose money on the deal, it would have to put some into it first, and metro has never paid i dime into the fair or fairgrounds! So metro loses nothing on the fairgrounds.

In fact, what metro would lose, is the $.5million or so that the fairgrounds pays metro each year in inflated "service fees."

Also, according to Markin Consulting, redevelopment of that property would bring bring in an estimated $12-42 million in economic impact-- about HALF of what the fairgrounds currently brings in according to metro figures. Not much in the way of growth there.

be proactive in trying to improve their neighborhood
but you're only trying to improve you property value so that you can make money off your house-- you have no interest in your neighborhood or your neighbors.

By: localanon on 2/12/10 at 11:18

117 and some1else:
Would you two just get it over with and make out already?

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 11:27

lol, local!

By: judyboodo@yahoo.com on 2/12/10 at 11:55

Dean is the worst most transparent mayor we've had in my lifetime. And I'm old. This is shaping up to be a land swap with HCA to move their campus. Just like Gaylord's gifts in the past, Nashville will lose in the end on any deal like this. The racetrack not withstanding concernedtaxpayer and some1else are correct in their assessments. Nothing that is a trade of one property for the next brings any net benefit. What happens to the HCA campus off Charlotte? Seems everyone in this hunt has their own dog in it. Blanketnatzi2 and 117_acres really just don't care for the racetrack and maybe the people who go to it, but like some1else said, it was their first. So live with it or move to the country.

By: BigPapa on 2/12/10 at 12:14

The "it was there first" arugment is probably the WORST argument next to it's "historic".

The place is a total dump and an eyesore. If they just raze all the buildings and do nothing will be an improvement over whats there now.

Sell it off and develop it asap and help improve that area of town.

By: SRJ on 2/12/10 at 12:18

Gee, we already have a glut of strip mall spaces, office rentals, condos, un-occupied single family homes for rent and for sale. Why would we suggest building more of them ? It just does not make sense to me. Look around ! Look at the mixed use development at (5th and Main) and all the high-rise mixed use developments in the Gulch. They are all but EMPTY. I just do not see how un-occupied buildings are going to add to Metro's ailing TAX revenue problem. It will take years for Nashville to grow into the developments that presently exist.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 12:48

well, why don't you as the Chief of Police for less patrol. It'll save tax dollars. Then throw some trash out of your car window on your way home. That way you can make sure the property values stay low and the neighborhood won't progress because no one will want to invest in it. Then you can sit atop your happy pile of trash and call it "har-i-tage." would that make you happy?

By: JenT on 2/12/10 at 1:09

I attended this presentation yesterday, it was really interesting and got me pretty excited to see what happens in our neighborhood in the next 5 years or so.

Shameless self promotion: I have a short summary as well as a link to the presentation itself on my blog:
southnashvillelife.com

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 1:11

Thanks, Jen!

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 1:36

judyboodo@yahoo.com. Why don't you move to the Country an be sure to take the Racetrack with you when you leave. I like living in an Urban area where there is diversity and actually things to do as opposed to living in the country or suburbs where the population is typically all white and you would have to drive into Nashville to find anything to do. I would also rather be close to my work than spending 10 hours a week in my car driving back and forth to work from somewhere like Columbia.

localanon. I would considering making out with some1else but I believe he already has a girlfriend who is the founder of the Racetrack Preservation Group. Just kidding...

Some1else, I agree with you that the consultant did recommend three avenues that Metro Nashville could take regarding the fairgrounds. However, one of those was to develop the property into a mix use development so, it would be accurate for me to say, "that the consultant recommended doing that" regardless if I did not list the other two options. Just because I didn't list the other two options doesn't mean I'm misinforming anyone. Also, the City does lose money every year the fairgrounds property continues the Status Quo, all one has to do is look at the area around it to figure that out!
Some1else, most people in the neighbor like myself support the fairgrounds and would not mind seeing the City invest in improving the fairgrounds property with a green space for the public to use but we can't do that until the racetrack is gone. I'm afraid at this point it may be to late to save the fairgrounds. Had you all said,"get rid of the racetrack so we can save and improve the fairgrounds" maybe we could have gotten the City to agree to that but you all have got to continue to push for racing which doesn't make any sense to continue doing in an Urban area that needs improving. Until the racetrack is gone I will continue to work to get rid of it and if it takes the fairgrounds down with it so be it.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 1:40

i agree, 117. if they had compromised on the racetrack, it would have probably brought the two sides together.

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 1:58

117 - had you said that redevelopment was *one* of the choices that markin recommended, i would not have argued the point with you-- however, you were misleading by saying that the report stated that the fairgrounds *needed* to be redeveloped... it's not that you didn't list the other options, you inferred that he only had one recommendation.

and explain to us how the city loses money on the property when it's never put any money into the property or the fairgrounds operation, and consultants estimate that redevelopment into a commercial zone will have less economic impact that it has now??

and you keep putting forth the lie about us and the racetrack... we've never included the racetrack in our list of issues... we've discussed it as a current part of the operation, and made recommendations for it *if* it remains, but we've never made that an issue-- only you folks... if you actually *would* read our proposal, the section on soundproofing the racetrack starts out "If auto racing continues at the racetrack... ." Also, as we told Metro Council, and i've told you before, racing is a leased operation at the fairgrounds... whether it exists or not is a decision of the fairboard, and has nothing to do with the existence of the fairgrounds.

You don't seem to understand that 'getting rid' of, or keeping the race track neither one are part of our objectives.... as i said to Metro Council, that's a fight between race opponents and race proponents to be fought before the fair board, who has the sole decision of whether to lease the track for that purpose or not. We do not take a position either way.

and don't assume it's too late...

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 2:19

Some1else
Read the Markin Report again. This was taken off of slide number 57.

Mixed use development (housing/retail/commercial) investment potential - $275 million to $1.2 billion over 10 years

Benefits to County in form of real estate and sales taxes - $12 million to $42 million per year

Best meets the needs/desires of the surrounding neighborhoods

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 2:25

don't confuse him with facts, 117. lol!

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 2:29

117 - i don't need to read again... *you* need to understand what *you're* reading..

the $275 million is the *investment* estimate... the cost to redevelop the area.

the benefit estimate is the $12-$42 million-- the number i've been quoting to you, which is far, far below the $60 million in benefits now received from the fairgrounds...

so it would cost $275 million to cut the impact in half... good economics there...

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 2:34

Some1else,

Metro loses money off of the depressed property values in this area of town. If the area is cleaned up Metro will be able to collect a higher rate of property taxes and will generate more sales tax revenue if businesses begin to invest in South Nashville. They might not have to invest any money into the fairgrounds but they lose money by not taking the opportunity to increase their tax base revenue and to attract businesses by continuing the status quo. This is just my opinion.

By: Blanketnazi2 on 2/12/10 at 2:49

sounds logical to me, 117.

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 2:50

Some1else, that 275 million is private investment not government investment which will create jobs and will a make the area around this dilapidated property more attractive for other private investors. Not one (1) Hotel or restaurant owner/manager in the last three (3) years has come forward and said please save the fairgrounds if you close it I will not be able to stay in business. That sixty million number put out by Metro or whoever is a farce and if it wasn't a farce businesses would be lining up out the door to save this place which just isn't happening. The only person besides yourself and a few others that has consistently wanted to save the fairgrounds is NASCAR's 3rd favorite son next to number 1. Ricky Bobby and 2. Dale Earnhardt and the King of the Fairgrounds Speedy Sterling Marlin, which we all know why this Columbia native wants to save the property.

By: concernedtaxpayer on 2/12/10 at 3:48

117_acres.

You are an idiot. Evidently you know nothing about real estate. NO investor in their right mind will spend 275 million to 1.2 billion on improving the fairgrounds site. Any way you put it Dean and his cronies will get what they want on that property and more than likely it will be the HCA corporate center. If this occurs, there will be absolutely no benefit to the city.

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 4:24

Concernedtaxpayer I agree that no investor will spend that kind of money on what is currently operating at the fairgrounds but they most certainly will spend that kind of money on developing a mix use development on the property. Go to the state fairgrounds website and read the Markin report. 4 different private groups submitted proposals to the fair board that would invest hundreds of millions of dollars in to this site. Metro Nashville is spending $500,000,000 on the convention center which is on 15 acres of land. The fairgrounds property is 117 acres of land less than two miles from downtown which some of the land is in a flood plain. You are an idiot if you don't think a private investment firm or development firm wont invest the money. Another example is the purposed medical mart which if Nashville gets it the private investment group will spend at or around 275,000,000 on converting the current convention center into a medical trade show center. It is not always about money and I'm for keeping the fairgrounds if the City will create a green space for the residents to use and get rid of the racetrack but that probably is not going to happen now.

By: stitch12 on 2/12/10 at 4:47

I really wish everyone in the Davidson County could see and hear the Feb. 8, 2010 Codes, Fair and Farmers Market Council that now can be seen on Channel 3 periodically. It is definitely and eye opener. I was quite proud of several councilman that pointed out where and how the fairground money is going. Wish I could legally charge twice or outrageously overcharge and not be questioned.
While all activities held at the fairgrounds are deemed as profitable, or could easily be, the only thing that has lost money is the State Fair. It is the only activity at the hands of Mother Nature that decides the profit or not. While it is noted that 209,000+ people paid admission to the Sept. Fair, it was not mentioned that about 6 days of the 10 days running was a total wash out with constant rain. Also, doesn't anyone realize that the economy is not real good right now? There are many activities, restaurants, businesses everywhere that are not very profitable because so many jobs have been lost. and less money a family can spend. Some states decided not to hold a State Fair because of the economy, but they are not selling off their prized properties just for missing a year.
I do attend many activities held at the fairground property, per year. The property. that is owned by all residents of Davidson County, where we enjoy a variety of different interests, most could not be held at any other property in this County. While noted in the Markin survey, that was hired and paid for by the Fair Board, states that the grounds provide an economic impact to Davidson County of $60 million per year. While no other plan is to replace it, and losing theses 274 events held yearly, we again will have to open our pockets, deeper, to pay for the schools, police, fire, etc. And Nashville will not be the diversified activity city that we now host.
Yesterday, I attended a huge antique show that consumes every building at the fairgrounds. Last night I read the map and a list of the vendors. With 234 vendors, 199 were from out of state. From Vermont, California, Oregon, Texas, every state, even Canada. I wonder where are they staying, at our hotels, eating at our restaurants, buying our gas? Such a pity that a city that will have the largest convention center in the whole country, can't have exhibitor buildings and property that can host so many variety interests, smaller & less expensive shows, swap meets, car shows, computer shows, guitars shows, etc. Such a pity that we will be sending that 60$ million dollars out of county and out of state. And also, recently was very proud that Nashville had a property, the only place in the state that the U.S. Humane Society could house and care for 101 rescued, abused animals.
I also would like to point out that in 1984-85, Nashville hosted two NASCAR Cup races. One in May and one in July. NASCAR loved Nashville and raced here at our Fairground Speedway but with less than 15,000 seats. With a fast growing sport, they ask the operator to increase the seating. The operator ask the Fair Board and they wouldn't fund it and also would not give the operator an extended long lease so he could invest his own money. So the Fair Board told NASCAR to take a hike. The smaller race track in Bristol, TN, now has 160,000 seats and over 100 sky boxes and always totally sold out. Wonder what the economic impact that generates, the money the Fair Board threw away? Our race dates went to Las Vegas, LA, Chicago and even recently working with Donald Trump for a track in New York City. But that was just too red-neck for our officials I guess. It was selfish reasons over the billions they gave away, and I fear they will make another blunder.
I would like to see the the fairgrounds to remain for the community and a nicer facility. The Louisville, KY fairgrounds is near downtown and a beautiful place. We could be just as good with just a tiny fraction as what our city fathers are spending recently.
For the residents that would like the fairgrounds to go away, just be aware. In my area, new development has more than doubled my property taxes. And living close to an interstate is so loud with trucks and their Jake brakes and blasting radios 24/7, you can't enjoy your backyard and my closed windows rattle. I knew it was there when the home was purchased, so I guess I can't complain too much.

By: concernedtaxpayer on 2/12/10 at 7:19

117_acres

If you want the fairgrounds to be closed then it might as well become affordable housing. Many businesses and families living around the fairgrounds do not care one bit about the area they live in. Just walk around sometime and see all the junk. The whole area is an eyesore. And with the fairgrounds being located there, individuals in the local community can work at the fairgrounds at various events and even set up a booth during the flea market. If HCA comes in on the property, they for sure will not be working there unless they are part of the cleaning crew.

By: concernedtaxpayer on 2/12/10 at 7:22

stitch 12

I appreciate the fact that someone else likes the Louisville, KY fairgrounds. It is a beautiful facility and Nashville could have had a facility similar to it if Dean and his cronies were not such good buddies with the downtown merchants. Nashville could have had a similar facility that could have served as a convention center and a fairgrounds with parking that could be shared with a new ballpark or theme park.

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 7:44

117 -- sorry i missed out on the last part of this conversation-- but it looks like others see through your arguments as well... and i'm sure your neighbors love your ideas about raising property taxes... i'll bet they're all right behind you on that one!

anyway... i couldn't stick around to keep the argument going... we had to meet the attorney downtown and filed suit against metro this afternoon-- asking the courts to enforce the law on the fairground...

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 8:08

oh, and 117...

The only person besides yourself and a few others that has consistently wanted to save the fairgrounds ...

make that myself and about 11,000 others.. that's how many signatures we have on petitions so far in support of the fairgrounds ... or weren't you listening to CM Dominy speak at the council committee meeting??

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 8:17

http://www.wsmv.com/news/22550516/detail.html

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 9:14

Some1esle

Thank you for filing suit. Hopefully this will be resolved soon. Just an FYI and not to bust your bubble but If the Chancery Court sides with you all, the City will just have to get the State to dissolve the Charter. So, regardless if the City wants to do something else with this property they will be able to get it done.

By: 117_acres on 2/12/10 at 9:16

Signatures from people who live outside of Davidson County wont hold much influence with metro.

By: some1else on 2/12/10 at 11:14

117-- i dunno where you get all your false information from-- if Court sides with us, the law will be enforced... there is both state legislation and the charter, and the state cannot "dissolve" just a piece of the charter without doing the whole thing-- meaning that there would be no more metro government-- and the state's not about to do that ... but the state law concerning the fairgrounds would still remain, even if they *did* dissolve metro .... and metro cannot change the charter without a public referendum.... so as much as you might dream, even the mayor must obey the law or be in criminal contempt.

i thought you told us once you were a law student... you must have cut class the day they taught law at law school!

and what makes you think they are not all registered voters of metro--- we might have enough for a recall election before we're through!

By: birdperch on 2/13/10 at 1:26

Yikes! Another corral to the Fairgrounds issue. (Which I do love and want to stay; with renovations.)

But most here seem to be forgetting about the main thrust of the article: the existing surrounding neighborhoods; all of which are ALREADY viable neighborhoods. As a resident in the 8th & Wedgewood sector, I like all the neighborhoods from the Fairgrounds to 8th and down to Nolensville/Woodbine. They're all strong, DIVERSE neighborhoods which care about their community and neighbors. A little bit of renovation (and less fast food chains) would be nice, but a complete overall, I disagree. The area could definitely benefit from a community park, but then they'll be some complaining that the homeless, drug addicts, kids, will hang out and increase crime. Better bus routes are much welcomed.

SRJ and Stitch are right. This city is, as is true with most others right now, over saturated with empty housing and office space and debt. Drive around and see all the For Sale and For Lease signs throughout Metro. Researching options for the future is a good idea, but the company they hired seems too pro development, not pro community. As we all know, when an area is redeveloped, it relocates the present neighbors and for me that is a huge concern. Nashville keeps segregating with its development and that's a travesty for any city. Building more prefab housing and permitting for more fast food chains and white bread coffee/boutique shops, does not a diverse neighborhood make. Nashville should look to Baltimore, St. Louis, and other comparable cities for development ideas that will take Nashville into the future, not the short term, as they've so often done.

As a taxpaying citizen, I guess I just live by a different definition of neighborhood than most Council Members and developers and some folks on this blog.

Lastly, and I have to apologize because I normally don't travel down this road in a public forum, but.... Concernedtaxpayer, you are incredibly rude and ignorant to state that families don't like living near the fairgrounds. Which neighbors did you speak with? I know many folks who live in that area and they love it, as I'm sure many of the other homeowners/renters who have been there for years do too. If there are homes not up to your standards, then maybe help a neighbor out and volunteer to clean up. Better yet, remain in your white washed wonderland and stay out of their neighborhood... or move to Brentwood.

By: 117_acres on 2/13/10 at 5:09

Some1esle,
If the City wants to develop the property, the City will do whatever it has to do to get it done.
If that means amending or dissolving a statute, creating a new ordinance, or changing a part of the charter the City is going to do it.

FYI I've done some google searching. Thanks for the advice.

By: some1else on 2/13/10 at 7:40

117 - ah.. but the question is how much Metro would be willing to give up to develop the property?? Would the mayor want to assure himself as a one-term mayor to do it?? There's already talk of recalling at least one council member due to her lack of support for the fairgrounds.

And while i never said it was impossible to make changes in the law, in this case, at the very least, it would require a public referendum and the fairgrounds would remain in operation during the meantime.

And by this time we're looking into the term of the *next* mayor--- and the likelihood that a public referendum would retain the fairgrounds...

All-in-all, the Mayor would be much better off to come up with $10mil. and sit down with us and some others and discuss how best to revitalize the fairgrounds-- not only physically, but program-wise as well.

By: 117_acres on 2/14/10 at 4:07

some1else

Keep dreaming! The Mayor will never sit down with you especially someone who is trying to shakedown the City for $10,000,000. Who is going to run against Mayor Dean? He is doing a great job as Mayor.

By: stitch12 on 4/6/10 at 12:01

For those of you that write of crime at the fairgrounds need to visit the Farmer's Market.
It is also governed by the Fair Board. It's been renovated several times over and tons of money spent there, where the fairground has been denied. The only time to visit the Farmer's Market is during lunch time during the week where there are more people. Otherwise, it is over run with very aggressive bums, drunkards and homeless beggars. I'm not comfortable for them poking, touching and cursing. A woman was raped in that area last summer. I am glad we have a place for the farmers to sell their produce, but this area is not safe. I'd like to see the farmers moved to the fairgrounds. I'd sell the farmers market property before I'd sell the fairground property. I feel safe on the fairgrounds and I have never heard of crime there. I attend many events there and there is always families, children and pets and have never been approached by anyone that made me feel unsafe.
The Mayor paid $90,000.00 for the Markin study and it states that 90% of the residents of Davidson County want it to be as is for the entertainment venues and of the 350 residents that live close by, 80% also want it to remain. So he's not listening to the people. His task force is just for show.
It's just a pity that a city of our size can't have an expo center. I love the beautiful 300 acres fairground/expo, close to downtown Louisville. Why can't we have something for the people, like that? The Mayor is cutting our services everywhere, whining about not enough money to keep the public libraries open many days and hours. Cutting jobs, school custodians, school bus drivers, brush collectors gone, etc., but closing the fairgrounds will lose another $60 million because all the 277 events held there now, are being driven out of county or out of state. With out all the money and these fun things that we enjoy will make Nashville less fun to live in, and too much taxes that we will have to make up for the $60 + millions he is throwing away. While I think downtown is critical to entice visitors, I can't afford or want to hang out in downtown Nashville. Not many family events there. So, I really don't think Dean is in the best interest for Nashville families.