Three downtown property owners who occupy land needed for the extension of Korean Veterans Boulevard, the future southern border of Nashville’s new Music City Center, haven’t accepted financial offers for their land.
“We’re extremely dissatisfied with the offer,” said Eddie Grant, president of Tennessee Electric Motors Co., which operates at Sixth Avenue and Franklin Street, in the path of the future street extension.
“You can’t do anything about them taking it,” he added. “They’re going to take it anyway. But it’s just going through the judicial or legal system, however you want to put it.”
The long-discussed extension, which would effectively create a new street from Fourth Avenue South to a planned roundabout at Eighth Avenue South, recently entered a right-of-way acquisition phase. The street project is envisioned as a complement to Music City Center, slated to open in February 2013.
Mark Macy, assistant director of the Metro Public Works Department, which has been working with the Tennessee Department of Transportation during the land acquisition process, said seven of 10 property owners of land within the site of the extension have accepted offers to relocate. He said financial offers are based on federal acquisition regulations, which he described as a “fair” set of guidelines that considers a property’s market value and cost to relocate, among other things.
“We have 10 relocations that are scheduled,” Macy said. “Seven of the 10 have already agreed to take payments or take a buyout.”
For confidentiality purposes during ongoing negotiations, Macy said he could not say the dollar figures offered to property owners or which three property owners still haven’t accepted.
The City Paper contacted Grant, whose family has owned the Sixth Avenue land since 1955. He confirmed he has received an offer but doesn’t plan to accept it. Grant declined to reveal the sum of the offer.
Asked if he’s prepared to engage in an eminent domain battle over the property, Grant said he is.
Macy said offers still haven’t been made to two other owners of land that falls within the future KVB extension: Omni Hotels, the company behind an anchor hotel for the new convention center, and Tower Investments, a development company that has been involved in an lawsuit against Metro over the value of land that the city condemned to build Music City Center.
Eighty percent of the extension project’s total estimated $44 million cost is to come from federal dollars, with Metro covering the rest of the load.
Construction on the extension won’t begin until properties are secured, which Metro officials hope to complete by the end of this year. Project leaders hope to finalize construction of the street project near the opening of Music City Center in early 2013.