NES files condemnation suit to acquire land for convention center

Monday, January 25, 2010 at 10:33am

In another step toward relocating the downtown Nashville Electric Service substation, Metro government is seeking the condemnation of property that sits blocks away from Music City Center’s footprint.

In a suit filed Thursday in Davidson County Circuit Court, Metro, on behalf of NES, is relying on the use of eminent domain to acquire a .77-acre parcel on the east side of Fourth Avenue that is owned by Tennessee Golf & Travel. The sum offered for the tract is $390,000.

The existing NES substation is at Sixth Avenue and Demonbreun Street, an area where a portion of the new $585 million convention center is slated to be built. According to Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling, relocating the substation should cost an estimated $18 million to $20 million.

But the land Metro is hoping to acquire in its latest suit is near the south Interstate loop, several blocks away from Sixth, Franklin and Peabody streets — the current home of the youth center Rocketown — where Metro hopes to move the NES substation.

The suit contends that the Fourth Avenue property is necessary for NES to convert downtown’s existing overhead transmission to underground lines. With the new substation, power lines and a tunnel would have to travel under Lafayette and Sixth avenues, the suit reads, meaning the south Interstate loop is needed for:

“(1) Facilities to connect the underground transmission lines running under Sixth Avenue South and Lafayette Street to overhead transmission lines adjacent to the south loop of the interstate.

And, “(2) a future substation.” 

6 Comments on this post:

By: nvestnbna on 1/25/10 at 11:28

Interesting site selection. Apparently targeting certain uses / property owners.

An above ground NES substation on the corner of Gateway and 6th, the only road passing through the MCC - what an attraction and the city's first announced use on Gateway Blvd - - BRILLIANT!!!

By: nashwatcher on 1/25/10 at 12:07

i'm confused...are they trying to move it to 6th and gateway, or the Tennessee Golf and travel site on 4th (4th seems like a far better choice if you take into consideration the future development south of the MCC...)

By: nashwatcher on 1/25/10 at 12:46

also how much would it cost to put it underground? the cost would probably be mitigated by property tax revenue collected on the parcel over the long term...and development wouldn't be hindered...

By: nvestnbna on 1/25/10 at 1:22

Both, one is up by the interstate, they were looking at Lankfords but changed, and according to this the Rocketown site. As far as underground goes, this would seem to be something worth looking at. It turns it into a possible asset vs. an entity that would diminish uses around it. Many progressive cities do this to protect development surrounding substations. Anaheim, Cologne being notable examples. This NES project came in way way under budget - is probably responsible for 3/4s of the cost estimate reductions from $645 to $585m, it's sad they aren't envisioning or understanding the negative impact this will have on development to the south. This will be a tourniquet around the 6th Ave entrance to the Southern SoBro area. Hardly what was envisioned with the Gateway Overlay passed a few years ago, but maybe this does not have to comply. I doubt there will be much recognition of this (the MCC) project as being well executed from an urban development standpoint, but doing the substation underground would generate national and international notoriety as in the above cities. But.... Nashville is unique.

By: idgaf on 1/25/10 at 4:13

another 20 mill to the cost

By: nvestnbna on 1/25/10 at 4:15

I'll do it for half that.