Omni-Hall of Fame connector approved, to rely on $34M in tax increment financing

Friday, December 17, 2010 at 1:09pm

A plan to connect Nashville’s new convention center headquarters hotel with an expanded Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum relies on Metro supplying $34 million in tax-increment financing to Omni Hotels Inc.

The $34 million adds to the $25 million in tax-increment financing already obligated to Omni as part of the public-private financing plan to fund the $287 million, 800-room anchor hotel for Nashville’s under-construction Music City Center.

Under the tax-increment financing (TIF) arrangement, new tax revenue generated by properties within downtown’s Capitol Mall Redevelopment District is to reimburse Omni for costs accrued to pay for the connector project.

On Friday, Metro’s Convention Center Authority approved an agreement with Omni and the hall of fame allowing Omni to be the developer in building the shell of the hotel-hall of fame connection.

Also approved on Friday, Metro –– specifically, the authority –– is to own the hall of fame’s expansion, with the hall of fame having a 60-year lease on the property in which annual payments of $500,000 are to be made. Under the contract, the hall of fame must have $15 million “readily available” by the end of September 2011.

The TIF allocation is still subject to a future vote by the Metro Development and Housing Agency’s board, which oversees the management of TIF dollars.

Project leaders say the connection between the hotel and hall of fame is being designed in a way to allow for a seamless transition.

“The Omni Nashville Hotel will be unlike any convention headquarters hotel in the country,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement. “The hotel will reflect our city’s unique identity as Music City, and the connection to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will provide hotel guests and convention goers with an experience that only Nashville can offer.”

Mike Garcia, Omni’s chief financial officer and senior vice president for acquisitions and development, said the hotel’s street-level amenities are expected include a restaurant at Fourth Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard, along with a coffee shop, a “high-end” restaurant and a live entertainment establishment fronting Fifth Avenue.

The $585 million, 1.2-million-square-foot Music City Center is expected to open in February 2013, with the hotel opening a few months later.


5 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 12/20/10 at 5:51

The word "connector" is as false as the premise that this is being
built and financed by ! This is a massive addition to the Hall of Fame
that just happens to be built right up to the Omni Hotel. Mayor and
Finance Director's promise that taxpayer dollars won't be used for
the MCC-hotel project has proven-FALSE. How can this much
additional cost be undertaken by skipping Council approval?

By: bfra on 12/20/10 at 6:47

gov - Are you referring to Karl's puppets in the council? If so, they just say "ask and you shall receive". Pitiful excuses for people.

By: yucchhii on 12/20/10 at 10:59

Lol, Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha he...Gee, I wonder how I figured the "TAX PAYERS" would be involved in the payments of this work to be done? The "TAXPAYERS" said "NO!" to the convention center to begin with and mayor "DINK" goes ahead with it ANYWAY! Then the issue of the OMNI hotel comes up and did the "TAXPAYERS" have any say in that? Hell NO!! Now with this "CONNECTOR" all of a sudden the "TAXPAYERS" who said "NO" to this whole thing to begin with is to pay for this thing! So far, I've been right that "Once a "CROOK", ALWAYS a CROOK!" So, are ANY of you that will heed what I say towards this thing next time? Probably not! Most of you are to NIEVE to believe that the politicians are there to do us wrong! You won't learn till it's TOO LATE!!!

By: JeffF on 12/20/10 at 12:31

for further interpretation, this hotel amenity will be paid for with TIFs. What this means is that the increases in property taxes collected inside Deans castle will not be used to fund the services that will need to increase while that small community grows, Instead that money collected from the dwindling number of private, non-government, non-church property owners will instead to pay the note for the hotel and museum.

Is everyone now beginning to understand Dean's charge into selling off community properties used by actual Nashvillians? He has a whole lot of increased government services he needs to pay for in a "neighborhood" that is never going to pay its own way because it has a lack of taxable base and what little it has is already paying for other things. All because tourists need it? Tourism is the weakest industry any city could ever invest in.

Just because you are not directly paying for a boondoggle doesn't mean you will not pay anything for it. All this stuff for non-Nashvillians is on the back of Nashvillians who need better schools and safer neighborhoods (the ones they actually live and work in) and public transportation (going somewhere actually important, not just to the castle).

By: MAmom on 12/28/10 at 10:45

Follow-up to JeffF's thought above.
"Check kiting" is the illegal act of taking advantage of "float" to make use of non-existent funds in a checking or other bank account; it is a form of check fraud.
There may be a version of "kiting" going on in Nashville government right now.
1. According to the article Dean has incurred a $59,000,000 debt over his convention center project.
2. There is little cost in the Fairgrounds property since it was acquired so long ago - so it's sale would generate a big gain.
3. A gain on sale of the Fairgrounds property would offset the big debt he has incurred over the Convention Center.
4. No wonder DEAN and many on the Council are in such a hurry to "cash out" the Fairgrounds property.
5. Fairgrounds "redevelopment" is not about being green, it's not about the neighbors wanting "redevelopment", it's not about the racetrack noise, etc.
6. Most likely IT IS ABOUT DEAN & some on the Council trying to cover their bad governance.

No wonder DEAN:
-is in such a hurry to demolish the racetrack,
-wants to take the Fairgrounds property from the citizens of Nashville and Middle Tennessee.
-will not use the Fairgrounds gain to provide Nashvillians with another place for their racing, flea market, expo, and other activities.
-refuses to discuss compromise
-or put his "fairgrounds redevelopment" idea to a vote.

Wow, it really is all connected!