Resolution seeks to put brakes on convention center land acquisition

Tuesday, November 10, 2009 at 6:55pm

The Metro Council will consider a non-binding resolution to delay property acquisitions for the proposed $635 million convention center until a financial plan is approved.

The proposal, filed Tuesday by Metro Council members Mike Jameson and Erica Gilmore, would ask the Metro Development and Housing Agency to postpone all eminent domain proceedings needed to secure properties for both the center and hotel until the legislative body signs off on financing the project.

Under the resolution, MDHA is also being asked to inform affected business owners 60 days prior to the time they are requested to relocate.

Neither Jameson nor Gilmore could be reached Tuesday for comment.

But Councilman Eric Crafton, who’s co-sponsoring the resolution, called the resolution “common sense.”

“It’s crazy to move forward with trying to purchase property, drum up support and condemn property when we don’t even have a financing package, we don’t have a complete set of plans from the contractor and we don’t have a guaranteed maximum price,” Crafton said.

Asked for his thoughts on postponing property acquisitions, Mayor Karl Dean said, “We just need to keep moving forward.”

“The Council voted overwhelmingly to appropriate the money to get the land,” Dean said. “We just need to go about our business and stay on track.”

The filing of the resolution comes one week after Tower Investments sued MDHA over appraisals of its 5.6-acre tract at 301 Fifth Ave. S., by far the largest piece of property the agency needs for the proposed Music City Center.

It also follows the announcement that MDHA has reached a $5.6 million deal with Rocketown to buy the nonprofit’s property at the corner of Sixth Avenue and Shirley Street.

Metro will help the faith-based teen outreach, which was founded in 1994 by Christian singer/songwriter Michael W. Smith, move to another site on Fourth Avenue South.

The memorializing resolution is scheduled to go before the Council Nov. 17.


13 Comments on this post:

By: idgaf on 11/10/09 at 9:34

Non Binding your butt stop those physcos until we get to vote on it.

By: govskeptic on 11/11/09 at 7:37

"Move forward" the Mayor says. Never mind an oncoming train holding 100,000 taxpayers that are screaming your plans and project cost are more than the current economy and our diminshing pocketbooks can ill afford!

By: sidneyames on 11/11/09 at 8:07

“It’s crazy to move forward with trying to purchase property, drum up support and condemn property when we don’t even have a financing package, we don’t have a complete set of plans from the contractor and we don’t have a guaranteed maximum price,” says Eric Crafton. And he hit the nail on the head.

The reason our country is in trouble is "charging", spending money before it's earned and jumping into project individuals, cities and states cannot afford.

BUT, Eric is failing to acknowledge the evident: Dean and his supporters are crazy for power and recognition. This has to be started in Dean's 4 year administration because the voters will never let him serve another term -- or at least this voter will not.

He has gone crazy with spending and Antioch STILL has no sidewalks for us to walk on to keep healthy. Talk about pie in the sky. We need to have sidewalks "connecting" us to our shops and neighbors, Karl. How about it? Hope your staff is reading this. We want our sidewalks to connect to everything so we can walk and be healthy.

By: Pmd12931 on 11/11/09 at 8:33

Mayor Dean should be riding on a tank in the Veteran's Day parade today since he is bulldozing his convention center ideas over the local citizens, and thanks to our Council members who are standing up for our rights and the concerns we have.

By: idgaf on 11/11/09 at 8:39

Perhaps we should hold a horn honking session in front of his house at 3am to get his attention?

By: WayneJ on 11/11/09 at 8:48

Asked for his thoughts on postponing property acquisitions, Mayor Karl Dean said, “We just need to keep moving forward.”

The mayor and his cronies should consider that, for most of us in this county, "moving forward" is best defined as something that will happen the day Dean is not reelected, or even better, recalled out of office for trying to push the Music City Cashcow through, among the other blunders that have proven he is not fit to lead this city.

The horn-honking session works for me - when's the next vote on the Cashcow and its related activities and where will it be?

By: nashtnman on 11/11/09 at 9:34

This issue is about which candidate will represent the district the best, not race. I personally am tired of the race card played every time “change” enters into the picture. As a member of an interracial marriage, I despise this tactic in an attempt to r

By: nashtnman on 11/11/09 at 9:46

Sorry, forgot I was signed in, that previous comment is in regards to another article.

I think we should all email our idiot mayor at: and tell him the people oppose this convention center being shoved down our throats. I agree it is retarded to purchase land for a project that is not even approved yet. The taxpayers should have the right to vote of this issue. It is not up to a select few as the Mayor thinks. He needs to go and we are the ones to vote him out. This should not even be a topic with the current economic situation. Any money this city has to spend should be spent on schools, an effective mass transit system, the homeless or a hundred other different worthy avenues instead of this project. We have a nice convention center and it will suffice for many more year. Someone please check into the kickbacks, he is bound to have a personal stake in this as he is pushing too hard to not benefit personally from it.

People, watch the votes, track your money and vote. This is the only way to win back our city from the idiots and self-profiteers.

By: JeffF on 11/11/09 at 11:32

Seems that there are some council members working under the delusion that they can control the MDHA shadow government. They have already done the only thing they can do to MDHA, grant them money. Once they (MDHA) got it they immediately wheeled it into their fortress/keep and will not come out and talk to the council until they are hired again and need even more money.

Thus is the business of Government by Off-Budget Enterprise. MDHA was setup so as not to have to answer to elected officials or the public.

By: airvols on 11/11/09 at 11:37

The people don't oppose the convention center and it should be built immediately. Let's count the opposition in this room as the public, it smells like Crofton again. Cant wait to get rid of this guy once and for all.

By: everloyal on 11/11/09 at 3:06

Mayor Dean, please keep up your efforts for the unneeded, unwanted new proposed "white elephant" convention center. I know of no better way to assure your defeat at election time than by your efforts to cram this down our throats along with your backroom deals on the Fairgrounds!! Have a nice day.

By: frank brown on 11/11/09 at 5:48

What can be done by the Davidson County taxpayers to get this mayor to understand what is happening in this country. This is not the time to be building a convention center with our money. We know this mayor has a tax increase up his sleeve.

By: titansjoe on 11/11/09 at 8:09

The resolution in the council means nothing. Obviously the council is for this rape of our city since they approved the money for the property aquisition. The resolution is just a ploy so they won't meet the same fate as Karl Dean after the next election. Our city has been bought by an elite powerful group that controls this city. Just follow the money. Check the campaign donations of the mayor and the council. Check the companies that donated along with personal donations from those same company heads. Check pac groups and see who donates to them. They have even formed not for profit groups for better education just to funnel more pac money into campaigns. They spend a million and get 10 million in return. You will find it's the same people and their employees and families. Our elected officials do not work for the citizens of this city. They work for those same folks that stuffed their campaign war chest.
I would bet if the odds makers in Vegas were giving odds on this waste of money being successful, it would be at least 3 to 1 against. In this economy. This is extremely irresponsible on the part of our Metro Government.
Someone asked what can be done. The people can get there lazy butts up and spend about three of four days getting 15% of registered voters to sign a petition against this rip off and a recall of the mayor or the bill to waste this tax money. It shouldn't be that difficult. I have not spoken to or overheard one person in favor of this mess yet it is being railroaded down our throat. If we sit on our lazy butts and let it happen without trying to stop it, we deserve what we get. Honking your horn in front of mayor deans house at 3 a.m. is likely to get you arrested. But......a thousand people in front of the court house on a certain Tuesday night with signs, bull horns and a banner or two might make a few of our leaders understand we will not accept the rape of our great city lying down. I guarantee their attitudes would change.