Despite the fact that Metro Council members expect the $180 million deal to expand the Bellevue Center Mall to close as early as today, the Council’s Budget and Finance Committee on Monday stuck a potential wrench in the spokes of the project.
The committee pushed back until after the first of the year a resolution to approve an Economic Impact Plan for the mall that would allow the Metro Industrial Development Board to finance much of the mall redevelopment through a bond issuance.
Foursquare Properties Inc. could finalize its plans as early as today to redevelop nearly 1.2 million square feet of mall space for six restaurants and added retail and office space at the cost of roughly $180 million, Metro Councilman Charlie Tygard told the Budget and Finance Committee Monday night.
At the same time, Tygard asked the committee to defer its approval of the project’s Economic Impact Plan, which would pave the way for financing the project through a bond issuance by the Industrial Development Board.
“Not only is this a very important piece of legislation, not only for Bellevue but also for all of Nashville,” Tygard. “But I’d move to defer this for one meeting. We’re going to meet with the (Metro) Finance Director and the administration and see what issues are there.”
“Should [a deal] be worked out I may ask for a suspension of the rules [Tuesday] night and asked that this be considered by the Council as a whole.”
Councilman Michael Craddock suggested that instead of having the Council consider the resolution approving the Economic Impact Plan without the approval of the Budget and Finance Committee, those involved in the project could urge the purchasers to give the city more time “if push comes to shove.”
Most of the Budget and Finance Committee members were also inclined to defer approving the plan without it being singed off to by Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling and Mayor Karl Dean.
Riebeling said the mayoral administration has been deliberating on the impact plan, but not to the extent to yet be in a position to approve it for the Council.
“It’s a big policy issue that needs to be looked at globally before we act,” Riebeling told the Committee. “We just didn’t have time to give it its due diligence yet.”