The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency filed suit Friday to take control of several properties within the footprint of the planned downtown convention center.
Using eminent-domain powers granted to it by the Metro Council earlier this year, MDHA deposited a total of $31.3 million with Davidson County Circuit Court to cover the amounts it is offering to seven owners whose land it seeks to condemn.
The amounts offered add up to almost $6.9 million more than the cumulative value of the properties as appraised for property taxes at the beginning of 2009. On average, the city is offering a 26 percent premium over tax-appraisal value.
The proposed site for Music City Center is bordered by Demonbreun Street to the north, the proposed Korean Veterans Boulevard extension in the south, Eighth Avenue South to the east and Fifth Avenue South to the west.
MDHA began making offers to property owners in the area at the end of August. Its board last week voted to authorize litigation against owners with whom it has been unable to strike a deal.
The owners and properties affected are as follows:
• Tower Music City II LLC, an affiliate of real estate developer Tower Investments Inc. MDHA has offered $14.8 million for Tower's parking lot at 301 Fifth Ave. S., which has an appraised value of $12.6 million. At 5.66 acres, this parcel is by far the largest in the center's footprint.
• Greyhound Lines Inc. The offer for the bus station property along Eighth Ave. S. is $4.9 million; the parcels are appraised for $3.8 million.
• Joe Chambers, proprietor of the Musicians Hall of Fame and Museum, with properties at 306 Seventh Ave. S., 312 Seventh Ave. S. and 309 Sixth Ave. S. Offer: $4.8 million. Appraised value: $3 million.
• Steve C. Cooper, the Memphis-based strip-club operator who runs Christie's Cabaret at 306 Eighth Ave. S. and owns two nearby parking lots. Offer: $2.8 million. Appraised value: $2.3 million.
• Nashville Downtown Platinum LLC, owner of properties at 201 Seventh Ave. S. and 611 Demonbreun St. Offer: $1.8 million. Appraised value: $1.2 million.
• Billy D. & Beverly Pitt, who own a building at 211 Sixth Ave. S. Offer: $1.25 million. Appraised value: $926,000.
• Hugh C. Cates, A.M. Downing, Richard Downing and Donna C. Downing, who own a parcel at 208 Seventh Ave. S. Offer: $905,000. Appraised value: $637,100.
The lawsuits also name tenants, lenders and other parties whose rights may be affected by the sale.
Filing the complaints on behalf of MDHA were attorneys Renard A. Hirsch Sr. and Carolyn Piphus of Smith & Hirsch PLC as well as G. Brian Jackson and Charlnette A. Richard of Miller & Martin PLLC.
According to a deed recorded on Friday, MDHA has bought three parcels in the convention center area owned by a partnership called Taylor-Winningham-Moore. The deed does not provide the purchase price; the lots were appraised for $859,000.
The total cost of land for the proposed convention center was estimated in April of this year to be $55 million, but MDHA later borrowed $62 million to acquire the necessary SoBro property.
The United Methodist Publishing House and several other landowners in the center's footprint have yet to turn up either in deeds or in condemnation lawsuits.
The City Paper has not been able to reach MDHA officials today. This story will be updated later if further details are forthcoming from the agency.