A judge excluded a key landowner’s two defenses to condemnation for the downtown convention center last week, but the case is likely far from over.
In an order filed this week, Circuit Court Judge Barbara Haynes ruled Tower Investments, owner of 5.66 acres in the footprint of the proposed Music City Center, could not use a defense arguing its property is not blighted, nor that the real-estate company has an alternative use for its land just south of the Sommet Center. The ruling effectively quashes the company’s entire defense and gives possession of the property — now a parking lot — to the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.
The condemnation trial was set for Friday. Now all that’s left is a determination of value. Tower was offered $14.8 million for its tract — the largest in the MCC footprint — which is just a shade more than the $14.7 million the company paid for it.
Tower attorney Joe Conner said the company has the right to move on to the Tennessee Court of Appeals once the proceedings are complete at the circuit court level.
The final two condemnation hearings — for MDHA’s eminent domain claims against Christies’ Cabaret and the Musician’s Hall of Fame — are still pending.