Omni Hotels and the County Music Hall of Fame and Museum have agreed in principle to structurally connect Nashville’s new convention center headquarters hotel with the hall’s future expansion.
Officials had originally sought to reach an agreement by Nov. 15. Metro, Omni and the hall of fame are now working on finalizing by Dec. 31 a three-party development contract that would allow two Fifth Avenue South buildings to be “fully integrated,” Omni and hall executives said Thursday morning during a Convention Center Authority meeting.
“We are incredibly excited about where we’re at,” said Mike Deitemeyer, president of Omni. “We’ve created a scenario where the buildings will actually be dovetailed together on certain levels.”
Deitemeyer called the tie-in between the expanded hall and the new $273 million, 800-room hotel a “seamless transition” as he discussed how a pedestrian walking south on Fifth Avenue could hypothetically move from a Hatch Show Print gallery to a “country western-themed” entertainment venue inside the hotel. Across the street will be the $585 million Music City Center. It’s still unclear whether the 1.2 million-square-foot convention facililty would be connected to its anchor hotel via a fourth-floor sky bridge.
As previously relayed to the authority, Deitemeyer said the hotel’s 80,000-square-foot meeting space area is to be adjacent to an 800-seat theater, which would be operated by the hall. He said the meeting level of the hotel would include country music memorabilia.
Deitemeyer said Omni and hall officials recently took a trip to Forth Worth to see first-hand how a newly built Omni hotel is incorporated with that Texas city’s convention center.
“We’re working diligently to get this done,” Deitemeyer said of finalizing the agreement. “We’re in a position now where we’ve bought the property, we’ve got architects on board and everything is full steam ahead.”
Kyle Young, the hall of fame’s director, described the connection as “complicated,” pointing out that it involves bridging a non-profit organization with a for-profit hotel.
“We’ve got a lot of details to work out, but I’d say the hard stuff is done,” Young said. “This is a tremendous, project. We’re fired up.”
Metro Finance Director Richard Riebeling said the development agreement would likely involve Omni, the hall and the authority. He said he doesn’t anticipate the still-unfinished agreement to delay construction on the project.
Riebeling has said he expects a late spring or early summer groundbreaking on the new hotel.