A plan to connect Nashville’s new convention center headquarters hotel with an expanded Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum relies on Metro supplying $34 million in tax-increment financing to Omni Hotels Inc.
The $34 million adds to the $25 million in tax-increment financing already obligated to Omni as part of the public-private financing plan to fund the $287 million, 800-room anchor hotel for Nashville’s under-construction Music City Center.
Under the tax-increment financing (TIF) arrangement, new tax revenue generated by properties within downtown’s Capitol Mall Redevelopment District is to reimburse Omni for costs accrued to pay for the connector project.
On Friday, Metro’s Convention Center Authority approved an agreement with Omni and the hall of fame allowing Omni to be the developer in building the shell of the hotel-hall of fame connection.
Also approved on Friday, Metro –– specifically, the authority –– is to own the hall of fame’s expansion, with the hall of fame having a 60-year lease on the property in which annual payments of $500,000 are to be made. Under the contract, the hall of fame must have $15 million “readily available” by the end of September 2011.
The TIF allocation is still subject to a future vote by the Metro Development and Housing Agency’s board, which oversees the management of TIF dollars.
Project leaders say the connection between the hotel and hall of fame is being designed in a way to allow for a seamless transition.
“The Omni Nashville Hotel will be unlike any convention headquarters hotel in the country,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement. “The hotel will reflect our city’s unique identity as Music City, and the connection to the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum will provide hotel guests and convention goers with an experience that only Nashville can offer.”
Mike Garcia, Omni’s chief financial officer and senior vice president for acquisitions and development, said the hotel’s street-level amenities are expected include a restaurant at Fourth Avenue and Korean Veterans Boulevard, along with a coffee shop, a “high-end” restaurant and a live entertainment establishment fronting Fifth Avenue.
The $585 million, 1.2-million-square-foot Music City Center is expected to open in February 2013, with the hotel opening a few months later.