Hospital Corporation of America, the nation’s largest private health care provider, is close to landing a $3 million property tax break from Metro for building a new $200 million data center in Antioch.
The Metro Council, after no deliberation, gave preliminary approval Tuesday to hand HCA a 60 percent property tax abatement on real and personal property taxes over seven years to accommodate a new Antioch data center at The Crossings on Old Franklin Road. The incentive, which Mayor Karl Dean’s administration engineered, is set for final approval in April.
Nashville-based HCA operates four technology and data centers in Tennessee, two that are in Davidson County. The tax break is meant as a carrot for a planned 76,000-square-foot regional data center on 55 Antioch acres. Its first phase could be completed by 2013, with HCA executives eying a final phase in 2017.
Matt Wiltshire, director of the mayor’s Office of Community and Development, called HCA’s Antioch-area data center “an important investment in one of Nashville’s most important industries.”
HCA and Metro officials say the project will create 155 new fulltime jobs.
The ordinance outlines various “performance milestones” that HCA must meet each year to continue receiving the abatement, according to the council’s legal analysis. These millstones include creating 50 jobs by the end of 2013; 80 by 2014; 110 by 2015; 140 by 2016; and 155 by 2017.
Under the deal, HCA’s 60 percent, seven-year tax abatement on real property totals $1.5 million. The abatement on personal property –– which includes computer equipment for the new data center –– is $1.55 million.
HCA generated revenues in excess of $30 billion in 2011, producing a net income of $2.5 billion.
The HCA deal, known as a payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement, is the last orchestrated by Dean’s administration, representing a sharp break from his predecessor Bill Purcell, who shied away from the approach.
Dean’s most recent PILOT deal, approved in the fall, involved LifePoint Hospitals .
Dean’s administration has also offered a 60 percent tax abatement over 12 years to Gaylord Entertainment Co. and Dollywood Co. for building a planned water and snow park  in Nashville. The proposal cleared the first of three votes in the council Tuesday.
In other business:
The council approved, on the second of three votes, a Councilwoman Burkley Allen-sponsored bill that would ban smoking on all hospital property and public right-of-ways  –– including city sidewalks –– within 50 feet of a hospital entrance in Davidson County.
As outlined in the bill, some hospitals have provided Metro written requests to extend the ban to prohibit smoking within 200 feet of entrances. They are: Vanderbilt University Hospital; Monroe Carrell Jr. Children’s Hospital; St. Thomas Hospital; and Baptist Hospital.
All area hospitals have endorsed the legislation.