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A Convention Center: Necessary?


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19 replies to this topic

#1 vinemp

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 06:44 PM

http://www.brookings...tioncenters.htm


In my dreams, I see a Rolling Mill Hill, CBD, SoBro and Gulch that are linked by streets lined with businesses and residences. In fact, I want to see them merge and blend even into Hope Gardens, Sulpher Dell, Germantown, and Salemtown.

I dream of a City Center with wall-to-wall people, not walls and walls of one single edifice; especially, if that building further compartmentalizes Downtown. (We already have parking lots to fulfill that function.)

To consider building a convention center in SoBro---disrupting the urban fabric we seek to realize---seems a bit short-sighted.

 

#2 bzorch

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Posted 06 April 2006 - 06:56 PM

It is a great report. Have you seen these links as well? The Smart City Radio segment is great. It is an interview with the author of the report.


UP Discussion
http://www.urbanplan...showtopic=21733

Civic Design Center Links
http://www.civicdesi...ion_center.html

Smart City Radio Segment
http://www.smartcity...getsmartshows=1

#3 downtown cliff

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:11 AM

Even if one agrees that Nashville should add convention space, I'm not keen on the SoBro plan. All you architects and engineers out there can feel free to prove me wrong, but I simply do not believe it is impossible or infeasible to add exhibit space by building up on the current center. I also believe this could be done with minimal column interference. Enough space could probalby be added to allow for some re-working of the loading/unloading concerns, utililizing the current space. It seems like a sharp architect could do this, taking advantage of modern construction techniques, and produce a stunning structure. I think if the proponents of a new center really want it, they need to get real and explain why this can't be done.

Edited by downtown cliff, 07 April 2006 - 11:11 AM.


#4 memphian

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:20 AM

I think the biggest deal for building a new cc is that trying to rehab the old one would cause way too much distraction for it to be a good solution. Since the convention business relies heavily on repeat groups - closing the current cc down just to expand it or even putting some smaller groups through a bad experience during construction would create a negative impact overall. Where as if you build a new cc in a different location then the current can be used as-is until the new one opens.

#5 monsoon

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:21 AM

We really ought to have a more descriptive title than MUST READ.

#6 Rural King

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 11:46 AM

I fixed it for vinemp. I just reversed the lines, I think that should work. :D

#7 ATLBrain

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:12 PM

Or just from an economic stimulus point of view, putting the CC in the SOBRO area is a huge mistake. The reasoning here is that SOBRO will do just fine without the CC. On the other hand, the north gulch is languishing and probably will until investment is put there. A CC in the gulch north of Broadway would be both another direction to develop DT as well as a great place to put those high rise hotel towers that will be so necessary for 2000-3000 rooms if the CC is put there.

Plus, the gulch is still close to Church and the Renaissance. Also, it would be a nice bridge to midtown via Church.

#8 ariesjow

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 12:17 PM

I'm not sold on placing a convention center in SoBro or the Gulch either. I know we want to keep the conventioners in the urban fabric but what about finding a home for the convention center right across the river on the East Bank with dramatic skyline view like the Coliseum has. It may spur growth on the side of the river. Would there be enough room?

#9 downtown cliff

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 02:03 PM

I think the biggest deal for building a new cc is that trying to rehab the old one would cause way too much distraction for it to be a good solution. Since the convention business relies heavily on repeat groups - closing the current cc down just to expand it or even putting some smaller groups through a bad experience during construction would create a negative impact overall. Where as if you build a new cc in a different location then the current can be used as-is until the new one opens.


If that is truly the case, then how has Austin, Atlanta and other cities been able to pull of major expansions? Atlanta is in a convention slump, but it started before their expansion; Austin seems to be doing well. Seems like expansion is the prefered first choice in most cities. A new facility may be the best choice, but looking at the report by the Music City Center folks, I don't get the feeling that expansion was seriously considered. They throw up a straw man option that no one will like (tearing down two neighboring churches to expand horizontally) but don't give vertical expansion a solid look. As of this moment, I would be hard pressed to support a new center; not because I'm convinced we don't need one, but because I'm not convinced we do. That, and I feel like MCC is trying to sell me some snake oil.

#10 nashville_bound

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 05:20 PM

The big issue as I understand it is not just more room, but a certain type space. The demand from event planners is for contiguous, column free event space and that will not be adressed with an expansion of the current CC.

#11 Nashvillain

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 06:40 PM

The big issue as I understand it is not just more room, but a certain type space. The demand from event planners is for contiguous, column free event space and that will not be adressed with an expansion of the current CC.


Is it really impossible, or do we just lack the will to figure it out? Or do certain groups have a vested interest in seeing another center built?

Edited by Nashvillain, 07 April 2006 - 06:42 PM.


#12 nashville_bound

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 07:02 PM

no...it is impossible :)

#13 Nashvillain

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 07:08 PM

Oh, ok. I guess that settles it then.

#14 nashville_bound

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 07:50 PM

sweet

#15 doormanpoet

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:04 PM

One comvention we do not get is the United States Bowling Congress Tournament. The tournament has been in existence for over 70 years and has never been in Nashville! The columns in the convention center are too close together. They need room for 68 lanes for 6 months and over 100,000 participants! Can you imagine another 100,000 visitors to Nashville a year?

#16 downtown cliff

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 08:20 PM

no...it is impossible :)


Then maybe we should call the Marines. :D

Seriously, though, why is it impossible?

#17 fieldmarshaldj

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 09:56 PM

Then maybe we should call the Marines. :D

Seriously, though, why is it impossible?


I'll take a wild guess or two, perhaps why is that there isn't enough space on top of the existing roof... and even if there was, the weight might be such that it cannot be supported with the existing structure underneath. I think of it something somewhat similar to why Church Street Center wasn't saved and converted to the library rather than demolishing a relatively new structure... they ascertained it couldn't support the weight of the books (although I have to admit I had a tough time buying that reason, but I'm not a structural engineer, so I wouldn't know for sure).

#18 Nashvillain

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:26 PM

One comvention we do not get is the United States Bowling Congress Tournament. The tournament has been in existence for over 70 years and has never been in Nashville! The columns in the convention center are too close together. They need room for 68 lanes for 6 months and over 100,000 participants! Can you imagine another 100,000 visitors to Nashville a year?


The United States Bowling Congress Tournament has never been to Nashville!!?? What do we need to blow up/demolish to make this happen immediately?

#19 Anti-ock

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Posted 07 April 2006 - 10:44 PM

Nothing -- just hold it on the Snodgrass Plaza :)

#20 fieldmarshaldj

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Posted 08 April 2006 - 12:09 AM

Nothing -- just hold it on the Snodgrass Plaza :)


If you held it there, you'd just have a lot of gutter-balls.