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Richard Lawson

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Everything posted by Richard Lawson

  1. I haven't been on here in a long while. I wish I'd kept the NYT story in which states all around were finding that construction cos. seeking road work were bidding 20-30% below expected cost. The result seems to be that states saving money now may be able to do more projects with stimulus money that had been shelved previously. Point being, the same is likely to happen on MCC. I wrote that in a column a few weeks ago.
  2. Yes there is space downtown. That is now. And there always will be space available downtown. The space in MTC would only be built out as demand allows with the office side. Most Nashville office buildings do not start construction without some sort of an anchor tenant. Office developers here are very conservative relative to other markets in speculative office development. Everyone opposed to MTC act as if the thing will spring up overnight and that 40,000 people will just flood the area. This is a land development. Other developers will be the ones coming in and doing it all. It is shortsighted to say that development should be rejected now because of space downtown being available. It would be several years before an office building would be built out there. May isn't going to turnover the land to conservation until the zoning is approved. The conservation piece will be protected as part of the zoning. He's not going to turn it over to conservation before all that because if MTC gets shot down, he will just sell the land and some other developer would come with a different plan, which may or may not involve conservation. Metro isn't paying for the convention center out of the general fund, which is what pays for schools and police. Hotel motel taxes and other tourist related taxes are set for it. There are plenty of folks speculating that taxpayers would have to pay for it but that never proved out with the current convention center.
  3. If it gets built, it can't sprawl on the Bend if everything else is in conservation. I don't think that once conversation districts are created the are easily dismantled. Throwing out the who will pay for this or that, could be used with every new development. If the county wasn't a consolidated government and Scottsboro were an incorporated city, folks there would be dealing with how to increase tax revenue and such to pay for services.
  4. No renderings... Selection purely on qualifications and experience. Starting fresh and will work toward a guaranteed maximum price with Turner Universal as the owner's rep.
  5. I had some defenders... I recognized that the fairgrounds out there could be bothersome. I think the thing some folks missed though was that the idea wasn't swapping only the fairgrounds property. There would have to be a collection of properties. Fairgrounds alone isn't an even swap. There would have to be more. it wouldn't necessarily be a direct acreage swap but valuation swap. I think the history of the site was some sort of horse racing. Bring that back and do a tie in with the Mars Farm near Pulaski which has a practice track from the days of yore that replicates the Derby one with dirt and distance. Just another idea.
  6. I hope this generates discussion beyond just comments on the CP site. Far too often, conventional thinking rolls and creative thinking seems never to appear. Not that I was being creative necessarily, but I wanted to pose and idea that has folks looking at the box differently.
  7. I wish I could have gone to the meeting. I'm on "vacation" at the moment, which means I'm dong renovation work around the condo. Wrdbrn reminds me of my mother fighting the construction of a high school football stadium literally 50 yards from their house in Madison, Ala., Huntsville suburb. They'd built a HS near a nice neighborhood with the promise of no stadium... Well guess what? They tried. My mother was hell on wheels. Stadium didn't get built. They don't live their anymore. Moved about 45 minutes away. But if the issue rears up again my mother still makes calls and writes letters to the Huntsville newspaper.
  8. Yeah Palmer's guy had said they were seeking one. The question is ... foundation for what exactly
  9. Is it flat there or is there a bluff... Tough to tell from the PDF
  10. For starters define over the communities. It would go over the area where the fairy pick up. I'm not sure there is anything there. Secondly, based on the logic of not being able to move anywhere else if values increased, then values should never grow anywhere at all ever. No increase in property tax revenues. The world everywhere should stagnate for the purposes of keeping the value just where it is so they ca keep that lifestyle forever and ever and ever. That's an exaggeration obviously. But the point is values increase all the time, it's a matter of how much. So if you get a 100% gain in three years. That good right? That exceeds the average pretty substantially. In which case, equity grows quickly and say you made 100K on that house. You roll that 100K plus whatever equity put into the house into a new place. Conservatively that's about $127,000 that could be rolled. So let's say you can only afford the 135K mortgage. By making 100k on the house, you just bumped the house you can afford to over $260,000. That could put you into some very good neighborhoods around Nashville. East Nashville for example, you can buy a good bit of house for 260. Shoot, Sylvan Park there can be houses had for that. I'm fairly sure Bellevue.
  11. You just nailed the problem on the head. You can't use downtown property to compete with suburban property. Downtown is more expensive because of the parking requirements. So say rent downtown is $16 per square foot and $20 in the burbs. Sounds cheaper. But in the burbs parking is free. Downtown it may be $5 per foot taking the total to $21. That has been the complaint for a long time.
  12. Those set aside don't necessarily have to be land trusted, although that would be a tax advantage I think for the developer if he did. But the set aside could be codified with the city and what I'm told, that's what they will do. The arguments for and against this projects are so predictable. Nearly every fight is the same. The challenge is the city needs development for the tax base to expand to meet the growing demands on services. Outlying countries grow at the expense of Nashville. On the other side, neighborhoods don't want the growth in their backyard. Grow but somewhere else. Developers always prefer raw open land. It's easier to develop because you don't have to demolish. Clean slate. If the folks don't want growth in or near their neighborhoods, they should probably urge better mass transit to or even commuter rail and the density hub concept. Green in between the density. Oh and I saw a comment on the only the rich people will benefit. Interesting comment. Another side of that is the Charlotte Park and Beacon folks probably will see their property values increase if they own and potentially sell the home for a nicer price than they could now.
  13. One thing that factors in here is that the Mays won't be the ones doing the building. They are basically acting as land developers. They put into place all of the infrastructure and guidelines for development. That means, other developers come in to do the different pieces but do so under the guidelines established by the Mays. Another interesting fact, Jack May is a vegetarian. It's a good bet if folks wanted to do some organic farming over there he'd be all for it. It certainly would make for an interesting mix... Corporate campus next to an organic farm.
  14. I wish I could have gone last night but was committed elsewhere. Through it all, the part I find fascinating is the discussion about taxpayers and the bridge. There are a variety of bridges suggested for connecting various sides of the Cumberland. I think Old Hickory was supposed to be connected at some point. Nonetheless, federal dollars pay for interchanges all that time in which the prime purpose is to foster development. So one way of looking at it is getting money back to help generate development that creates additional local taxes, etc. It's an interesting circle. The FAA piece will be interesting to see unfold. May moved the project some on the property to get more out of the flight path. A businessman who is a pilot showed me on various maps what pilots taking off out of there have to do. It looks like planes still will fly over part of the property. But planes do that at Nashville Int'l. So that's something that will have to be explained it bit better.
  15. Yes and the folks on the floors would be bumped up
  16. Yeah I don't think they'd jump in on a condo deal even if it was three years out on construction because of the question mark on condos. I guess the same could be said of hotels too. You never know what the market will be three years out.
  17. He knows about the site. One of his guys used to post on here (Dave Koellein). I think Dave probably still watches it. As for foreign investment, and I realize this is off topic some, but I'll have to check around. If I'm not mistaken, when the dollar is low, investors stream over because of the favorable exchange rate. Convert to dollars. Buy real estate and sell when dollar rises. That's way oversimplifying it. But if the dollar is low against the Euro, converting to dollars and buying an good income producing property here would seem to make sense. Keep the dollars here until the dollar rebounds then convert. I think that sounds about right. Someone correct me if I'm off the mark.
  18. I know... That's was more to all in terms of why I brought it up in the first place.
  19. :) I was making more of a general statement that perhaps foreign money could be an option, more specifically, perhaps on the hotel side of it. If I'm not mistaken, the condos and the hotel would have different pots of money. So while not on the condo side, maybe it could come on the hotel side. I have no idea whether foreign money is an option. Just wondering out loud.
  20. Good point ... I hadn't realized that foreign money help fuel the Miami condo market.
  21. I'm surprised more foreign money hasn't made it's way to Nashville, at least not that I've heard yet. That money likes the big cities I know. But .....
  22. No offense Flowers, but he doesn't have a lender yet that's why he's looking at the changes, to make it more attractive to lenders.
  23. Wait until you see what I have in the CP on Monday. Hint: Not bad news
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