Guest 5th & Main Urbanite

Federal Courthouse

368 posts in this topic

Ah, I somehow glanced over that on page one. 

Edited by NikOnder

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Well...at least with ours, we'll get a bed and free breakfast, right?  :good:

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Haha, you got me with the last pic there. I almost fell out of my chair

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Haha, you got me with the last pic there. I almost fell out of my chair

 

Ditto! Well played, Bna.

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I... can't... breathe...

:rofl:

:cry:

 

Haha!  I thought you might like that.  That picture was just too perfect.  It's a dead-ringer for the courthouse!

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Just missing the roundabout in front and the cherry-picker on top. It's amazing, although I'm not crazy about all of the other federal courthouse designs (some a bit too post-modernist for my tastes), at least they're not horrid. It's like Nashville drew the short straw when it came to the one nobody wanted. That they'd be seriously considering building something that is effectively a decade+ old design that is even more dated in appearance (and not in a good way) is appalling, especially considering the cost (and that the taxpayers are footing the bill).

I wish we could swap it for Cleveland's, but I think Cleveland has suffered enough and doesn't deserve such an architectural punishment on its skyline.

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Nashville is at the top of the list because so much money has already been spent.  That's kind of unfortunate since the design was completed so long ago, and makes it seem less likely that a full redesign would happen.  I wonder if they've completed final construction drawings for the Graves design. I'd much rather see a SoBro type apartment building on this land, with some cool retail/restaurant space on 8th Ave and Church Street. That would be transformative in a way the courthouse will never be.

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The good news is that there are still plenty of surface parking lots in that vicinity that could be transformed into mixed-use buildings even if this one (finally) becomes the federal courthouse.  The lot just north of this site on Church between Rosa Parks/Polk is screaming for something like that.  It has been a vacant lot for well over half a century, if I am not mistaken. Wasn't that the Tulane Hotel, which used to house Castle Studios where WSM broadcast for a while and where Bill Monroe recorded some of his most famous recordings?  I think that that building was taken down in the mid-1950s or something.

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The good news is that there are still plenty of surface parking lots in that vicinity that could be transformed into mixed-use buildings even if this one (finally) becomes the federal courthouse.  The lot just north of this site on Church between Rosa Parks/Polk is screaming for something like that.  It has been a vacant lot for well over half a century, if I am not mistaken. Wasn't that the Tulane Hotel, which used to house Castle Studios where WSM broadcast for a while and where Bill Monroe recorded some of his most famous recordings?  I think that that building was taken down in the mid-1950s or something.

 

Isn't that lot owned by the same trust that donated the property for the old Ben West Library?

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Looks like Nashville is the only federal courthouse on the 2016 budget. Per The Tennessean 

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I don't see this one getting cut from the budget. With two republican senators and a democratic rep all supporting it, this is one do those projects that will likely be included in the final budget. Of course that assumed a budget is actually passed which could very well not happen. I doubt many people will see this as "pork" in the classic form since it does need to be replaced and there are significant security issues.

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I don't see this one getting cut from the budget. With two republican senators and a democratic rep all supporting it, this is one do those projects that will likely be included in the final budget. Of course that assumed a budget is actually passed which could very well not happen. I doubt many people will see this as "pork" in the classic form since it does need to be replaced and there are significant security issues.

I'm not so sanguine.  What may appear to be a necessity here sure would look like pork in most other districts.  And, given Obama derangement syndrome, I'd be very surprised is we didn't hear some from Congress declare the budget "Dead on Arrival."   We're still a very long way from that first shovel-full of dirt.

Edited by captainwjm

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I'm not so sanguine.  What may appear to be a necessity here sure would look like pork in most other districts.  And, given Obama derangement syndrome, I'd be very surprised is we didn't hear some from Congress declare the budget "Dead on Arrival."   We're still a very long way from that first shovel-full of dirt.

 

You say that like it's a bad thing. I hope that hideous project never gets built (not without a drastic redesign).

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The good news is that there are still plenty of surface parking lots in that vicinity that could be transformed into mixed-use buildings even if this one (finally) becomes the federal courthouse.  The lot just north of this site on Church between Rosa Parks/Polk is screaming for something like that.  It has been a vacant lot for well over half a century, if I am not mistaken. Wasn't that the Tulane Hotel, which used to house Castle Studios where WSM broadcast for a while and where Bill Monroe recorded some of his most famous recordings?  I think that that building was taken down in the mid-1950s or something.

You are correct, but the owners of the lot will not sell. Our guest at the December meet said the family of the former parking company icon will not sell the land, so the former Tulane Hotel site will never be redeveloped. This will be a surface parking lot for years to come. The same can be said about the lot across from McKendree Church that has been eyed by many developers. Many of these surface lots are owned by one family and will not be developed as long as aires to the family can live off surface parking fees.  

Isn't that lot owned by the same trust that donated the property for the old Ben West Library?

Partly. I have been told its confusing, but a moot point. As long as the aires to the parking family fortune are still alive, they will keep it a surface lot so they can have an income for life.

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^It's peculiar. You'd think they'd make a lot more money selling said lot for millions, because they certainly can't be making nowhere near that just on parking lot fees. Empty lots in the central core should come with a "use it or lose it" stipulation, meaning if said owner doesn't improve the lot within a certain period of time (say, 5 years), lot should then be sold to the city (or MDHA) for fair market value. It is utterly ludicrous that anyone should be able to sit on a lot as with Hotel Tulane's for now approaching 6 decades as they have without improving it.

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^It's peculiar. You'd think they'd make a lot more money selling said lot for millions, because they certainly can't be making nowhere near that just on parking lot fees. Empty lots in the central core should come with a "use it or lose it" stipulation, meaning if said owner doesn't improve the lot within a certain period of time (say, 5 years), lot should then be sold to the city (or MDHA) for fair market value. It is utterly ludicrous that anyone should be able to sit on a lot as with Hotel Tulane's for now approaching 6 decades as they have without improving it.

Okay Davy, my brother, you opened the door so I am going to walk in it.  Your above comment is very Socialist of you. Turning land over to the government for sale or redevelopment after 5 years! How nice of you to join the team!

 

I knew you would drift back one day!

 

J/K bro!

 

Best, 

 

John

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It is in play.... I posted this back in Dec.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/real-estate/2014/12/10/mdha-seeks-buyer-developer-old-ben-west-library-site/20222931/

 

 

The Metro Development and Housing Agency is seeking proposals from developers interested in acquiring and redeveloping the old Ben West Library Building on downtown Nashville's Polk Avenue.

Proposals are due Jan. 16 for adaptive reuse of the property, which has sat vacant for nearly a decade except for brief usage after the May 2010 flood. It had a tax-appraised value of $6.25 million two years ago.

"Office is definitely a possibility for that location, also residential," said Nashville developer Pat Emery, who leads the team looking to redevelop the Nashville Convention Center site. Among appeals of the former main library, Emery cites proximity to the state Capitol, state office buildings, the proposed new federal courthouse site and amenities such as the new main library and Morton's steakhouse.

Developers interested in the property, which includes the three-story building, a parking garage and a small adjacent surface parking lot, must include in their development proposal preservation of the hanging interior stairways. They must show financial capability to buy the site and complete the project in a timely manner plus prove a history of an ability to work with diverse contractors and vendors.

"We are restoring the integrity of the historical building," said Joe Cain, director of urban development with MDHA, which plans to host a pre-proposal meeting with interested developers at its main offices Thursday. "There are multiple possibilities for this site."

Heirs of the family that originally donated a portion of the property to Metro for a library and still has a one-third interest are joining the city to make the building available for redevelopment, according to the request for proposal. In 2013, a proposed land swap between Metro and the state that would've led to demolition of the building was nixed after preservationists and the Metro Council defended it.

Metro largely owns the Ben West Library, which the request for proposal said is in the process of being designated a Local Historic Landmark. Because the property is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places, it would be eligible for historic tax credits as a development incentive and tax-increment financing could be available via MDHA to offset costs of eligible expenses.

The 48-year-old building at 225 Polk Ave., which will be sold as it now is, was designed to allow for expansion through a four-story addition and the enclosure of service areas, according to the request for proposal. The selected developer(s)/investor(s) will be expected to enter into a development agreement that will specify a time frame for purchase, development and completion of the project.

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Okay Davy, my brother, you opened the door so I am going to walk in it.  Your above comment is very Socialist of you. Turning land over to the government for sale or redevelopment after 5 years! How nice of you to join the team!

 

I knew you would drift back one day!

 

J/K bro!

 

Best, 

 

John

 

Ack ! Well, just call it my distaste for these empty lots in the CBD. I'm not a fan of the eminent domain option, but it's simply outrageous someone can just sit on such a premier property and literally refuse to improve it (or sell to someone who will pay top $$ for it). This also differs from the situation with the Beaman lots, since that is a legitimate business (even if it is an underutilization of the property, but the Hotel Tulane lot is virtually NON-utilization). Similar to the Hotel Tulane lot situation is Lake Palmer, which should be filled and sold or build something already.

 

BTW, who owns the lot on 2nd between Church & Bank that has also similarly sat vacant as parking since the fire 3 decades ago ?

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You guys crack me up. Your both moving to the center.....lol

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Ack ! Well, just call it my distaste for these empty lots in the CBD. I'm not a fan of the eminent domain option, but it's simply outrageous someone can just sit on such a premier property and literally refuse to improve it (or sell to someone who will pay top $$ for it). This also differs from the situation with the Beaman lots, since that is a legitimate business (even if it is an underutilization of the property, but the Hotel Tulane lot is virtually NON-utilization). Similar to the Hotel Tulane lot situation is Lake Palmer, which should be filled and sold or build something already.

 

BTW, who owns the lot on 2nd between Church & Bank that has also similarly sat vacant as parking since the fire 3 decades ago ?

 

 

So, you only like eminent domain and government intervention when it fits something you like ;)

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