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rosen108

Convention Center in Sobro...

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http://www.nashvillescene.com/Stories/News...stm/index.shtml

city_convention_400.jpg

This article in the Nashville scene provides some interesting new details regarding the proposed new convention center. I don't know if this stuff is already well known or not, but it was news to me.

Some highlights:

- 15 acres in sobro behind GEC

- "1.2 million-square-foot facility, including up to 400,000 square feet of contiguous exhibition hall space, occupying at least a four-city-block"

- Costing over $400 million

- "The new

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Yummy! I like the idea of keeping close to the GEC, but putting it in SoBro. I will definatly keep track of this development. Getting it past the taxpayers will prove to be the big hurdle though.

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^Good point. All the government needs to do is look around at how much Convention business has been lost due to the current facility and how much neighboring cities (Louisville, Atlanta, and Memphis) have gained as a result of having larger and more efficent Convention Centers. The revenue that has been lost is vital to the coffers the city has built up. Without that revenue coming in, this city is left with a void that it can't fill by just doing its' daily "thing". The benefits in the long run far exceed those downfalls of the short term. The need to think of ones future is a good exercise in this process.

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^ I agree with you completely, but I also am in agreement with your first post, the city leaders are going to be wary of spending that many tax dollars, even if the long term benefits are quite clear.

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Wow!!!! This is great news!!!! Wohoo...

If Nashville is looking for some inspiration I'd tell them to take a good look at the Americas Center in St. Louis... that is one beautiful convention center!! I was there for a Church convention and it was amazing.. much nicer than the Orlando one (which is nice... ) and much nicer than the Fort Lauderdale one... though it sits on the water and is in a really cool location... But the St. Louis one did it for me... and I think something like it work really well in Nashville... Its not to flashy, but has a great architecture!!

If I can just find a decent picture of it online.... (I didn't take one pic in front of it!!! Only used my camcorder!!)

amcImgGroup.jpg

03_Americas_Center.jpg

And if you click on this link there are several pics that give you an idea of what it really looks like:

http://www.explorestlouis.com/pdf/bidBook/AmCtrBrochure.pdf

By the way... St. Louis is an amazing, lovely city... they've done a REALLY good job of getting downtown to be a pedestrian friendly place with lots of landscaping, and outdoor cafes, and great restaurants, etc... they've got a ton of lofts and such going up downtown.... when they get done that is going to be one AMAZING city, as is Nashville!!!

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Agreed. St. Louis is a pace setter in the midwest. It is a city that many will shadow in their respective develoment patterns. The institution of mass transit has really helped downtown progress nicely.

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Thanks for the great picture Rural King... and Lexy, I agree, St. Louis is a great place!! And its not too flashy, nor does it have great skyscrapers... but there is just an integrity to their buildings and to the way they've developed their street level... and they really do seem to cherish their old buildings and, it just seems like the kind of city that is really comfortable in its shoes... having said that, Nashville certainly can play catch up... It's got "good bones", and if it's future projects are well planned out, and architecturally sound, Nashville can really start to compete with these guys! And I think that its already headed in the right direction with all the projects that are currently proposed!!

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Here is one very similar to the St. Louis one in Lexington, KY.

It is attached to Rupp Arena and just recently underwent a major renovation.

Lexington Center.

www.rupparena.com

cover4.jpg

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Hey Cheeriokid,

I went for the General Conference of the Seventh-day Adventist Church... its every 5 years... and this year it was in St. Louis... our local church asked my dad and I to plan a trip for the whole local church... (for whoever wanted to go)... we ended up with 200 people!!! We left Florida, had breakfast in Nashville (the people on the buses did, I went by car and was late, so we didn't get to stop in Nashville), then on to Chicago. From there we went to St. Joseph Michigan, Battle Creek Michigan and Berrien Springs, Michigan (battle creek and berrien springs is where our church started)... then we drove on to St. Louis and spent 4 days there for the church convention... all in all it was a GREAT 14 days!!! Especially for a city and architecture junkie like me!!! hehehehe

By the way, what does CMHoF stand for?!?!?!!

As for the convention center in Nashville, I found this very interesting (from the Scene article)

"The new

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That KY one is really nice!! .... I really like modern architecture... but with the Country Music Hall of Fame, and some of the other buildings around that area being very "thematic", I think I personally would go with something a little more restrained.. something that could endure the test of time (cause the current convention center looks REALLY outdated)... If its going to be modern, it needs to be KNOCKDOWN, AMAZING, MODERN, not some 70's jetsons type throwback... But if it's well done... it can look great... At this point I really agree with the article that the area needs something that is NOT boxy, or too big, due to the already large buildings in the area....

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That half-billion dollars worries me a bit. The one being talked about in the scene is enormous, but not even as large as the St. Louis America's Center which at 502,000 sq ft of contiguous space is just huge. For scale, the stats in the Lexington center offer 66,000 sq. ft. of meeting and exhibit space. I didn't get the number for the entire St. Louis center, but the one they talk about for Nashville is at 1.2 million. St. Louis, I'm sure is at least that big or bigger, especially since they have the giant 66,000 capacity dome attached to it. For comparison sake, it's about the same size as Opry Mills. This will be talked about for a long, long time. The report is due out pretty soon and I'm sure will provide some interesting reading. But don't look for this soon. Pretty amazing to think about though. I just hope wisdom is equal to inspiration and motivation in this project. Talk about filling up some empty parking lots. I believe this would do it.

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I really liked the idea from the article of having "mixed use" convention center... if you front it with 2 or 3 story buildings with restaurants and outdoor cafes and even retail, boutiques, and other high end stores on the first floor, and then either have hotel rooms on the upper floors or have the smaller meeting rooms, and then keep the really large continuous space towards the back... that could really bring the thing to a pedestrian friendly level... And if it is set back to where you have a very wide nice side walk for the outdoor tables and chairs and landscaping and such... that would make it a great and really walkable area, despite the larger "box" type buildings in the area... and I think it would look really awesome too... of course they'd have to have a really great design to make something like this really work... but it certainly would be unique, and unlike the other boxy convention centers one normally finds... I think it would be a great draw....

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Great article...

Here is how the final product would stack up...

Nation's largest convention center-

Chicago's McCormick Place

Owned and operated by the Metropolitan Pier and Exposition Authority (MPEA), Chicago's McCormick Place is North America's premier convention facility and attracts more than 3 million visitors annually. McCormick Place comprises three state-of-the-art buildings, the South and North Buildings and Lakeside Center (formerly the East Building). These buildings have a combined total of 2.2 million square feet of exhibit space, 1.6 million square feet all on one level, making it the nation's largest convention center.

The hub of the convention industry, McCormick Place features:

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wow!!!!! :D:yahoo::silly::w00t::P

Well... I'm feeling really good right about now!!!! I don't think Dave's EVER really liked any of my ideas!!! Boy do I feel special!!!! (and I'm not being sarcastic either..... yeah, I know, I'm pathetic)...

But thanks Dave!!!! It really means a lot!!!!!

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It looks like my buddy at Vandy was right on top of this one... well maybe half way there. He had told me back in May that this area would be proposed as an expansion with an underground tramway under 6th Ave running from the existing center to the expansion with an underground stop at the GEC.

This CC idea is interesting to me b/c it indicates that the existing facility would be abandoned (did I read the article correctly). While their points are good ones for not being land-locked at the old site, I'm surprised it would leave the Renaissance out in the cold (seemingly). I'll wait to see what their recommendations are for the old site.

Also, I'll wait to see if there is a place for the 70-story hotel that's been rumored for some time. A building that tall would be great if it were to go where the existing CC is. But if the recommendation is to go south of Broadway, I think that would be too tall for that area... out of scale.

Oh well, I guess we'll find out soon.

I do agree with the need for a center over 700,000 sf. The urban design characteristics intrigue me too. Whatever comes from this, it will be exciting to hear about it. For being integrated in the downtown, San Antonio's CC comes to mind. Although it's about 10 years old, and it has more suburban qualities... definitely not urban in design.

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I agree that if this convention center at this scale was to come to reality, it would definitely put Nashville among the top tier for convention, trade shows and various gatherings. With many amenities in the Nashville area, it seems this is just what the city was lacking. As said before, if you're going to do it, do it right. In the direction that the city is going, a facility of this size and potential should be well welcomed and expected!! Would love to see what it would look like if it was to come to life. Sounds great!!

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Quote from Christine Kreyling's article "The Nashville Convention Center: Where To Put a New One and What To Do with the Old One"

Placing such a widescraper within the city street grid--south of the Gaylord Entertainment Center is one such proposal--would obliterate the block structure of a big chunk of SoBro, thus concentrating traffic on the remaining streets and setting up a massive obstacle for pedestrians to negotiate. A convention center is also by its very nature inward looking and therefore adds nothing to the streetscape unless wrapped with other uses, making th footprint larger still...

The Plan [of Nashville] proposes that the new convention center be placed spanning the railroad gulch, flanking what is now the Church Street viaduct. Railroad and automobile traffic can pass underneath the convention center...

At present this placement may seem remote. But as the anchor to the western end of downtown Church Street, the convention center would actually be integral to the redevelopment of this reviving part of the city. Convention patrons would have an easy stroll along the street to restaurants and entertainment venues to the east, such as found in Printers Alley and on Second Avenue.

The Plan of Nashville is also opposed to any site along the river.

In addition, Ms. Kreyling points out that with the development of a new convention center the old one would be destroyed--making way for urban development. (e.g. a public plaza in front of the Ryman to extend the urban character of lower Broadway a block more to the west.) The Renaissance could keep part of the old convention center for smaller hotel functions.

Ladies and gentlemen, I was sold on this idea months ago when I purchased The Plan of Nashville.

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I do believe that not going in the north gulch is a missed opportunity. I was surprised to read about that area not being big enough for the size that will be proposed.

To the more basic question: Should Nashville build a new center? I think the answer lies in whether or not the city wants to even be in the convention business anymore.

The current one doesn't cut it, and the city has heard from lots of convention planners who have kissed off the city. They've told them what they demand in a new center. So if you're going to choose an area that prohibits future expansion then you'll repeat the same mistakes from the past (landlocked, small facility). Either build it with a big splash or don't build/expand at all.

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Wow, The Scene can break a good story or two from time to time. There was an article in the Tennessean but there were no details.

If there was a time to move forward with this project, it is now. The city needs to go ahead and bite the bullet otherwise the price for a new center will continue to climb. Nashville needs a new convention center and I think the bigger the better if we are to take Nashville to another level and compete with Charlotte, Atlanta and other 1st and 2nd tier cities. The committee putting this together should be commended for the vision and the guts to recomend this size of project. If this is not done soon then there will be other develpments that will go in the So-bro area that will use up any available space. The big picture here is that the entire area south of Broadway can can be redeveloped all the way to Lafayette and 8th Avenue. There is potential for a new shopping and entertaiment along with the CC. I dont think that major shopping will return to the CBD due to the cost. With this area being developed, the whole core of Nashville will be cleaned up. This would generate so much more development that it will have payed for itself over the long haul. The Gateway Blvd extention will run right into to the site, and thus traffic would flow much easier. The Gulch area may have been good but the traffic flow in and out would have been screwed up. The site needs to be close to the entertaiment district on 2nd and Broadway and close to the majority of the larger Hotels downtown.

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I wonder where Gaylord Opryland stands on this issue? They have (according to their website) 600,000 sqft. of meeting/comvention space (albeit, not continguous). I'm sure they're pulling in several large conventions to justify having that much space. I would say that expanding their capacity with some more ultra-large floorspace convention halls would be way more cost effective.

The city should ask Gaylord to build a new convention center for them out on their campus. Why try to compete with an existing business? The city is notoriously bad at business anyway - every one of their ventures (arena, stadium, church street center, farmers market) was a big-time money loser.

Not trying to turn this into another socialism v/s capitalism thread. I'm just asking the question: If you already have (what seems to be) an industry leader in the convention/hospitality business right in this town, and you think there needs to be more convention space, why not say "hey, you can make some money in conventions if you'll build XXX". Who knows, maybe Opryland has some info about why it would never work that the city doesn't know about.

Or, Or, Or,,,, what if it turns out that Opryland has been looking at expanding for a while but they were afraid because they didn't know if the City would "stab them in the back" and build a new center to compete with them. Perhaps if the city assures them they'll not compete, then Opryland could make the numbers work and we'd be looking at a privately funded, professionally run convention center expansion.

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I don't think there is a whole lot of competition between Gaylord and the downtown Convention Center. Gaylord is trying to build up a client base of organizations that hold conventions every year and rotate them through out each of its ever expanding chain of hotel and convention centers. These type of customers shouldn't be very effected be whether or not Nashville gets a new convention center. This new Nashville convention center would hold conventions that are far beyond Gaylord's league.

Not to mention that if the city were to support a Gaylord expansion the downtown area would suffer greatly without the conventions that it greatly depends on to fill up its hotels and restaurants.

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