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barakat

Giarratana pays $9.08M for Signature lot

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$9.08 million is a MASSIVE amount for land for anywhere in Davidson and Williamson Counties. Period. Who said downtown wasn't desirable again? LOL!!!

Tony, if you or one of your partners browse past here, my hats off to ya! You simply know how to get it done and get it done right. Thank you.

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Do you guys think the Thermal site would have been a better location for Signature Tower instead of the proposed Sound

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Do you guys think the Thermal site would have been a better location for Signature Tower instead of the proposed Sound

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Not really, the buildig height and overall scope of the development screams 'core'. In addition all the naysayers screaming about public access limits on the Sounds deal would be rioting over a wholly private deal for the site. Tony is an example of bootstrapping a development through completion so I with this and Encore in the 'go' stage he is without peeer in the nashville market.

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I've paid only passing interest to the details of this deal. While I understand FutureArchitect's concerns (as every good citizen should be) regarding fiscal management at all levels of government, I also know that this is different from the other venue deals.

To wit: No public monies are at risk to back the bonds, right? And the annual management fees committed by Metro (500K) are about the same as the current amount at Greer. Plus, despite the term-defined TIF, individual condo owners will pay property taxes. Right? In addition, the park would sit on property leased by Metro, so the county would hold the lease in the event of default. Finally, adjacent parcels were in fact sold to the highest bidders. So on the surface it looks pretty good. How is this "no different" from the other deals?

I must admit that I only know what I've gathered from the press reports.

I think that David Briley and a few others on the Council of Jealous Whores are appealing to a specific segment of the population who refuse to see the differences between the Oilers deal and the problems with GEC and now this deal. These people tend to be older (i.e. Briley's target b/c they remember his grandfather) tend to get confused more easily by financial details (I know this from personal experience). Certainly, they are more conservative with their money (not criticizing) as many of them are on fixed incomes and get scared, not to mention emotional, every time they see evidence of government spending their money on what many see as a frivolity. Let's be honest, many of these folks don't intend to visit the ballpark. Hence, they don't see any benefit from this (much less any cause for a cost/benefit analysis).

I'm not trying to be mean. I've just seen this phenomenon in my wife's church. Whenever they embark on a funds campaign, the older members always resist. They are also the most strident, and too often the least reasonable. Of course, they deserve to be heard, but that doesn't mean that they're necessarily right either.

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I like the Sounds proposal because it will create jobs, crowds and synergy throughout the immediate area. Some people have asked for a city park on the lot (something akin to NY's Central Park but in a MUCH smaller scale). I have to laugh at that thought because it would take years for that type of development to mature into any real destination. If the land were sold and a private developer bought it, ran low on money and then built a McDonald's on the site - we'd all be pretty pissed about that too. There are plenty of other lots in downtown that could be used for a park (riverfront greenway - hello?) and dumpy squat buildings like restaurants. Just my opinion.

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ATL

I believe you are correct for the most part. But th eland was given for th ebaseball park, the caveat being that the city may use that park for city, community and/or private functions without limit unless it conflicts with a scheduled Sounds function.

They could allow a concert promoter to schedlue an event like teh Smokies did last year when Bob Dylan played in East TN. This additional revenue could offset the 500k annual contribution.

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I hate to see downtown turn into some type of sports complex. I think what we have downtown in terms of sports is enough already. If anything, Nashville should have put an incentive package together and given that land to Nissan to build their corporate tower there.

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Some people have asked for a city park on the lot (something akin to NY's Central Park but in a MUCH smaller scale). I have to laugh at that thought because it would take years for that type of development to mature into any real destination.

You know, everytime I drive by Centennial Park, I think, "wow, there's our own Central Park"... seems to me we have a pretty great urban park right there..

Back to the topic .. the thing that I learned from the City Paper article about Giarratana was that he didn't already own that lot.. I thought he'd bought it a long time ago.. you live and learn.

David

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I like the Sounds proposal because it will create jobs, crowds and synergy throughout the immediate area.

^True, but it's important to remember that it only creats jobs downtown at the expense of other jobs around davidson county. Just to clarify so there's no confusion: The Thermal Plant site was originally purchased using money from the general fund - tax money taken from all davidson countians. Now that land will be donated to a private baseball company, who will sell part of it and use the proceeds to build a stadium on the remainder. Thus, money from all over Davidson county that would have been used by individuals in thousands of different ways is now concentrated in one central investment/project. It does (as you correctly stated) lead to a high profile new business with related jobs in the hotel & restaurant business dowtown. But,but,but...I'm just reminding you to not forget: It is a Net overall decrease in economic wealth for the county because individual citizens would have invested/spent the money in such a way as to provide superior profit/utility for themselves. That is to say: The fact that individual nashvillians didn't voluntarily buy up a downtown tract of land and give it to the sounds proves they would have spent the money on something else. Hope that makes sense!! :shok:

@Future Architect: I think a baseball stadium or other sports venue is one of the few things (aside from maybe some kind of river-themed hotel) that could work really great at that site. I'm sure a stadium will be a major attraction, and remember, most of the river smell is downstream of downtown - the treatment plant is north of germantown and it takes a really unusual northerly wind to blow the smell downtown. Actually, northerly wind is pretty rare during the summer in TN, I think. But I do agree with you that government involvement in this deal is a bad thing.

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I had also thought he already owned the lot. It was a surprise when I read he had just purchased it. That is a pretty steep price. I wonder if the owner of the land was playing hardball with Tony just because he knew he had to have that site to build the project he wanted to build in the area he wanted to build it. With land going this high it will give other property owners downtown the ability to play hardball with the next developer that wants a piece of land. 9.08 mil is crazy. Imagine how cheap you could have bought it for 10 years ago.

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I hate to see downtown turn into some type of sports complex. I think what we have downtown in terms of sports is enough already. If anything, Nashville should have put an incentive package together and given that land to Nissan to build their corporate tower there.

the thing about the ball field is that it will attract more people to downtown, hence bring more money. right now the stadium is too far away from downtown and has no attractions surrounding it. put it downtown, and more people will come to the games, even if the sounds aren't winning a lot (although they have been good here lately). nissan didn't want a tower, they wanted a campus, and cool springs is the perfect location for that. the more there is to do downtown, the more people will want to live downtown. in the past few decades all of the attractions have been outside of downtown, and that's why it seemed to be dead. but now, more and more things are coming up and more and more people are coming downtown (football, hockey, clubs, bars....). sure a tower for nissan would look pretty, but people can't go there and spend their money. at a multi-use baseball complex, they can.

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I agree with satalac. A baseball stadium just offers more options to more people. If someone else can come up with a good idea - bring it on.

As for the land at 5th and Church... It does seem like a lot of money for it. Good thing is that Tony now owns it.

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For some reason I was under the impression he already owned the land. I guess since his parking company was on the lot I assumed.

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For some reason I was under the impression he already owned the land. I guess since his parking company was on the lot I assumed.

I'm pretty sure he did own it in the past. His previous proposal/plan (before signature) was a 10-or-so level parking garage, with a clock tower on the corner of 5th Ave/Church, and retail at ground level. I think he sold the lot after that proposal failed. Someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

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Metro did NOT give the land to the Sounds, the Sounds are leasing the lot. The TIF money is NOT a tax placed upon the citizens of Davidson County, rather it is a loan paid back at the time property taxes are assessed.

The only metro money is the $500,000 annual maintenance fee which is about what they are paying now. The sticking point is the amount of days metro can use the stadium. So Kheldane is wrong on a few points there.

In regards to the sale of this lot, yes, Tony paid a fortune but that is a good thing. Other surface lots on Church Street will need to be developed.

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Thanks, DP. That's what I thought I read. I really did give the financial terms passing interests, and yet that's what I had understood (as I had stated above in this thread). This deal is structured in no way like the other arenas in town, no?

It's amazing how some people can either ignore the facts or completely misunderstand plain English. And yet they're too often the folks who claim to be the most energized by the issue. Oh well, I guess it takes all types. :blink:

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As for the smell of the river being a drawback--I don't know if anyone saw the Mayor's Housing Summit on Metro Channel 3 (or was actually there) but, during his speech, Mayor Purcell stated that the city will be finishing with cleaning up the river sometime this year and that for the first time the "river smell" will not be an overwhelming part of the downtown experience. So that should not be a concern--whichever way the winds blow things around down there.

Another reason that I have heard given for why the Sounds stadium should not be built was given by Councilman Briley, in an interview with 104.5 The Zone. He stated that the city should not "settle," for Minor League Baseball because Nashville is now a, "Major League Town." I think this is just a diversion by someone who is looking for any way he can to defeat the Sounds proposal. If he doesn't support a deal like this one, where the tax payers are not at risk, then he would certainly not support the type of deal that would be required for a city the size of Nashville to lure another major league sports team. As well, there are St.Louis and Atlanta, who draw fans from Nashville and will always be opposed to Nashville MLB. More importantly, is the fact that another pro sports team is just not realistic for this city--at least not anytime in the forseeable future.

I think that a lot of people forget that we are a mid-sized city and when you start talking about major league sports the competition includes much much larger cities with more resources to compete (see LA w/o NFL team). So the types of deals that were made to get major league sports here were necessary for it to happen here at all. And personally, I feel that having those pro sports here has played a part in the explosion of downtown development. The Sounds stadium would only continue that--it would bring more people downtown to live and obviously for the games.

And as DPoet explained previously, the Sounds deal being another "Nashville sells its soul . . ." type of a deal is just a myth.

No offense to anyone opposed to the deal. I think that with a piece of land as valuable and important as this one that the city needs to take its time and debate and look at all of the possibilities. It seems to me that the city (and its residents) have done that (and continue to do that). I thought the two best ideas were: the one to build residential development with greenspace and the Sounds proposal which also includes residential development. I personally thought that the Sounds proposal was the best--as long as it continues to include the residential. The Sounds have been flexible, have gotten financial backing and have developers waiting--and I think it is time for the city to be decisive. Either approve the Sounds proposal and get things started or pick a better idea (if there is one) and work hard on getting it started.

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The real problem with MLB is that they have been talking about cutting the number of teams back over the last couple of years. The Expo's could have chosen Nashville over Washington if the city would have come up with a half billion dollars. If Councilman Briley wants a MLB team, then the city will have to come up with a lot more than 500,000 dollars for maintenance on the Sounds stadium. That is the complaint of a lot of the people opposed to this project is that the city is going to pay that. I am 100% in favor of having the Sounds downtown and hoping we will get a MLB team is a fantasy right now.

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I think the AAA ballpark downtown will be just plain more fun than MLB. I don't think any is even seriously thinking about MLB, or at least they shouldn't be. The proposal as it stands right now is fine and is a good example of living within our means. Even ego-filled Charlotte with all that's going on there isn't expecting something like MLB for a long time. There's only so much cities our size can absorb and it's good to see many in charge keeping their heads out of the clouds.

But, I like everyone else, is ready to get this thing going. When's the next council vote? That'll say a lot.

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"But, I like everyone else, is ready to get this thing going. When's the next council vote? That'll say a lot"

Lots of talk of Sounds stadium, thought some of you might be interested in the upcoming (this Thursday) 6th district Town Hall meeting. If you're not an eastsider and maybe your district hasn't planned anything like this, you should come join us. With all the involvement in this meeting, I'm betting on some questions being answered and a whole lot of good dialogue on the ballpark. Come out if you can.

I'll copy in the email from Mike Jameson. Read on for details:

________

Dear neighborhood presidents:

As you know, the Nashville Sounds have proposed the development of a ball park, surrounded by a mixed-use development, along the riverbank near downtown. I am scheduling a meeting to discuss this proposal with you and all 6th district residents, and I need your help coordinating that event.

I originally hoped to attend each of the individual neighborhood meetings to discuss the proposal, and to bring representatives of the Sounds and Metro with me to respond to questions and comments. But it's simply not realistic to expect Sounds and Metro representatives to attend each neighborhood meeting, particularly when there are 34 other districts whose Council members may likewise wish to schedule similar presentations.

As an alternative, I have scheduled a "Town Hall" meeting for the entire 6th district, on Thursday, January 12, 2006 at 7:00 p.m. at the Martha O'Bryan Center, 711 South 7th Street. The Sounds representatives have agreed to appear at the meeting to discuss their proposal and answer questions.

Please spread the news of this meeting among your neighborhood constituents, including individual list servs, newsletters, emails, and otherwise. I want and need a thorough discussion of this issue at our meeting.

I look forward to seeing you January 12th.

Thanks,

Mike

Mike Jameson

Metro Council, 6th District

1218 Forrest Avenue

Nashville, Tennessee 37206

Email: [email protected]

Daytime phone: (615) 255-2555

Evening phone: (615) 227-5940

Mobile phone: (615) 585-0008

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