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PSC Metals scrap yard


it's just dave

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1 hour ago, Bos2Nash said:

So based on these Key Highlights, why exactly would Metro want to pursue this beyond a beautification process? Why not put out a tax incentive that would allow a private developer come in and buy out PSC? Metro should not even begin getting involved with this property other than incentivizing developers to beautify this area. Along the lines of what Brett Withers mentioned, Metro is responsible for the streets and the infrastructure of the area, so that is where the city should focus.

This would be my proposal for Metro to undertake:

  1.  Hire a group like Hawkins Partners to do a conceptual massing/master plan of the area (I know this is probably part of the RFP that was put out a couple months back) - This process would probably cost the city 1/10th of the cost of relocation monies, and it would include street creation and alignment, parcel platting for development so on and so forth.
  2. Metro push ahead with re-zoning the parcels without PSC's involvement - because why do they even need to be involved with it? A new zoning would grandfather in the existing use of the scrapyard, while limiting growth of the scrapyard. The public process would take some money having Hawkins do the meetings (which they should, the city should not), but again still cheaper than paying PSC to move.
  3. Metro should introduce a tax credit for developers who would come in and remediate the area and develop. Not only will a tax credit attract developers, but the fact the city has already gone through the pain staking process of re-zoning the property  makes it more attractive to developers and more valuable for PSC to sell - Not to mention the developer would probably be eligible for federal tax credits for cleaning up such a bad site.
  4. Let the private market handle removing the scrapyard.

I understand the desire for the scrapyard to be gone, but the possibility of paying upwards of $30million to relocate the facility AND share property tax revenue for 15 years is preposterous. This isn't anti-development talk, it's anti-government wasting millions of taxpayer dollars when they can do basic things such as fund a legitimate transit system or upgrade infrastructure or even have synchronized traffic signals! 

Remediation alone on the grounds is going to be a MASSIVE undertaking and it is not something that should be skimped on. Let the private developers handle the cost of it. The city should not be paying to clean up what PSC has done to the ground and who knows how much of the pollutants got into the river. I think Baronkim pointed out over in the MLB thread when we discussed the PSC site for the ballpark that the amount of soil that will probably have to be removed is going to be very deep. I had mentioned at least 6'-0" across the whole site and he mentioned deeper. Imagine if remediation needed to go down as deep as say the AEG hole at Nashville Yards (granted it would be underwater at that point), but would we still be seriously calling out Mayor Cooper for not moving forwards with a deal here? Entertaining this deal is dumb in my opinion. The two previous administrations dangled a carrot in front of PSC and now that has set the low bar for them to relocate. 

Agreed! Also there are so many multi acre sites that are ready for development right now. Those will be cheaper to develop. I think PSC will be there another 10+ years.

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Cooper needs to just say that it's pointless to spend $1 to relocate PSC if environmental costs are so high that no developer touches that land ever. Metro would go from receiving a few hundred thousand a year in RET to spending millions in relocation costs.... 

With that being said, if a park was environmentally safe to put on top, I'd be fine with a referendum to pay for the relocation and parks costs. 

 

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3 hours ago, nashvylle said:

With that being said, if a park was environmentally safe to put on top, I'd be fine with a referendum to pay for the relocation and parks costs.

This is typically a more natural approach to remediation i believe, but takes a lot longer for nature to take its course. In undergrad, my school purchased two old gas stations and converted them to parks. Partly because they needed time to develop their master plan and designs, but I also heard it allowed time for remediation. How true this really is, I'm not sure, but if this were the case I would imagine this "park" would probably need to be in place for 10 to 15 years I would think. Still dont know if I would support public relocation funds for more public funds to go into a temporary park. Now if we paid for relocation and PSC paid for the park, i'd be listening very closely.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I suggest a grand compromise-this won't be popular but it's the only way I see forward.

After having looked at the maps the only spot I think would be a viable alternative location for PSC in Davidson County would be the old state prison.  OK, I know some people would like to turn that space into a park but it's actually perfect for PSC-highway access via Briley Parkway, a rail spur could be extended from the nearby rail line (there is already a recycling company next door) and of course river access if that is needed. The old administration building could serve as offices so it would not have to come down.

If the state would bite the bullet and help even just a bit with relocation and the EPA could help fund the cleanup then given the choice between having a park at the old prison or having a park in the middle of a center city residential boom that would potentially be ground zero for a number of greenways going in various directions then give me the East Bank park hands down.

Either that or PSC stays where it is or by some miracle they move out of town, though I wouldn't hold my breath on the latter.

What other alternatives are there?

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38 minutes ago, bnacincy said:

I suggest a grand compromise-this won't be popular but it's the only way I see forward.

After having looked at the maps the only spot I think would be a viable alternative location for PSC in Davidson County would be the old state prison.  OK, I know some people would like to turn that space into a park but it's actually perfect for PSC-highway access via Briley Parkway, a rail spur could be extended from the nearby rail line (there is already a recycling company next door) and of course river access if that is needed. The old administration building could serve as offices so it would not have to come down.

If the state would bite the bullet and help even just a bit with relocation and the EPA could help fund the cleanup then given the choice between having a park at the old prison or having a park in the middle of a center city residential boom that would potentially be ground zero for a number of greenways going in various directions then give me the East Bank park hands down.

Either that or PSC stays where it is or by some miracle they move out of town, though I wouldn't hold my breath on the latter.

What other alternatives are there?

There is the hardball approach, but I think the city is not there yet.  It is all related to environmental impact of a scrapyard that has been at that location for 70 plus years.  Prefacing by saying I am not an Environmental Lawyer.  Suffice it to say, there's a lot of hazardous waste in the ground there... just guessing.  "Grandfathered" businesses have some protections but those immunities begin to erode when certain things happen... such as a sale of the property... then there's the lawsuits from individuals/classes harmed (allegedly) by the operations there. Then there's the groundwater contamination hazard, and I'm not a betting man but if I were, I'd say there's an excellent chance a lot of toxins have seeped (leeched) into the soil over the decades, ergo river (ergo water source for the city).  To what degree?  Well, that might need to be tested by the most powerful people who would like to see PSC leave for 'greener' pastures.  That alone as a threat can be a motivator for a company to 'play nice'.  It's an aggressive approach but I just checked on settled law relative to this and was shocked to see a lot of cases somewhat like this (presumptive) one.  Now the very thought of this goes against my conservative sensibilities... not the least of which is a distaste for a company to go somewhere else and contaminate the ground/water there. Certainly, I'm not privy to the operations over there, but with so much in the way of discarded industrial/commercial waste, I'd bet my next paycheck there's a lot to raise eyebrows.  So that's the "snakey" side of me as an attorney (may as well wear it sometimes, right?) that the mere threat of massive environmental lawsuits from individuals (or a class action) would be a huge motivator.  

Ok... I just walked you through one of the seedier sides of my profession.  Yes, there's the fact that anyone can sue anybody for anything, but when the resources of a municipality are concentrated against a junkyard of a corporation, it will likely produce leverage.  I don't know for a fact, but I'd say Metro is not ready to pull that trigger yet. It's good to know they can if/when they see fit. Overall, that would be the silver bullet of a mayor who has enough political capital to take such a risk. John Cooper is not that person. 

Whew... now I have to go take a shower. Sorry!  

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19 hours ago, bnacincy said:

After having looked at the maps the only spot I think would be a viable alternative location for PSC in Davidson County would be the old state prison.  OK, I know some people would like to turn that space into a park but it's actually perfect for PSC-highway access via Briley Parkway, a rail spur could be extended from the nearby rail line (there is already a recycling company next door) and of course river access if that is needed.

This is a nit-picky point, but the river access doesn't work that well—the old state prison sits on a bluff.

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1 hour ago, PruneTracy said:

This is a nit-picky point, but the river access doesn't work that well—the old state prison sits on a bluff.

I think with a bit of engineering that problem could be solved.  Come to think of it,  if the elevation is higher at the prison site that could work in its favor as it would be less prone to flooding-so less danger of heavy metal contaminants leaching into the river.

The PSC site was heavily flooded in 2010-just google  a few images of the flood and you'll see. Think of the pollutants that flowed into the Cumberland!

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The plan was for the TN Dept. of Corrections to renovate and move their HQ there. I am unsure where that stands. There was also a proposal for a artsy artsy type campus school, but they proposed something where the J W Marriott is and also out in Whites Creek too. That group, I think Pantheon was the name just quietly vanished into the sunset.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 4 months later...
2 minutes ago, markhollin said:

Carl Icahn has sold 100% of his PSC Metals recycling business to SA Recycling for $290 million.  However, he is retaining ownership of all of the land on which it sits.

More behind the Nashville Post paywall here:

https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/icahn-sells-psc-metals-but-not-nashville-land/article_2aa9babe-38be-11ec-a96e-57cf9389e4e0.html

Well, he clearly knows what's more valuable.

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