Nashville Shed And The New Mayor

Mayor Bill Purcell’s vision of a riverfront amphitheatre on the Thermal Transfer Plant site in Nashville won’t happen while he’s in office.

The Metro Council recently voted to hand the project over to the next mayor and didn’t agree to whether a shed was the best idea for the space, according to television station WKRN. Purcell’s term is up in a few months.

During the meeting, a bill was deferred to convert the site into a public shed with green space and mixed residential and commercial development. A separate bill passed proposing the return of the land to the city without immediately planned development, according to the Tennessean.

After plans for a baseball stadium on the former Nashville Thermal Transfer Plant site fell through, Mayor Bill Purcell had proposed a multi-use amphitheatre for the area May 24th.

The mid-sized venue was proposed with 3,000 fixed seats and a lawn capacity of 5,000, according to WKRN.

The city council vote to defer development came after controversy over an internal e-mail from a possible developer for the project was leaked online, prompting councilman Mike Jameson, the mayor’s lead ally for the proposal, to think about withdrawing his support, according to the City Paper.

The e-mails from Struever Bros. Eccles & Rouse, which were posted without the company’s consent and obtained by the City Paper, implied that the developer expected the city to set a short timeframe for accepting proposals from builders for the shed, the paper said.

Struever, which had planned $200 million worth of hotels, condominiums, shops and offices around the ballpark, pitched the idea of a multi-use project for the site to the mayor after the initial plan fell through, according to the Tennessean.

Although a Struever representative warned the e-mail could be taken out of context, the messages were concerning to some who think it’s proof that Purcell had already made up his mind to go with Struever, the City Paper reported.

While development has been placed on hold for now, Nashville developers Tony Giarratana, with his partner Novare Group, and Hal Barry, with his firm Barry Real Estate Companies of Atlanta, are also interested in being named the builders for the site.

Barry calls the site "one fantastic piece of property" but doesn’t believe the area should house a shed as he thinks the noise level from concerts and events would disrupt the neighborhood.

Leaked e-mail aside, Jameson suggested not putting off the site development for too long, according to WKRN.

"If we push it off it can’t be the first priority for the new mayor… that’s going to be a low priority. We should get this going for his sake so in six, nine months he has a bevy of opportunities solicited across the county," Jameson said. "Let’s figure out what the best one of those is. It’s a no-brainer, it’s not binding and we ought to do it."