Convention center site could see major re-development - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Convention center site could see major re-development

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Artist's rendering of proposed facility on site of old convention center. (Courtesy: Gresham, Smith & Partners) Artist's rendering of proposed facility on site of old convention center. (Courtesy: Gresham, Smith & Partners)

The city of Nashville announced a development team plans to move forward with a privately funded $230 million facelift for the old convention center.

The proposal calls to demolish the building and replace it with more than 1 million square feet of office space, retail and restaurants.

Half of the building will also become home to the National Museum of African American Music.

This is not yet a done deal. One of the members of the development team says they still need to bring a contract before the Metro Council, and the plan is to do that next month.

If all goes well, he says, the hope is to see construction crews beginning in late summer of 2014.

The city says the project's scope and design elements will be refined in 2014 through community input, but initial concepts include:

• Up to 840,000 square feet of Class A office space in a tower that will rise near the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Commerce, as a neighbor to the 673-room Renaissance Nashville Hotel.

• Two levels of open-air retail, entertainment, dining and activity space, including about 50,000 square feet for the museum. The current plan is for up to 244,000 square feet of high-quality destination retail.

• Providing the Renaissance Hotel with access from Fifth and Broadway and developing a new conference center to support the hotel's corporate meeting business will maximize synergy between the neighbors.

• Creation of an expanded plaza at the corner of Fifth and Broadway to connect the project in a critical way to the Avenue of the Arts and major attractions that include The Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, and the Music City Center and the 5th Avenue Arts District. A plaza-like setting along Fifth Avenue will provide a new showcase for The Ryman.

• Emphasis on environmental sustainability in construction and the functioning physical environment.

• A commitment to meet or exceed 20 percent minority and disadvantaged business throughout development and construction.

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