The new Nashville convention center is one step closer to reality as the Metro Council agrees to fund all predevelopment activities required to build the center. Funding for the predevelopment work will be limited to the money brought in by revenue sources already in place for the project. Metro Finance Director Rich Riebeling said about $1.4 million is coming in each month from those taxes and fees, most come from the tourism industry.
Phil Ryan, executive director of the Metro Development and Housing Agency, said the work will start with the creation of a master plan for the proposed 15.6-acre site at Fifth Avenue South and Demonbreun Street. A planning firm will help MDHA decide on the best way to lay out the convention hall, the hotel, and the parking garages on the property.
The next step would be “programming,” the process of deciding what goes in the 1.2 million-square-foot convention center, Ryan said. This process is expect to take 18-24 months before the Metro Council would be able to approve a final design and begin construction. Everyone agrees that this center will inject a much needed boost for Nashville area development. It is key that this center is built.