Nashville Mayor Karl Dean says he’s not worried about potential cost overruns for land seized to build the city’s new convention center. But increasingly it looks like Metro Government may have to pay more.
Two courts have now sided with a real estate firm that owned a key lot in the footprint of the new Music City Center, meaning the city could owe Tower Investments an extra $15 million plus interest.
That money was set aside when the legal dispute first went to court three years ago. And Mayor Dean says if it has to be paid, so be it.
“This is not a problem for us. We don’t necessarily agree with the decision, or wish the decision had been different. Whatever. But we put the money aside already. So we’re not in a problem situation in terms of the project at all.”
The project is the largest in the city’s history –$585 million, which is supposed to be funded solely by tourist taxes.
Asked whether the building would come in under budget, Dean says, “we’ll see where we are,” adding that the tourist taxes have come in above their estimates.
The Convention Center Authority has 60 days to pursue an appeal in the eminent domain case, which could send it to the Tennessee Supreme Court.