Developers of the Greer Stadium site agreed to step aside and let a city-led archeological study take place. In recent weeks some opponents claimed the project, which abuts a Civil War-era site called Fort Negley, would build on top of the graves of former slaves.
And music producer turned developer, T-Bone Burnett had strong words for those pushing back against the project. He blasted the claims as "undiluted wickedness," saying they only served to stoke the fires of racial hostility. .
"There is not one part of that assertion that is true. That whole fabrication is a damned lie," Burnett said in a Monday night meeting with Metro Council's Minority Caucus.
"I want to be final and definitive," Burnett continued. "There is no possible way we are going to build anything on the graves of the people who built Fort Negley. If their graves are found there. All plans change."
To assuage any fears, Burnett said his group, Cloud Hill Partnership, would step back and allow the city to hire an outside firm to conduct its own archeological study of the 21-acre site.
"Even though we have begun an archeological survey of the site, we want to pause while the city conducts a survey," Burnett said. The new study, he added, "will not be in any way tainted by the unethical campaign that has been waged to instigate racial animosity and defame the members of our team."
At-large council members have voiced concern in recent weeks that the roughly $100 million project, which was spearheaded by Burnett, risks tarnishing the historic land. Which was home to an African American encampment during the Civil War.