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Dec. 13, 2013

Cushman & Wakefield |Cornerstone and Pat Emery Win Bid for Convention Center Redevelopment

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Things are starting to take shape for Nashville’s former convention center: Mayor Karl Dean has selected a project spearheaded by Cushman & Wakefield |Cornerstone and iconic local developer Pat Emery to redevelop the location replaced by the 1.2 million-square-foot Music City Center which opened earlier this year.

The $230 million private cost project, which beat out four other proposals, entails knocking down the former Nashville Convention Center on Lower Broadway and replacing it with an over one million square-foot mixed-use development comprising office, retail and hospitality space, as well as entertainment complexes and underground parking. The project’s initial concept includes constructing an office high-rise near the corner of Fifth Avenue North and Commerce Street comprising up to 840,000 square feet of Class A office space. The neighboring Renaissance Nashville Hotel would receive access from Fifth and Broadway. A new conference center would also be created to exploit the hotel’s corporate meeting business. Two levels of high-quality destination retail, dining, entertainment and activity space totaling up to 194,000 square feet are also planned along with the 50,000-square-foot National Museum of African American Music. An expansive plaza on the corner of Fifth and Broadway is also in the cards and is expected to connect the project to major attractions on the Avenue of Arts, such as The Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena, Music City center and the 5th Avenue Arts District. Environmental sustainability will be a major trait throughout development and in the finished  project. Developers must also employ minority and disadvantaged businesses for at least 20 percent of the work.  The development’s scope and design elements will be tweaked in 2014 after community input has been obtained. The development team and the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County are now set to start negotiations regarding development timeline, benchmarks and financial aspects.

“There is growing demand for high quality office space in downtown,” declared Mayor Karl Dean in a news release, adding that downtown shopping is also a growing demand. “This plan maximizes this prime location in the heart of our downtown tourism and entertainment district,” he added. “The team’s goal is to deliver a high quality, open-air, pedestrian-friendly destination to further enhance the city’s image,” said Buck Haltiwanger, principal and head of corporate services for Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone.

Spectrum/Emery President Pat Emery will serve as master developer, Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone will be in charge of leasing and marketing, with Buck Haltiwanger, Dick Fleming and Brent Basham as principals leading the redevelopment project. Skanska will serve as general contractor, while Gresham, Smith & Partners has been named project architect and engineer and Hawkins Partners, Inc. landscape architect. Vision Street will act as retail and entertainment consultant, while a business diversity management plan will be compiled by Sims Strategic Diversity Consultants. Public relations and marketing services are to be provided by Hall Strategies.

Renderings via Nashville Office of the Mayor 

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