Mayor Dean, Developers Move Forward on Convention Center Redevelopment
Spectrum | Emery, OliverMcMillan Plan Mixed-Use Development Headlined by Extensive Retail Offerings, Home for National Museum of African American Music
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Mayor Karl Dean and developers Spectrum | Emery and OliverMcMillan announced today that they are moving forward with a plan to redevelop the Nashville Convention Center into a mixed-use project, featuring 205,000 square feet of downtown retail, restaurant and entertainment space and the National Museum of African American Music. The project also includes a 24-story Class A office tower and a 27-story residential tower.
"All in all, this will be what downtown as a whole has become: a place where people can live, work and play," Mayor Dean said. "It also will be a place that will make visitors want to stay and play a little longer, arriving in Nashville a day early or leaving a day late - or maybe both. The big thing we've been missing downtown is a high-quality retail center that will attract residents and visitors alike, the kind of shopping destination that many other cities offer. This will make our downtown more complete and give people another reason to come to the core of the city."
The approximately $400 million, 6.2-acre development at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway will include a retail experience unlike anything downtown Nashville has seen before, creating a shopping destination in the heart of the city to give downtown the one thing it still lacks after a decades-long resurgence. San Diego-based OliverMcMillan, which will establish an office here, has designed, developed and manages more than 8 million square feet of mixed-use projects with a total value exceeding $3 billion. OliverMcMillan's project leadership team includes Dene Oliver, CEO; Paul Buss, president, and Eric Buchanan, senior managing director.
"Our plan with retail, restaurants and entertainment is to recruit tenants who are true to place," said Dene Oliver, CEO of OliverMcMillan. "We want to enhance the Nashville experience and deliver a development that diversifies downtown's offerings. At the same time we do not want Nashville to lose what makes it unique; we want to help extend its individuality with retail that excites, entertains and belongs. Our goal is to provide options that resonate just as much with locals who live or work downtown as it does with visitors in for a conference at the Music City Center, in town for a Predators game or a concert at The Ryman."
Spectrum | Emery and OliverMcMillan also plan to build two towers on the site that will offer at least 300,000 square feet of Class A office space and approximately 350 residential units. Each of those buildings will have its own parking, while the Metro Convention Center Authority will own and operate a public garage under the retail, restaurant and entertainment space.
Spectrum | Emery is well known in Middle Tennessee for its extensive development of Class A office space in the Cool Springs area. Spectrum's project leadership team includes Pat Emery, president, Spectrum | Emery, and Darryl Dewberry, CEO, Spectrum Properties.
"This is the pivotal project for America's most exciting city," Emery said. "We feel a deep personal responsibility to create a dynamic mixed-use development that will enhance the downtown Nashville experience for everyone that loves this city. We've worked tirelessly for over a year with world-class designers, architects and city planners to ensure this project will deliver precisely what is needed for the city. We will raise the bar on what downtown Nashville can offer both residents and visitors, further igniting it as an epicenter for commerce, creativity and convenience."
Joining Spectrum | Emery and OliverMcMillan on the development team are Nashville-based architectural firm Gresham Smith & Partners, Nashville-based landscape architects Hawkins Partners, Nashville-based Sims Strategic Diversity Consultants Incorporated, the local offices of Skanska and Cushman & Wakefield | Cornerstone, and globally recognized architectural firm Gensler.
The developers will build the 50,000-square-foot shell of the National Museum of African American Music within the retail facility, giving the museum prime real estate alongside one of downtown's busiest, most visible intersections. The museum will be responsible for covering the costs of its furnishings and exhibits.
"From the time the United States was a colony, African Americans have created, innovated, performed and participated in the process of music making in America," said Henry Hicks, president and CEO of the museum. "The National Museum of African American Music will celebrate the tireless efforts and endless impact African Americans have on all types of music. We're honored to be part of this reimagining of the Nashville Convention Center. We appreciate the Mayor, Spectrum | Emery and OliverMcMillan for including us as the flagship of this transformative development to share the story of American culture through music."
Metro Government had previously committed to giving the museum $10 million to supplement fund-raising from the private sector, and Mayor Dean reaffirmed that commitment today.
"The museum is now closer to being built than ever before, and I hope the philanthropic community will join Metro Government in supporting this effort," Mayor Dean said.
"The National Museum of African American Music is a much needed resource that will unite organizations like The R&B Foundation with artists and like-minded entities who collectively want to protect, preserve and promote the impact our music has on American culture," added Damon Williams, board chairman of The R&B Foundation. "We are very excited about being closely associated with NMAAM and have already had phenomenal opportunities to collaborate on activities that allow genre- or artist-specific organizations to create greater awareness and provide credit to music that our entire country - and the world - loves."
The Nashville Convention Center opened in 1987. After it became too small and outdated to accommodate large conventions and meetings, it was replaced in 2013 by the Music City Center at 201 Fifth Avenue South.