Following a decade of study and debate, Nashville this month will begin clearing a 16-acre downtown site for the controversial $585-million Music City Convention Center.
The Nashville Metro Council voted 29-9 in January to approve the financing plan, despite questions about the city’s ability to pay off construction debt approaching $40 million a year. The 1.2-million-sq-ft convention center is scheduled to open in early 2013.
The construction-management-at-risk team of Bell Clark, in association with Harmony of Nashville, will begin removing existing structures and infrastructure from the site by Wednesday. Bell Clark comprises Clark Construction Group LLC of Bethesda, Md., and Bell & Associates Construction of Brentwood, Tenn. Harmony of Nashville is a consortium of local minority contractors needed to meet a 20% small-business set-aside requirement.
“We’re just starting the process,” says Bell Clark project director Gary Schalmo, who most recently served as director for Chicago’s $849-million McCormick Place project. “We have a couple of small utility relocation and demolition packages lined up. For most of the other work the procurement process will get going February through August.”
Interested contractors can access the procurement schedule starting next week at www.musiccitycenterdbe.com.
Larry Atema, senior project manager with the Music City Convention Center Authority, says the convention center’s negotiated contract was in place a year ago, but the Nashville Metro Council was slow to grant final approval.
“The project team was selected in 2008, so there is a lot already in the pipeline,” Atema says. The joint-venture design team of TVS & Associates, Atlanta, and Tuck Hinton Architects and Moody-Nolan Inc., both of Nashville, plan to complete design this spring.
The hotel develop-design-build team of Phelps Portman Nashville LLC will develop and build a 1,000-room hotel, estimated to cost $300 million, next to the convention center. The 40-story structure is scheduled to open in 2013.