Tourist Heavy Nashville Development Might Get Money Meant for Blighted Areas

Nashville

A tax incentive normally designated for heavily blighted areas might go to a new development not in a poor and underserved part of Nashville but instead in and around one of the city’s most popular destinations.

The developers behind the new office, retail, and residential development at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway want Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency officials to help. Specifically, they want MDHA officials to give them $25 million in Tax Increment Financing, reports The Tennessean.

According to the people at Good Jobs First, a Washington, D.C.-based policy resource center, TIF subsidizes companies by refunding or diverting a portion of their taxes to help finance development in a certain area.

TIF usually pays for, among other things, infrastructure improvements, acquiring land, or demolishing buildings, the website said.

“The area may have to meet criteria for blight such as property abandonment, building code violations, or aging housing stock,” according to the website.

The Tennessean called Fifth and Broadway “the city’s most prime commercial real estate.”

In an emailed statement, MDHA spokeswoman Jamie Berry told The Tennessee Star that the area still meets TIF criteria.

“The district was blighted at the time it was created, and Metro Council approved a certain amount of TIF loan capacity that can be used until exhausted or until the district expires,” Berry said.

The developers of the project will apply for the TIF benefits. MDHA staff members will then try to determine if the project needs TIFF to remain viable and if there are TIF eligible expenses, Berry said.

“TIF was part of the overall package to redevelop the convention center site, as desired by the Metropolitan Government,” Berry said.

In an opinion piece for the Beacon Center of Tennessee, Mark Cunningham asked why the developer couldn’t just secure a loan in the private sector.

“It sounds like this project is a bad investment, and the developer is cash-strapped with no one else willing to give support due to the viability of the project,” Cunningham wrote.

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Chris Butler is an investigative journalist at The Tennessee Star. Follow Chris on Facebook. Email tips to [email protected]

 

 

 

 

 

 

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4 Thoughts to “Tourist Heavy Nashville Development Might Get Money Meant for Blighted Areas”

  1. […] As The Tennessee Star reported, the developers behind the new office, retail, and residential development at the corner of Fifth Avenue and Broadway want MDHA help. Specifically, they want $25 million in TIF benefits. […]

  2. […] As reported, the developers OliverMcMillan and Spectrum I Emery want $25 million in TIF benefits. […]

  3. Wolf Woman

    @83ragtop50 Exactly!

  4. 83ragtop50

    This is a good example of what happens when government at any level picks winners and losers.

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