The Battle For Greer Stadium Has Begun

The ongoing conflict between development and use of public lands has found a new battlefield on one of Nashville’s most historic battlegrounds. A proposed lease and redevelopment plan for the Greer Stadium property, adjacent to the historic Civil War site Fort Negley, has drawn criticism from the Metro Council’s Budget and Finance Chairman, John Cooper. Cooper says the financial return proposed by the redevelopment plan is too low compared to the market value of the 20-plus-acre property.
     The Greer Stadium property has sat abandoned since the Nashville Sounds baseball club relocated to the newly constructed First Tennessee Park in early 2015. In May, Mayor Megan Barry’s administration announced it had chosen a redevelopment plan submitted by Cloud Hill Partnership — a group led by Nashville developer Bert Mathews, musician and producer T Bone Burnett, and investment banker Tom Middleton. The proposal included public open space and greenways, housing units, and a retail area, all designed as an “arts and music generator” offering class, maker, and performance space for musicians, artists, and filmmakers.
     Cooper, a frequent critic of Barry’s administration, says the proposed payment of at least $1 million over 10 years, $7 million in infrastructure work and a split revenue agreement would fall far short of the property’s appraised value of $31.8 million. Mayor Barry’s office has countered that a comparison of the expected revenue from the proposed plan to appraised land value is not a fair comparison, and using the land in a manner that is consistent with the needs of the community is a far better value for the city.
     Metro has not formally entered into a land agreement with Cloud Hill, and negotiations are currently on hold. A rival development group has also filed a protest against the choice of Cloud Hill.