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Will recent moves by Nashville Council stall downtown development?


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (OSBORNE)  --  Some members of Nashville’s development community are worried a recent decision by Metro Council might discourage new investment downtown.

The council voted in early October to temporarily suspend the tax incentives used to fuel rapid recent growth in areas like SoBro and The Gulch.

Nashville Business Journal Senior Reporter Adam Sichko says council members are under pressure to claw back tax revenue in a tight budget year. He says some council members would also like to have more say in where the incentives are focused.

“One of the biggest questions is ‘Does Nashville still need to award this incentive for new developments in The Gulch, or is it time to start looking beyond downtown Nashville for how this money is allocated.”

The council voted to pause the implementation of new tax incentives through next summer. Council also formed a committee to consider changes to the incentives process.

The Journal’s Adam Sichko notes Nashville has recently drawn the attention of world-class companies and developers. He says they recognize mid-state rents and construction costs are half what they’d pay in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles.

So what kind of impact will the council’s decision have on that momentum?

“The worry is that they are maybe seeing this push back to this business incentive as a sign of maybe the changing climate in Nashville.”

The stand-alone Metro Development and Housing Agency awards the tax incentives. Adam Sichko says the council seems intent on making the way those tax dollars are spent more transparent.

Would you like to review the Nashville Business Journal's most recent article on the tax incentive issue?