NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Nashville Mayor Karl Dean wants the city to buy the Peterbilt plant and use the structure for a police precinct, DNA crime lab and MTA facilities.
Dean toured the 66 acre property on Tuesday. The mayor wants to put the new Madison precinct at Peterbilt. It would be a joint venture with MTA and it would cost millions of dollars.
The transportation authority would spend $9.5 million and Metro would spend $6.5 million to buy the property. MTA had been pursuing the property for its headquarters and maintenance facility.
"This is a good deal. We're purchasing a lot of property and a large building we can make use of over time at a very good price, and that's a reflection of the economy and where the real estate market is," said Mayor Dean.
Metro will spend an additional $9.5 million more to renovate buildings for the crime lab and police precinct. The DNA crime lab was originally slated to be combined with the West Precinct's new location on Charlotte Pike. Officials said the department's Records Division would ultimately also move to the property.
"This project is an example of different government departments working together to take advantage of a unique opportunity that will not only improve public services, but allow for the redevelopment of what would otherwise be a vacant, industrial property near a residential area," said Dean.
The police department talked about putting a precinct in Madison for years. Chief Steve Anderson said the new building would cut the commander's workload in the existing North Precinct in half.
"It will allow him to concentrate on the neighborhoods closer to North Precinct, so the commander of the Madison precinct can concentrate on the neighborhoods around Madison, the Rivergate area, the Goodlettsville area and so forth," Anderson said.
The Madison Police Precinct is one of two precincts Mayor Dean wants to build this year. The other is in South Nashville. An exact location has not been chosen, but it will be some where along the I-65 corridor.
Peterbilt officially closed plant operations in 2009, but it had not been fully used since 2008.
The Metro Council still has to approve the proposal. It's part of Mayor Dean's capital budget. If it's approved, Dean said construction would take one year to 18 months.