Business Owners Upset At Being Displaced By Convention Center
NASHVILLE, Tenn.- Not everyone is happy with the changes the construction of the new Music City Center have brought to South of Broadway, especially small businesses displaced by the convention center.
While construction of the new facility is nearly complete, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency is still in a court battle with one property owner. For other businesses negotiations are over and at least one man was not happy how they were handled.
Two and a half years ago Will Fischer accepted an offer from MDHA and moved Nashville Autohaus.
"I love the location. I like my space here. We had to build it out like we wanted to," said Fisher.
Fischer moved to Lafayette Street. He can still see his old home, which is now covered up by the massive $585 million convention center. Fischer and others are still bitter about with the way Metro has used eminent domain to buy property.
"I just felt like we were pushed around. Offered low figures, low balled for months and months hoping that we would accept their offers," he said.
The battle over the price of property is far from over. MDHA is still trying to settle with at least one property owner. The agency is appealing a jury's decision to award $30 million to Tower Investments. That's more than double what MDHA was offering for property where Omni is building the convention center's hotel.
The Musicians Hall of Fame recently settled and is relocating to the Municipal Auditorium, but for a long time there was a disagreement over the value of the land at the hall's old location.
Fischer can feel their pain, but said he's happy to be out of the way.
"I think it was the most stressful time of my life. I also had, my mother was very sick at that time too, so I had to contend with so many different things in my normal life, which most people do," he explained.
MDHA is representing taxpayers and trying to buy at the best price.
The convention center is scheduled to open at the end of April 2013.