Developer Buys Downtown Property From First Baptist Church - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Developer Buys Downtown Property From First Baptist Church

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Exterior of the First Baptist Church. Exterior of the First Baptist Church.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. – First Baptist Church has agreed to sell part of its downtown property to a developer who plans to build a new hotel across from the Music City Center.

The church congregation voted on Wednesday to accept the offer from Giarratana Development LLC to purchase the property, contingent on financing. Developers have agreed to pay the church $11-million for the property located at the corner of Demonbreun Street and 8th Avenue South. Once the sale is final, the developer plans to build a Marriott hotel and parking garage.

Butch Spyridon with the Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau has said in the past that the city still needs another full service hotel with around 400 rooms near the Music City Center, in addition to the Omni Hotel. The Music City Center is set to open in May.

In November, the Omni Hotel had already booked more than 100,000 nights. It is scheduled to open in October.

The pastor said they'll reinvest it by building a new community ministry center. 

"The people of First Baptist Nashville love our city," senior pastor Frank R. Lewis said in a statement. "Tonight's decision represents our commitment to continuing the life and work of Christ in downtown Nashville. The vote allows us to be a good neighbor to the Music City Center by providing needed space for a new hotel. It also gives us the opportunity to move forward with our campus redevelopment including a Community Ministry Center that will be available to partner organizations and community groups needing space to meet within the urban core."

As part of their master plan, the church plans to construct a modern three-story building overlooking Broadway. Once complete, they will house a Christian music venue, expand their housing capability, provide classroom space, and expand the child development center.

First Baptist Church has been located at the corner of 7th Avenue South and Broadway since 1886.

The city will have to approve the plan in order for the developer to move forward.

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