NASHVILLE - Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse officials Tuesday express enormous disappointment in the Nashville Sounds' failure to meet their obligations as required in the Memorandum of Understanding between SBER, Metro Government and the Sounds, to develop the riverfront ballpark/neighborhood project.
"It is clear to all parties of the MOU, and specifically to Mayor Purcell and many members of the Metro Council, that the Sounds' inability or unwillingness to provide the City, the Sounds lenders and SBER's TIF underwriters 100% construction documents and a guaranteed maximum price construction contract for the ballpark as expressly required for closing, have killed the deal," said Struever Bros. Eccles and Rouse Chief Financial Officer John Kovacs.
"Had the Sounds spent their time, energy and money performing the tasks required under the MOU as opposed to continually looking for ways to make others pay for those same tasks, we would be closing the transaction today instead of watching it die," Kovacs said.
"When the Sounds instructed HOK Sport Architects to stop design work they legally defaulted in our opinion under the MOU and more importantly they defaulted on their obligation to the City, the Council, and to their fans. Once it became clear the Sounds would not meet their contractual obligations, SBER attempted to step in to provide assistance. We proposed an alternative approach in which our firm would become the master developer for the entire project and were willing to share in costs and risks, which under terms of the MOU, belonged exclusively to the Sounds," Kovacs said.
"It is up to Metro whether to declare the Sounds in default. If that occurs, SBER is willing to step up and meet the obligations that we committed in the original MOU. Metro has the opportunity to keep alive the vision that is contained in our Master Plan," stated Priscilla Carroll, SBER General Counsel. "This plan envisions the Thermal site as the anchor for the riverfront neighborhood and SoBro developments," said Carroll. "There is an opportunity to preserve the planning and design investments that have been made by Metro and SBER and to deliver the mixed-use project in a timely manner."
SBER has spent more than $2 million in planning and design fees to develop its portion of the project. SBER has Conditional Master Plan approval from the Governmental Parties for a mixed-use development in excess of $200 million and is prepared to proceed as the Master Developer for the entire project.