Barry Releases Statement On Printers Alley

Posted at 2:11 PM, Feb 19, 2016

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry has released a statement regarding the future of a historic building in Printers Alley.   

On Friday, reports surfaced that the Embers Building, previously slated for preservation, would be demolished to make room for a new hotel. 

However, Barry said at this point, no demolition permits have been approved by either the Codes Department or the Metro Historical Commission.  

Robbie Jones with Historic Nashville said they were also told no permits had been applied for and would not be for the time being.

"It feels good to know that we've bought ourselves some time but we're not out of the woods just yet,” he said. “The issue about whether the building needs to be demolished or not has not been resolved.”

A petition online gained quite a bit of attention and signatures. View the petition by clicking here.

“The petition that we published with over a 1100 signatures in 12 hours has resulted in they’re going to slow down, and they want to have a conversation with all the stakeholders, the public, and the historic Nashville before they move forward with this proposal,” Jones said.

Jones said they want to see an independent, second opinion from another engineering firm to determine if the building can be saved.

"It feels good to know that we've bought ourselves some time but we're not out of the woods just yet," Jones said. "The issue about whether the building needs to be demolished or not has not been resolved. Historic Nashville's position is we want to see an independent second opinion from another engineering firm to feel comfortable that the building can truly not be saved."

The Mayor said she also supports a full investigation into the matter. 

Read Barry’s full statement below:  

“I believe strongly in preserving the history of Nashville which has developed the wonderful character of our city. I share the concerns expressed by citizens throughout Nashville over recent news articles indicating that a project, which MDHA agreed to partially fund, would require the demolition of the historic Embers Building.

The hotel development agreement with MDHA was predicated on the preservation of two historic buildings, and any change to that agreement would require approval from the agency if the project is to receive public funding for the project.

Additionally, we have spoken with our Codes Department and the Metro Historical Commission and have confirmed that no demolition permits have been approved, and I’ve asked them to delay any such approval until a full investigation and hearing of the facts can be made and all possible solutions that would result in the preservation of this building are exhausted.” 

Representatives with the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency also released a statement Friday:

"On Feb. 2, MDHA approved a Redevelopment Agreement for property located in the 200 block of Fourth Avenue North that included preservation of the historic Utopia and Embers buildings.

Subsequently, we have become aware that the developers believe it may be infeasible to preserve the Embers Building. We have not had the opportunity to meet with the developer and hear what recent discovery has led to this proposed change of plans.

MDHA’s agreement to fund any portion of this project has been and continues to be predicated on the fact that both the Utopia and the Embers building will be preserved. The only plans we have reviewed show these building to be preserved. Demolition of the Embers building would be in violation of the development agreement and would terminate our commitment to assist in funding the project.

We hope that further exploration into physical condition of the Embers building will show a path towards its preservation."