NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Metro Council members signed off on the largest economic development deal in Tennessee's history – paving the way for Oracle to build a $1.2 billion campus in Nashville.
The final vote was unanimous. The Metro Industrial Development Board voted 7-2 to approve the proposal last week.
The Austin-based software company will now move forward with plans with a new 60-acre hub on the East Bank of the Cumberland River. The facility would be more than two times the size of the Music City Center and would bring 8,500 jobs with an average salary of $110,000 to Nashville over 10 years.
Oracle also plans to spend $175 million on infrastructure - including a pedestrian bridge linking Germantown and East Nashville, a park, greenway, and clean up a former Metro landfill on part of the site.
Metro will reimburse Oracle half of the property tax revenue they generate over the next 25 years, or until the company’s $175 million investment is paid off. The other half of the new property tax base would benefit the city’s general operating fund. Council Member Zulfat Suara added an amendment to the resolution that would use generated tax revenue for affordable housing initiatives.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper called the project a big win for Nashville and said it will not impact taxpayers, or create additional debt for Metro.
Signed. We are thrilled that @oracle can officially start making a billion-dollar investment in Nashville.— Mayor John Cooper (@JohnCooper4Nash) May 5, 2021
No new debt is being issued, and there is no burden on our taxpayers. pic.twitter.com/wgv13sXwYA
After the vote he released a statement saying: “Today’s Oracle vote demonstrates Metro’s commitment to make the right deals for Nashville. This is the largest private investment and the largest job creation deal in our history – all with no expense in our budget and no new debt. Oracle’s $1.2 billion investment will create thousands of quality jobs and help our kids succeed in the digital economy. After a challenging year, this helps kick off Nashville’s next decade of prosperity.”
The tech giant has also discussed forming a partnership with Metro Schools and HBCUs in an effort to provide educational programs and career training for students.
Opponents, including The Equity Alliance and Stand Up Nashville, have spoken out against the proposal in recent weeks, saying there needs to be more community input about this decision, and they expressed concerns about how many Nashvillians would get the jobs. Some opponents also said they believe the focus needs to be on bringing more affordable housing to Nashville.
In response, Mayor Cooper’s office said this proposal would bring millions in new tax revenue that can be spent on affordable housing.
There will be an additional zoning hearing on the property which will allow community feedback. Construction could begin as soon as June.