Friday, December 01, 2006

Can't-Lose Scenario

Is Mike Jameson a magic man? Either way he's in the catbird seat: either Lower Broad gets a historical overlay to bar future run-amuck development and it gets a scaled-down and greener Westin OR Council rejects the overlay and Jameson bails on the Westin, keeping Lower Broad as is. Just about every party involved in either scenario wins, except for the Westin if Jameson bails; but if Westin loses it is hardly a loss for Nashville (and do you want to make a bet that if they lose they come back to the table with a substantially altered alternative?). The Metro Council is over a barrel on this one. This is no retread of John Summers faced off against large numbers of his own constituents over an overlay; the Broadway merchants still benefit economically from a historic overlay because they have a huge hotel next door, which neutralizes their incentive to protest. Council members have to take this overlay very seriously and they are not going to vote for the Westin if the council member representing Lower Broad bails. This is a textbook example of how local governance sets up parameters for development for the sake of the larger community: it is a consummate give-and-take. Well played, Mike Jameson, well played.

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