Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Where do Convention Center Authority minutes reflect the decision to relocate the Greyhound bus terminal northward to make way for Music City Center?

After pointing out that the Convention Center Authority meeting agendas do not clearly notify the community of action to move the Greyhound bus terminal to Charlotte and 11th, I went back and looked through all of the minutes to see if the official CCA records reflect authorization for a new lease with Greyhound (signed on May 5).

I cannot see any record of authorization in the minutes; in fact, I cannot find a single mention of Greyhound in any of the minutes of CCA going back to October 2009 or in those of CCA's Construction Committee going back to February 2010. The Tennessean provides an unofficial written record in an op-ed written by CCA's Marty Dickens and MDHA's Phil Ryan, who along with CM Erica Gilmore tried last Friday to tamp down North Nashville frustrations over the hushed and veiled signing of the relocation lease. Here is what they wrote:
All these factors were thoroughly discussed at a meeting of the Convention Center Authority’s construction committee, before a recommendation went to the full authority for approval of a 13-month lease, with the option to extend the lease for an additional three months.
Note that these Courthouse insiders had problems recalling dates themselves, and they obviously could not depend on the meeting minutes to get their timeline straight between them.

Other actions CCA took are specifically described:
  • "Mark Arnold made a motion to approve the Commonwealth Development Group, Inc. and Bone McAliester Norton, PLLC contract amendments" (misspellings not corrected)
  • "Leo Waters made a motion to approve the lease agreement between MDHA and the CCA memorializing the Convention Center Authority's right to be on MDHA's property"
  • "Leo Waters made a motion authorizing the Authority to accept the guaranteed maximum price in an amount not to exceed $415 million"
It seems curious and strange to me that the minutes would reflect in copious detail the other actions of the CCA and its committees, and yet not refer specifically to the Greyhound decision. Can you find any specific reference in the minutes?

There are a number of vague transcriptions where I guess the relocation discussion could be hidden. Here is one passage that tells us next to nothing and looks like a waste of space:
Leo Waters, Chair of the Construction and Development Committee, was then asked by Mr. Dickens to report. Mr. Waters gave an overview of what the committee had discussed. Larry Atema was asked to give a project update. There was discussion about the project and land.
Unless the Greyhound bus terminal situation lies somewhere between "project and land," there is no official evidence in the Metro meeting minutes that relocation or a lease were authorized. If the authorization happened, why was the CCA so bashful about publicizing it before the media found it and the community dragged the details out in the May 27 meeting? Did the Music City Center honchos figure it was so toxic that any mention of it would draw undue and unfriendly attention to it?

1 comment:

  1. Yep, I'm not surprised that this is hard to find. If there was a decision, it was probably quietly mentioned and quickly hushed.

    It's a back room deal... as will the permanent location be.