Buttorff's summary of the report:
“The point of our study is not to say one way or another that May Town Center is a good development or a bad development, but it’s important as policymakers look at some of the land use issues,” said [Community Research Center’s] President David Eichenthal, “that they deal with an understanding what the reality is in terms of the potential economic impact” ....Those are long odds based on thin certainties. Proponents of May Town Center assume the premise that if they build on Bells Bend, then someone like Nissan will automatically come. It's their field of dreams. They don't have anything in writing and they offer no iron-clad guarantees, but the mainstream media and Metro Planning seem to have joined them in this sheer whimsy that shares little with the aspirations of the larger Bells Bend community.
The CRC report’s authors question whether the real estate market will support the proposed 5 million to 10 million square feet of office space the May Town Center is expected to have upon completion in 2026.
“Generally, you don’t have 15 years of sustained and consistent growth in any area like Nashville,” explained Eichenthal. He said the May Town Center’s analysis is not based in the historical trends of the city.
“In 2007, there was more than 4.2 million square feet of office space available in the Nashville market — with nearly one-third in the Central Business District [downtown Nashville]. During the course of the year, 1.4 million square feet of new office space was absorbed.” Eichenthal said the May Town Center would have to sell office space at roughly the equivalent of filling downtown’s 500,000 square foot Pinnacle at Symphony Place building every year.
Oh, and the Mays are asking taxpayers to help finance their slickly-produced fantasy.