Oct 26, 2021 - Politics
Price tag for Metro land deal goes up
Nashville Mayor John Cooper.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper. Photo: Jason Kempin/Getty Images

Two-and-a-half years after the Metro Council failed to purchase the former Tennessee School for the Blind building for $11.3 million, Nashville Mayor John Cooper is proposing to buy the state-owned property for $20 million.

  • Cooper, an at-large council member at the time, was one of six votes against the land purchase proposed by then-Mayor David Briley in June 2019. The purchase needed 21 votes to pass but received just 17. Cooper went on to defeat Briley in the mayoral election in September.

Why it matters: Cooper tells Axios he wishes the city had bought the property earlier at the lower price, but touted the proposal as a great deal now for the city now.

  • Cooper says the state could otherwise put the land up for sale at auction and garner much more than the $20 million Metro is offering. He says the 88 Hermitage property is vital for activating the Cumberland riverfront and creating more greenspace downtown as part of a new project called Wharf Park.

What he's saying: "I should be honest and tell you that some of this is forcing my hand, because the state is going to sell 88 Hermitage to somebody," Cooper says.

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