Metro to pay Tower millions in Music City Center lawsuit - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Metro to pay Tower millions in Music City Center lawsuit

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) -

Nashville's most expensive construction project ever just got a lot more costly. The city has lost its fight with Tower Investments over the value of the land the city took to build the Music City Center.

Now, the new convention center is officially $16 million over budget, as the city will have to pay twice what it originally offered for the property, plus $3.6 million in interest, for dragging the case on for so long.

The Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency used eminent domain to take a parking lot that Tower Investments owned. The land was right under what's now the front door of the convention center.

In 2011, a jury said the land was worth twice what the city offered, but the city kept appealing. All the while, the city was paying interest on the money at $4,600 a day, and now the appeals have run out.

The Tennessee Supreme Court refused Wednesday to hear an appeal by Metro government over the value of the land that it took from Tower Investments.

"They were arrogant going in. And they paid the price," said Alex Marks, with Tower Investments.

Marks said the city should consider how it uses eminent domain.

"They thought it was going to be a way to take this land from us at a price that was their price, not ours," Marks said.

MDHA spokeswoman Holly McCall said, in a prepared statement:

"We've got the greatest respect for the court. Obviously, we're disappointed by this ruling. We still feel that Tower's request was exorbitant given the value of their land at that time."

Two more eminent domain cases are still unsettled, as Tower wasn't the only landowner contesting how much the city paid for the land used for the convention center.

Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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