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Hotel expresses interest in Blue Building
Blue Building ORIGINAL.jpg
The Blue Building could be on its way into the hands of Tourism Development Board members, if the wrinkles can be ironed out.

Mandy Eller, who is a standing member of the Tourism Board as Chamber of Commerce president, says a development partnership is interested in acquiring and renovating the property into a boutique-style hotel.

“There are two developers in partnership,” said Eller. “One is local. They are currently developing three hotels in downtown Nashville. One of which is a boutique, which is what this one would turn out to be. What they have initially discussed is having 28 rooms with four suites with a new stick build off the back of the building.”

While the names of the developers are being withheld, the local one is a contractor.

“They could do the entire project in-house to save cost,” said Eller. “That’s always been the biggest barrier with that building.”

TDB is a government entity. Its members can work with the developers in obtaining tax-exempt bonds for a renovation project. However, the property’s deed must be in the hands of the Tourism Board.

The formal request for the deed transfer to begin was made before the city Building and Grounds Committee.

“Will there be a reversionary clause in it? So, if something were to happen, it would come back to us,” asked Alderman Kate Alsbrook. “If something happens to the building in between this time … if the roof needs fixed, is the city responsible for that because they are an entity of us? How does this work?”

City attorney Tim Pirtle says all the details need to be worked out and included in the deed transfer.

“Risk of loss is usually attached to the record owner of the property,” said Pirtle. “You typically can’t insure a property you don’t have an ownership interest in. You have to have an insurable interest.”

At this time, the property is practically uninsured. Tennessee Municipal League dropped the city’s coverage down to demolition only. If a structure fire were to happen, insurance will only cover the cost of building removal, not replacement.

Other questions were asked.

“If the city deeds the property to the Tourism Development Board and the Tourism Development Board sells it to the developer, would that money remain with TDB or will that money be allocated back to the city because TDB is affiliated with the city?” asked Alderman Steve Harvey.

Eller stated, “We do want to establish our own independent funding. We need development projects in order to get that done.”

Pirtle said all the “what ifs” need to be addressed.

The meeting was for information only. No details were determined.