Nashville tourism leaders announced details Thursday about a plan to build a new Hyatt Regency hotel on lower Broadway between Second and Third Avenues South.
Containing about 450 rooms, the hotel will include more than 25,000 square feet of meeting space and on-site parking for up to 350 vehicles, but many are concerned that the businesses defining the honky tonk district are slowly being squeezed out.
At all hours of the day, Lower Broad is bustling with country music fans looking for a little live music. Soon, there will be more hotel rooms available to accommodate all those tourists who are flocking to Music City.
"The Hyatt Regency is so proud to be on this particular corner at this point in time in Nashville's growth," said Hyatt spokesperson Peter Heidenreich.
City leaders are ecstatic about the new Hyatt hotel, particularly those at the Convention and Visitors Bureau. It's their job to attract as many people to Nashville as they possibly can.
"Really, the last piece of our entire puzzle to really take Nashville to the next level was a few more full service rooms, and I think that answers that," said visitors bureau president Butch Sypridon.
However, some people are concerned the hotel could take away from the character that makes the strip so popular.
"There's just a whole bunch of entertainment going on here, and it's just not necessary to have a big hotel on the main drag in Nashville," said musician James Lockhart.
Some of the regulars on Second Avenue say all the recent attention being paid to the city is causing it to lose its roots.
"It slowly seems like it's trying to take away from Music City, which it's supposed to be," said musician Eric Campbell.
Either way, most would agree that these are some pretty good growing pains to have.
"The only weakness in all our sales efforts is available room blocks. This answers that question, so good news for Nashville," Sypridon said.
The incentives would be in the form of tax breaks for both the proposed Hyatt on Lower Broad and the Marriott in SoBro.
The project is expected to cost approximately $135 million and will include tax increment financing provided by the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency.
Documents approving the transaction will be presented for approval to the MDHA Board of Commissioners at its August meeting.
The project is expected to generate an additional $55 million in local and $45 million in state taxes through the first 10 years of its operation, according to Bob Swerdling, the managing director of Swerdling and Associates.
Copyright 2013 WSMV (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.
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