The developers of Nashville Yards, a major downtown development anchored by a new Amazon headquarters, are asking for more and bigger signs than Metro’s downtown codes allow, including large-scale digital signs that change.
The entire project is 17 acres. When combined, the area of the signs proposed totals one acre, according to city planning documents. In a filing, the signage totals 41,000 square feet.
The construction site is at Church Street and Broadway.
It is the future home of a 5,000-employee Amazon complex, a Grand Hyatt hotel, several office and residential buildings, and an entertainment complex.
According to city plans, some of the signs are large-format digital signs. Metro code allows digital signs where no more than 50% of the copy on the sign changes. The applicant is asking for 100%.
Mayor John Cooper asked questions about the signs during a recent meeting with the planning department. The mayor's spokesman Chris Song told News 4’s Nancy Amons that the mayor had "some initial concerns about the size of the signs" and added "it's appropriate for the mayor to voice his concerns on a quality of life issue.”
The mayor didn't interfere in the process, his spokesman says.
Cooper had questions about the Amazon project when he was a councilman.
In January of 2019, he expressed concerns after learning that council had unknowingly approved 15 million dollars for site preparation at Nashville Yards.
"We are subsidizing the site expense for a private developer," he told Amons.
Council was asked to approve 15 million during a capital spending plan, which described the work as “roads projects by the public works department.” Cooper said he thought that meant county-wide roads projects, not specifically road work inside the Nashville Yards complex.
“You do worry that there is a little bit of a game of “gotcha’”, Cooper told Amons in 2019.
Cooper campaigned for mayor on a platform of fewer government giveaways and closer scrutiny of projects that involve taxpayer money.
The Nashville Yards project is on the agenda of the Downtown Code Design Review Committee at 8:30 am on February 13th. The meeting is at the Metro Office Building at
800 2nd Avenue South in the Development Service Conference Room.