The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce has been doing a lot of research on how the use of the Fairground space could impact the local economy and increase jobs. They released an economic impact analysis yesterday on the fairground’s redevelopment, which concluded that a “mixed-use development including one million square feet of Class A office space would create opportunity for 6,500 jobs and $200 million in capital investment.” The total economic impact of this kind of development would be $2.5 billion.
Mayor Karl Dean said: “This is how you grow the city’s tax base. In just property taxes alone, one million square feet of office space would generate about $1.5 million a year. That $1.5 million more a year that we would have for things like schools, police, parks and libraries. The alternative is to begin using property tax money to support the existing events on the site.”
The current Fairground space isn’t large enough to hold a state fair that could generate this same kind of money. A lot of people want the fairgrounds to remain and be used for the state fair but the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce says that a fair on this particular space could only accomodate 350,000 people. These are not the kind of funds that need to be generated with this space when much more could be done to boost the economy of the community and create jobs for the people of Nashville.
The Chamber also said: “We have been able to attract more than 600 companies to the region over the last two decades – and create more than 230,000 jobs – because companies want to do business here, and people want to live here. But they need a place to locate. We believe the former fairgrounds property offers an ideal, development-ready site.”
More information about the redevelopment of the fairgrounds is available online at www.nashville.gov/fairgrounds.