Greer Stadium appeal rejected

The Nashville Post - Stephen Elliott, Sept. 28, 2017

An unsatisfied developer on Wednesday unanimously lost his appeal over the process that led to a different group being selected to redevelop the Greer Stadium site.

Devinder Singh Sandhu, one of the developers behind the proposed Nashville Adventure Park, had protested the Metro decision to grant the redevelopment opportunity to the Cloud Hill Partnership, which includes developer Bert Mathews and music producer T Bone Burnett.

The Metro Procurement Appeals Board upheld the decision after a lengthy public hearing, at which Sandhu accused various Metro officials of obfuscation throughout the process.

Nashville Adventure Park (pictured) would have included a dense development with housing, a hotel, indoor sports facilities, a farmers market, retail space, offices, restaurants and an amphitheater at the site of the old baseball stadium. The Cloud Hill group has proposed a similar mixed-use development with park space, housing and commercial uses on the 21-acre site in Wedgewood-Houston.

“I’m not opposed to the Mathews group,” Sandhu said. “I know they do wonderful work. I am, however, quite disturbed with the procurement process and the selection methodology.”

Sandhu questioned why his proposal scored lower for diversity, considering he is of South Asian descent, and he claimed certain closed-door meetings to review bids were inappropriate. He asked that the decision be rescinded and the process be re-started.

Metro officials, including Jeff Gossage, the purchasing agent who recently moved to a position with Metro Nashville Public Schools, countered Sandhu’s claims, stating the closed-door meetings were required by state law and the diversity score followed guidelines.

Mathews attended the appeal hearing and was given the chance to respond.

“We’re very proud of the work and our history in Nashville and each element of our submittal,” he said. “Hopefully we’re looking forward to moving ahead.”

The failure of Sandhu’s appeal is not the last roadblock for Mathews and his group, though.

In recent months, a number of community activists have questioned the chosen development plans, citing, in part, potential impacts to the historic Civil War site Fort Negley, which sits adjacent to the stadium.

Sandhu adopted some of those criticisms during his appeal hearing, saying that his proposal followed Metro’s suggestions but was not what he would choose for the site.

“We’re forced to do this development, which I think goes against what we need for Metro,” he said. “We can have development around the park, but this plan as it stands would take away from the magnificence of Fort Negley.”

Any development on the site still requires Metro Council approval.

william rosenthal