Famed Music Producer Focuses on Turning Around Old Greer Stadium

WKRN — Stephanie Langston, June 16, 2017


NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Famed music producer T. Bone Burnett has big plans for Music City, but we are not talking about riffs.

Instead, he is focusing his attention on turning around the old Greer Stadium site in south Nashville.

You are likely familiar with his work on the soundtracks of “O Brother Where Art Thou?” and “Walk the Line.”

With more than 50 years in the music industry, he has earned a list of accolades including, more than a dozen Grammy’s, but Burnett is shifting his focus now on this city – the place he calls home.

“This is going to be a site for the whole city,” he told News 2.

From the middle of the stands of a stadium that’s sat vacant for two years now, Burnett shares his dreams of building “a cultural station.”

“This is such a central site. It’s a hub for this whole area,” he explained.

Just south of Interstate 40, east of I-65, with the railroad to the west; Burnett says transportation is a priority in rehabilitating the old light-industrial warehouse district.

“If the whole city could work together to turn this into a walking district it would take a tremendous amount of pressure off of the pikes as they converge downtown,” said Burnett.

The space includes the abandoned 21-acre Greer site and the neighboring historic park Fort Negley.

“I can think of no higher calling for this fort other than to be surrounded by science and art and music,” he said.

Burnett wants to first connect the neighborhoods with a walking district. His plan, known as Cloud Hill, includes greenways, park space, affordable housing and retail space with restaurants and shops.

“There are only about two acres of housing and private office space, those sorts of things. The rest of the 60 acres is going to be open to the public and made welcoming,” he said.

With the iconic guitar scoreboard remaining in place, Burnett added there will also be an amphitheater.

“There’s so much of this beautiful city being torn down right now. We would like to use as much of it as we can over here to build what’s going to be built over here,” he said.

He touts his Cloud Hill team not as developers, but as place makers.

“I would like to see this turn into a cultural center that can safeguard our culture through this century,” he said.

A place where people want to come 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, so Burnett is investing his heart into the project.

“You know in the church they say to see a need is to hear a call and I feel this is now become a calling,” he said.

Burnett says there are a number of hurdles to overcome before activating the site, but he did meet with Mayor Megan Barry this week to begin negotiations toward a final agreement.

He says the project will cost $100 million, but will be self-sustainable.

He hopes to have it up and running by 2021