Why not build Cloud Hill somewhere else?
Cloud Hill creates affordable and workforce housing near jobs and neighborhood resources. It helps communities pressured with gentrification avoid displacement. It honors the past and future of the city. And it’s what the majority of Nashvillians want.
During a series of community meetings held in 2016, residents of the neighborhood and throughout the city gave feedback on what they would like these now-abandoned parking lots around Greer Stadium to become. Using that feedback, the city created a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to reflect the needs of communities. Five groups responded to the RFQ. The Cloud Hill team was awarded the contract because the selection committee, made up of seven individuals from nearby neighborhoods, communities and interest groups, as well as appropriate city departments, agreed our proposal best met the needs of the community.
We have heard from concerned parties that, while they love the idea of Cloud Hill – the needed affordable and workforce housing in the urban core, the activated park land, creative space, and other amenities – they would like it built somewhere else.
There are several reasons that isn’t a realistic idea.
It probably comes as no surprise that land prices in the core areas of the city are higher than they have ever been in Nashville’s history.
With increased land prices comes the need for high revenues (think luxury condos and hotels) in order to afford those high land prices. For a project like Cloud Hill that is focused on community needs (think affordable housing and activated greenspace), two things are true:
1. Metro doesn’t have the financial resources to do it alone. It can’t afford to build things like Cloud Hill using money from its budget without help from an outside party.
2. The private sector can’t afford to deliver these programs on land priced at the top of the market.
What you have with the Cloud Hill proposal is a great example of how a public–private partnership can benefit the community as a whole. The simplest way to think about it is that Metro provides the parking lots and we provide the resources to improve them. The result is that taxpayers don’t pay a penny to deliver something the city desperately needs.
The Housing Report issued by the Mayor’s Office earlier this year found that 30 percent of Nashvillians – 203,700 people – are currently unable to afford the cost of housing in Nashville and that we will need to build, fund and preserve at least 31,000 affordable housing units by 2025 to sustain our growing economy.
The heart of our endeavor is to help a city in need. What’s happening now is neighborhoods of diverse communities are being forced to move to cheaper places far away at the expense of luxury development. We want to create something that solves these problems and improves quality of life for everyone, while allowing families to afford to stay in the neighborhoods they live in today.
The Greer Stadium property is the right place for Cloud Hill, and we are the right team to bring it to life … because of our qualifications and because we care about the future of the city.