City nixed "NOTES LIVE", Mayor McFarland on WGNS 8:10-9:00AM Wednesday

Jul 09, 2024 at 05:23 pm by WGNS


Murfreesboro, TN - The City of Murfreesboro has elected not to move forward with the Notes Live project in the Gateway area due to Notes Live’s inability to meet the conditions set forth in its development agreement. That agreement, which the parties executed in August 2022, called for Notes Live to construct:

    • A state-of-the-art, open-air amphitheater with seating for 4,500 patrons;
    • Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern, an upscale, casual dining restaurant; and
    • Boot Barn Hall, a 400-500-seat table setting, acoustically designed music and event venue that can be converted into 1,400 standing-room general admission hall.

Mayor Shane McFarland said, “We had high expectations for this project, but unfortunately the project changed and those changes significantly altered what was agreed to in the development agreement. The city is committed to finding the best project and use for this site. The City Council has already approved the infrastructure improvements to Medical Center Parkway and we look forward to those being completed.” (NOTE: Mayor McFarland on WGNS at 8:10AM tomorrow to tell more)

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This new live entertainment campus was to be built on 20.13 acres at the southeast corner of Medical Center Pkwy and Gateway Blvd.

While both the City and Notes Live were excited about this project, Notes Live has unfortunately failed to meet the requirements of the development agreement. Under that agreement, Notes Live was to begin work on the development no later than June 1, 2023. Moreover, failure to meet this deadline would trigger a process for the land to be transferred back to the City. Nevertheless, in May 2023, the City agreed to extend the deadline for starting this work until December 31, 2024.

Despite this accommodation by the City, Notes Live has told the City that it will not be able to initiate the project under the terms set forth in the development agreement due to economic conditions and interest rates that are higher than when the parties executed the development agreement. Instead, Notes Live recently requested a substantial modification from the original agreement by requesting an increase to the amphitheater capacity from the originally requested 4,500 seats to 6,500 seats and dropping the smokehouse tavern and Boot Barn Hall from the project.

The City’s senior staff discussed separately with individual councilmembers to discuss Notes Live’s requested modifications to the development agreement and based on those conversations determined that the majority of City Council did not support Notes Live’s request. Therefore, in accordance with the original agreement, Notes Live will transfer the 20.13 acres back to the City due to Notes Live’s failure to begin work on the project. The City is initiating steps to take the property back per the conditions set forth in the agreement.

The development agreement had also called for a number of off-site infrastructure improvements including the City’s extension of Gateway Boulevard to Robert Rose Drive and the signalization of Warren Street at Medical Center Pkwy (Fire Station 4). The $7.1 million Gateway Extension Project received unanimous approval from City Council on July 21, 2022, as part of a reallocation of CIP funding from FY 21-22 Bond Proceeds. The City completed the Gateway Extension Project earlier this year.

In addition, the City Council also voted to reallocate CIP funding to expand Medical Center Parkway to improve traffic flow with a three-phase road-widening project beginning in early 2023. This approximately $26 million infrastructure improvement is independent of the Notes Live Project and could be completed in 2026-27. Council voted July 21 to reallocate CIP funding from FY 19, FY 21-22 Bond Proceeds to add an additional through lane in both directions. City Council voted to reallocate CIP funds to the Medical Center Pkwy expansion so the critical project could be initiated sooner and be completed by the time the entertainment venues opened.

The City of Murfreesboro will continue to seek an opportune public private partnership that would yield similar economic impacts in the development of this property.

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