Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Pedal to the Metal: Can the Mayor Move PSC?

Posted By on Wed, Mar 28, 2012 at 7:08 AM

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If you haven't read Joey Garrison's cover story in this week's City Paper, definitely check it out — and not just for Eric England's award-caliber cover image. Garrison does a great job of laying out why Mayor Karl Dean wants to make a second-term priority of relocating perpetual civic eyesore PSC Metals (including the chance of getting that long-dreamt-of baseball stadium on the East Bank), while explaining the practical considerations that have kept the 55-acre scrap heap stubbornly in place:

PSC has no reason to readily vacate its spot on the east bank outside of a major financial incentive, a factor that’s created one of the greatest impediments to relocation. Its current location provides the three components the company needs to function: access to the interstate, the railroad and barges along the river.

That combination has made it tricky to find another location in Nashville where PSC could thrive. Acquiring the land via eminent domain, many say, is simply not an option. First, the company, as a metals scrap plant, is a necessity for the city. In addition, the Metro Development and Housing Agency is in the midst of a public relations fiasco after a judge ruled Tower Investments, a development group, deserved more for its Music City Center land than the city paid through condemnation. Metro has appealed that decision.

Perhaps the biggest surprise in Garrison's article: the identity of the controversial financial wheeler-dealer who actually owns PSC. At least it was a surprise to me.

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