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Metro-owned land occupied by the retired fire hall on Richard Jones Road in Green Hills is up for auction later this month. The property has an opening bid of $4.7 million.
Investors and developers can bid on the property through Nashville’s eBid site between Jan. 21 and Feb. 11.
Despite community pushback, Metro planned to sell the 0.87 of property as a way to meet budget goals for fiscal year 2019.
One other property targeted for sale during budget season — 3800 Charlotte Ave. in Sylvan Park — will also open to bidders Jan. 21. The land home to a defunct public works building starts at nearly $7.5 million.
How we got here
At a Sept. 20 community meeting, representatives from the Mayor’s office and the Metro Planning Committee detailed plans to sell the fire hall and two other properties by March. Residents attending the meeting suggested the old fire house be converted into a community center.
"My default policy is once you lose public land, you're never going to get it back again," Councilman Russ Pulley said during budget talks in June. The Green Hills-area councilman did not support the sale, which was expected to draw in $3 million for Metro prior to appraisal.
Pulley said the fire hall sale is a financial decision, but he noted plans for a community center to be built at Hillsboro High School.
Can this happen again?
In December, Metro Council voted unanimously to adopt legislation prohibiting the sale of real property owned by Metro as a way to pay for expenses in future proposed operating budgets.
The bill — sponsored by Councilwoman Kathleen Murphy and co-sponsored by Councilwoman Angie Henderson and Councilwoman Mina Johnson — requires proceeds to go toward paying off the Metro's debt or the purchase other real property. It goes into effect July 1.
Dylan Skye Aycock is a Nashville-based journalist and photographer. As a reporter for Rover, Aycock follows transportation, housing and retail trends, as well as other hyperlocal and city-wide issues that affect residents in Green Hills and Belle Meade.
She previously contributed written and visual content to The Murfreesboro Pulse, American Songwriter Magazine and The Tennessean. Aycock earned a journalism degree from Middle Tennessee State University, where she honed her craft as editor-in-chief of Sidelines, the university's student-run publication. When she's not out on assignment or live-tweeting city council meetings, you can find her discovering new local spots or catching a show at one of Nashville's many music venues.