NYT On MCC: The Times Highlights Dean's Downtown Gamble

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Writing for The New York Times, Tennessean reporter Bobby Allyn gives a national audience an overview of Mayor Karl Dean's wager that the behemoth Music City Center blooming downtown will strengthen Nashville's metropolitan bona fides.

To my mind, the most intriguing bit comes at the end, with a quote from Councilwoman Emily Evans — one of only three remaining council members who voted against the convention center — who points to the over half-a-billion dollar project as an example of a different approach to growing Nashville's profile.

Councilwoman Emily Evans said the Music City Center encapsulated the political difference between Nashville’s current mayor and its former mayor, Bill Purcell. While both aspired to put Nashville on the map as one of the South’s most popular urban destinations — a desirable “new Southern” town that would entice new dwellers and visitors, each had a different answer.

“The previous mayor believed that it was residents that drove economies, not buildings,” Ms. Evans said. “The current mayor believes that attracting tourists, attracting visitors is the key to making the city grow,” she said, adding: “It’s hard to believe that the convention center will create a particularly hospitable environment for living.”

The whole article is here. In an article for The City Paper last month, I wrote about some lingering concerns about the convention center, which emerged anew after the failure of the Med Mart.

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