Nashville, TN — A more than $1 billion downtown Nashville development has cleared another key checkpoint, as the sports and entertainment giant AEG has closed on its deal to own part of the project’s prime 15-acre footprint.
Los Angeles-based Anschutz Entertainment Group has paid $44 million cash for a 3.9-acre piece of the Nashville Yards development, according to newly filed public records.
Any way you cut it, Nashville Yards is one of the biggest and highest-profile developments happening in Greater Nashville. The project, which is under construction, has roughly 4 million square feet of commercial space including a 23-story Hyatt Regency, multiple office buildings and an array of retail and restaurant spaces.
AEG, owned by multi-billionaire Philip Anschutz, plans to create an entertainment district within Nashville Yards. AEG’s plans include a nine-screen Regal Cinemas; a concert venue with capacity for 4,000 people; a smaller club that can hold 800 patrons; a 240-room boutique hotel; a “bowling club concept” and as many as a dozen food-and-beverage options. AEG has a rendering posted on its website.
“We’re very, very excited about being in Nashville. We’ve got our heads down, focused on the next thing,” said Ted Tanner, who is AEG’s executive vice president of real estate development.
AEG paid an average of $253 per square foot of land, indicative of the soaring property values in Nashville. AEG bought the land from San Diego-based real estate company Southwest Value Partners, which awed the city in fall 2015 when the company came from off-the-radar to pay a total of $129 million to assemble the 15-acre site for its project. Almost all of the property is the former campus of LifeWay Christian Resources.
The slice AEG now owns spans from Church Street to Commerce Street, along 10th Avenue North. The site is home to LifeWay’s former Sullivan Tower and also a few storefronts along Church Street, facing the downtown YMCA.
Tanner has said AEG’s entertainment district will take about 25 months to build. Tanner declined to offer an updated construction timeline when reached on March 23.
Previously, Tanner has said that AEG has a five-year option to purchase an additional 1.6 acres from Southwest Value Partners. That land spans Church to Commerce streets, along Ninth Avenue North.
Should AEG pick up that option, Tanner has said the company could create another 600,000 square feet of commercial space — including potentially a residential or office high-rise, or another hotel.