New York consultant hired to design fairgrounds plaza

By: - August 19, 2020 5:30 am
Renderings of the redeveloped fairgrounds site, which will include the current race track and new Nashville Soccer Club stadium. (Rendering: Fairgrounds Nashville)

Renderings of the redeveloped fairgrounds site, which will include the current race track and new Nashville Soccer Club stadium. (Rendering: Fairgrounds Nashville)

A prominent New York-based consulting firm has quietly scored a small contract to help in the redesign of the plaza that will connect the Nashville fairgrounds racetrack to the mixed-use development surrounding the Nashville SC soccer stadium.

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures was hired as a subcontractor for $25,000 to design the plaza that was a critical component in the negotiations between Nashville Mayor John Cooper and the soccer club’s ownership group.

It’s the second relatively small Metro project that Biederman Redevelopment Ventures has landed in recent months. The company was also hired to handle the design for improvements at the Church Street Park. That project is being financed by the Historic Capitol Corridor Foundation.

Biederman Redevelopment Ventures has handled the design, renovation or revitalization of prominent public projects including New York’s Bryant Park and the Titletown District surrounding the Green Bay Packers’ stadium Lambeau Field.

Dan Biederman, President, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (Photo: Biederman Redevelopment
Dan Biederman, President, Biederman Redevelopment Ventures (Photo: Biederman Redevelopment Ventures)

Nashville Mayor John Cooper’s spokesman Chris Song said the firm was hired “to assist with the design of the plaza to ensure an open and inviting space that serves all the purposes of the fairgrounds for Nashville’s residents and visitors.” Song said the design work for the plaza, which became known within Metro circles by its parcel name “8C” last year when Cooper’s administration was renegotiating the soccer stadium deal, is in its early stages.

Dan Biederman, president and founder of Biederman Redevelopment Ventures, said Cooper has made it clear to his firm that when Metro commits major funds to a project, “the public spaces have to be very engaging for the citizens.”

“(The mayor) knows through working with us on Church Street Park that we believe in activating a space through programming and small touches that make people feel excited and welcome,” Biederman said. “We think that can be done here. He’s pushing us very hard on some aspects of the public spaces among the stadium, the mixed-use development and the speedway.”

The 8C parcel became a focal point of Cooper’s renegotiation of the soccer stadium deal with Nashville SC lead owner John Ingram. As part of the new arrangement, the city and soccer club agreed to change building locations within the mixed-use development to make room for the plaza.

Advocates for the historic fairgrounds racetrack want the facility improved so it can once again  host NASCAR races, and Cooper’s administration was in talks before the pandemic with Bristol Motorsports about making that happen.

Zach Hunt, a spokesman for the Nashville SC ownership group, said the work being performed by Biederman does not affect their schedule.

“We have been assured by the administration that there will be no further delays in the mixed-use development construction based on the scope of work that Mr. Biederman is doing for Metro regarding the plaza area between the stadium and the raceway,” Hunt said.


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Nate Rau
Nate Rau

Nate Rau has a granular knowledge of Nashville’s government and power brokers, having spent more than a decade with the Tennessean, navigating the ins and outs of government deals as an investigative reporter. During his career at The Tennessean and The City Paper, he covered the music industry and Metro government and won praise for hard-hitting series on concussions in youth sports and deaths at a Tennessee drug rehabilitation center. In a state of Titans and Vols fans, Nate is an unabashed Green Bay Packers and Chicago Cubs fan.