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Initial cost estimates for new Sounds ballpark come in high

New Nashville Sounds ballpark

It’s still early in the process, so the news that initial cost estimates for a new Nashville Sounds (Class AAA; Pacific Coast League) ballpark are over budget can be addressed, according to officials with Mayor Karl Dean’s office.

We have no final design for the new ballpark, so the cost estimates will change over time. Right now the estimates from Bell & Associates Construction and Turner Construction are running some $5 million more than the $37 million cost estimate provided by the mayor’s office and the Sounds when the new-ballpark plan was unveiled. From The Tennessean:

The bids by Bell and the other finalist, a team led by Turner Universal, came in well above the price tag the council agreed to as part of a $65 million municipal bond issue, which also would cover $23 million in land acquisition costs and $5 million in interest. [Metro Finance Director Rich] Riebeling said $38 million is actually available for ballpark construction after the bond sale, which started the day after the council vote….

Bell, a Brentwood-based firm with an extensive track record of city and state projects, said it could build the stadium for more than $43.4 million, said Mike Spore, a contract specialist with Metro’s procurement office. Turner Universal’s proposal was about 1 percent lower at $42.9 million. Administration officials said the bids were based on early ballpark designs, however, and that the final cost would come in on budget.

The city is “several months away from real cost estimates,” Riebeling said in a text message Tuesday.

In short: it’s still way too early in the process to determine a final budget for the project.

Meanwhile, Sounds owner Frank Ward has apparently kept his pledge to invest in development surrounding the new ballpark, which will be located in the Sulphur Dell area between downtown and Germantown. His firm, MFP Real Estate LLC, put down $1.15 million for a 1.1-acre lot adjacent to the ballpark. The plan is for Ward to develop the lot with housing. Ward was criticized by ballpark opponents for not directly funding the ballpark and instead pledging to invest in development in the ballpark area.

The new ballpark would open in 2015 and replace Greer Stadium as home of the Sounds.

RELATED STORIES: New Sounds ballpark receives final approval; New Nashville Sounds ballpark moves forward; Nashville: We want to make sure there’s development with new Sounds ballpark; Nashville: We’ll save money building st Sulphur Dell; Nashville acquires land for new Sounds ballpark; Nashville contribution to new Sounds ballpark development: $65M; Nashville, Sounds reach agreement on new ballpark; Politicos: New Sounds ballpark would revitalize city core; Developer already anticipating Sulphuer Dell ballpark site; Key to new Sounds ballpark: Significant contribution from team owners; Nashville mayor: No financing plan yet for Sulphur Dell ballpark; Nashville: Bring baseball back to Sulphur Dell; Sounds extend Greer Stadium lease — but no new ballpark in sight; Sounds: We prefer East Bank for new-ballpark site; Nashville ballpark sites narrowed to three; Researching ballpark sites in Nashville; Nashville seeking community input for ballpark site; Nashville once again moving forward on new ballpark


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