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MetroCenter dry, Pinnacle Tower swimming; most office areas escape flooding

Nashville Business Journal - by Eric Snyder Staff Writer


As commercial real estate pros make their assessment of Nashville, MetroCenter has been at the top of their watch list.

It is relatively dry.

The Pinnacle at Symphony Place, however, is not, and has been shut down.


Randy Parham, a principal with Southeast Venture, which manages a number of MetroCenter buildings, said none of the park’s buildings are in water.

“That levee has been there for 40 years, and this is not the first time we’ve had high water,” Parham said, adding that the park’s run-off system is working as designed — with the park’s lake filling up first. The park is designed so that high water would then be forced onto the park’s roads, and then into area parking lots. Parham said some of the roads are covered with six inches of water.

“You can get anywhere you want to go in MetroCenter,” Parham said. “No water got into any buildings.”

The park was evacuated because of the levee concerns, so Parham was not able to drive around the site.

“We got on the Maxwell House Hotel with a pair of binoculars, just sort of scanned it,” Parham said.

The Pinnacle at Symphony Place

Along with MetroCenter, brokers and property managers have been watching downtown, where the Cumberland River is projected to crest at 8 p.m. Monday.

The Pinnacle at Symphony Place, whose eastern side faces Second Avenue South, was shut down this afternoon, according to Kevin Hagan, the director of property management with Nashville Commercial Real Estate Services.

Power to the building has been shut off, a result of its subterranean parking garage being filled with 40-feet of water, essentially all the way to street level.

“It’s 100 percent in the garage,” Hagan said. “The building itself is fine.”

He added, however, that the building has sustained “a lot of damage” because of the number of systems — electric systems, elevators, etc. — housed in the garage.

As of just before 12:30 p.m., Hagan said the water would have to rise another six or eight feet to make it in the building’s lobby.

Assuming the river didn’t rise any higher, Hagan said crews and vendors would meet at 10 a.m. Tuesday to begin their “action plan,” beginning with pumping water out of the garage. That process alone could take three days, Hagan said.

Most of downtown is fine

Despite the flooding and road closures, most downtown businesses remain open, said Tom Turner, president of the Nashville Downtown Partnership.

“We found some Cumberland River water on First Avenue and, obviously, Riverfront Park and parts of the east bank have been affected, but I would say the vast amount of businesses are open,” Turner said. “You look at downtown as a whole and you’re talking a couple of square miles, and really what’s impacated by water right now is just a few acres.”

Turner said he did not expect calls for water rationing to impact businesses.

“When you consider schools are closed and a lot of people are home working on their houses or helping friends and neighbors, the specific demands isn’t there. Most places are going to be able to handle that,” he said.

Turner said parts of Second Avenue and Third Avenue are also closed to reroute traffic away from the flooding.

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