Bridgestone Americas’ more than $50 million in incentives provoked no conversation Tuesday night as the city’s elected officials gave their final blessing in the form of a third and final vote.
Officials at Bridgestone are projecting 600 new jobs and promising that their 30-story headquarters to be an economic engine for downtown Nashville.
Without the incentives deal, Bridgestone officials say they would’ve relocated their headquarters out of state.
After the vote, Bridgestone spokesman Paul Oakeley said Metro Council’s “overwhelmingly positive” vote for the company’s incentive package is proof that their investment is welcome.
The nearly unanimous vote came despite letters from mayoral candidate Jeremy Kane and three school board members (Will Pinkston, Amy Frogge, Jill Speering) raising concerns about how the deal, which includes a two-decade property tax break, could hurt public schools.
“The total value of the project, and all of the investments — all of the investments that are coming into the downtown area — more than compensate for the amount of services and other things that might otherwise not be funded,” Oakeley said.
But Councilman Josh Stites, who cast the only “no” vote, said the lack of discussion points to a theme.
“The Council is too timid to question anything the administration does,” Stites said.
Construction is scheduled to start in January.