Nashville leaders are moving forward on adopting one of Tennessee’s biggest development deals.
The Metro Industrial Development Board voted 7-2 on Tuesday to bring tech giant Oracle to the downtown riverfront.
There were hours of public comment before the decision was made. The board also had a lengthy discussion and heard a fair amount of pushback from member Tequila Johnson.
She expressed concern that there is little to guarantee that native residents would actually benefit from the Oracle deal.
“I really think Oracle is a great company, I do. But I would just like to see some of this in writing,” she said. “I would like to know that Oracle is not only trying, but there are a set of things that they’re going to be accountable to.”
Oracle says it plans bring 8,500 jobs to Nashville within the next 10 years. The economic impact plan previously faced pushback from community groups Stand Up Nashville and The Equity Alliance.
The deal, however, received strong support from Nashville Mayor John Cooper and other city leaders.
“I think companies show us who they are just like people, and Oracle has a much better track record than a lot of other companies,” said Quin Segall, a member of the Industrial Development Board. “So I feel better about this plan knowing the history of the company and being able to see what they’ve done at other places.”
The company is planning to pour $175 million into public infrastructure. This includes investments in a riverfront park and a pedestrian bridge. City leaders say Oracle’s potential move to Nashville will also lead to investments in affordable housing.
The plan will now be placed in front of Metro Council for approval.