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Downtown church sells portion of property for new Marriott


Representatives from a downtown church agreed Wednesday to sell a portion of its property to make way for a new Marriott hotel.

Members of First Baptist Nashville voted to accept an offer from Giarantana Nashville, LLC, for property at the corner of Demonbreun Street and 8th Avenue South.

"Well, you know, they're not making any more land downtown," said the Rev. Frank Lewis, senior pastor at First Baptist Nashville. "We have an aging facility. Our church has been in existence for 193 years."

Plans are for a 400-room Marriott hotel and parking garage to be built across the street from the new Music City Center.

Church leaders said the sale will help accelerate their plan to expand their ministry.

The plan also comes at a good time for the two nonprofits leasing this space from the church, as both plan to grow.

Linda Leathers runs The Next Door, a residential program for women in crisis.

"We've grown all we can here. We believe the community's ready for us to expand, from 40 beds to 80. So, literally, the future's incredibly bright, so it is a win-win," Leathers said.

The nonprofit will soon build on land near Charlotte Avenue.

Now, if everything happens as planned, downtown Nashville will have yet another new hotel, and a church will have the greenlight to grow.

"We've tried our best to be a good neighbor to Nashville, and we want to fit in to this city. We want to look the part," Lewis said.

Neither the amount of the transaction between the church and developer, nor the total acreage, was not immediately disclosed.

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