Nashville building owned by federal government falling apart - Montgomery Alabama news.

Nashville building owned by federal government falling apart

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A building owned by taxpayers is falling to pieces, but the federal government is dragging its feet with the prime piece of downtown Nashville real estate.

The brick facade on the old Hewgley music store at Seventh Avenue North and Commerce has fallen off, and officials have now closed the entire sidewalk in front of the store, where bricks litter the ground behind the barricade.

The crumbling building is owned by the federal government, which bought much of the big block 10 years ago.

The original plan was to build a new federal courthouse on the property, but that project is still on hold.

The Government Accountability Office has done studies that question whether Nashville really needs a new courthouse.

"The federal government needs to sell this property," said Richard Wallace, who sells real estate.

Wallace sees the block as an eyesore - property that should be back in private hands and on the tax rolls.

"I've had people in all this week - today from out of town, tomorrow from Austin, TX, the next day from Huntsville, AL - everyone's looking for sites for retail, for apartment buildings, for office buildings. This is a great block," he said.

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, D-Nashville, wants the government to keep the land, still contending a federal courthouse will be built there someday.

In the meantime, the federal government's General Services Administration has closed the sidewalk to protect pedestrians and said it will hire a contractor to demolish the building in the spring.

While the old building will come down, the future of the block is still very much up in the air.

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