Northfield 2

Long planned to house city operations, the Northfield Workforce Development Center off of U.S. 31 is the former headquarters of Saturn, a General Motors automotive brand.

After years of city leaders discussing what to do with the former General Motors headquarters, also known as Northfield, Spring Hill Mayor Jim Hagaman officially signed off Thursday on the $9.2 million sale of the facility to Worldwide Stages LLC.

An entertainment company, Worldwide Stages plans to turn the massive facility into one of the world's largest musical rehearsal venues in the United States, with phase one of the project expected to open later this year.

Background

The city purchased Northfield — the former headquarters of Saturn, a General Motors automotive brand — for $8.18 million in 2017, with plans to house the city's police and fire headquarters, library, City Hall and other city departments inside the facility.

Questions arose in early 2019 as to the state of the building, which at that point was around 30 years old. City leaders eventually drafted a contract to sell Northfield for $9.2 million to Worldwide Stages, then known as Crescendo Entertainment.

Worldwide Stages envisioned transforming the facility into a music rehearsal venue, a facility where musicians could rehearse large-venue performances in a controlled environment.

That contract was executed on March 5, coincidently the same day that Tennessee saw its first reported COVID-19 case.

With standard building inspections and other routine procedures associated with large building purchases made more difficult due to the pandemic, the purchase contract was delayed multiple times before it was allowed to expire on Feb. 2 of this year.

Despite the purchase contract expiring, city leaders recommitted to selling the facility to Worldwide Stages on Feb. 16.

"It's a win-win"

"In this case, it's a win-win; in addition to the city making some money off of this sale, we are gaining a partner," Hagaman said.

"They are going to bring a world-class practice center to put another dot on the map for Spring Hill. These people that will come in — the performers, the dancers, all of those people — they will come and they will be here for weeks at a time, and while they're here, they will spend money. That is a great thing."

Alderman Matt Fitterer also expressed excitement at the future prospects the project could bring to the city in a social media post made shortly after the sale was finalized.

"Welcome Worldwide Stages to Spring Hill," Fitterer wrote. "We’re excited to have you as part of our business community and look forward to Spring Hill being the home of live music production."

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