The local communities of Portland in Sumner County and White Bluff in Dickson County have been named recipients of the latest round of state grants to help them revitalize their downtown commercial districts. Volunteer groups from both towns will take part in training sessions supported by the National Main Street Center over several months.
The six selected communities are each home to downtown commercial districts established at least 50 years ago and have demonstrated their readiness to organize efforts for downtown revitalization based on the successful “Main Street Four-Point Approach to Downtown Revitalizationtm.” The highly competitive selection process was based on five core criteria: historic resources, need (economic and physical), demonstrated local effort, overall presentation and probability of success.
The development team led by Pittsburgh-based Urban Design Associates has wrapped up its master plan for SoBro. The report is too big for us to upload, but you can get at it here. We're going to peruse the plan in greater detail soon, but here are some first impressions.
FYI, parts of this plan already are moving forward: UDA was recently awarded a contract to draw up plans for a pedestrian bridge from SoBro to The Gulch and for the redesign of the former Thermal plant site.
SEE ALSO: MDHA's recent report projecting the commercial and residential growth of Nashville's core.
The rendering above shows the designers' ideal street grid. Below is a quick look at how they would get there.
Hotel developers of all stripes have plans to build up various parts of the Korean Veterans Boulevard corridor. The UDA team sees that type of development extending beyond the roundabout at Eighth Avenue all the way to Cummins Station.
This is a view looking toward the roundabout from Fifth Avenue.
The reconfiguration (including a reductions of lanes) of Lafayette Street — with an extended Division Street feeding into it — also receives a good bit of attention in the report.
Gresham Smith & Partners has been awarded the contract to design the first phase of a greenway for the Thompson's Station community in southern Williamson County. The 2.8-mile trail will run from the Tollgate Village development to Thompson's Station Park. The project is being funded by a Federal Highway Administration grant.
Metro Planning officials late last week released a draft of their community plan — composed with much public input — for the Antioch-Priest Lake area of Davidson County. The draft and related documents, available here, talk among other things about the large tracts of still-available land for residential development and the desire by residents for denser development.
A ‘Lenox Village’ type of residential development is, according to participants in the Antioch-Priest Lake Community Plan update, the desired form and mixture of housing. This type of development is also a more competitive product in today’s housing market because it appeals to a variety of buyers. Baby boomers, young professionals, and families are all looking for a similar housing product; mixed-housing with less maintenance and access to parks and retail. This product could be included in Antioch-Priest Lake putting the community’s housing product on a more competitive edge within the county and region.
Not surprisingly, another key to the community plan is building on the area's natural centers of development, including Hickory Hollow Mall and the nearby Crossings area. Below are outlines of two of the options, one of which envisions a circle road around a much more mixed-use mall site devoid of many of its large surface parking lots. Click here and here for larger versions of the images.
The Metro Convention Center Authority and the Downtown Partnership have been awarded a $400,000 grant to develop a master plan for SoBro, focusing particularly on the development of the area near the Music City Center. The local groups began pushing for the project last fall.
A Metropolitan Planning Council panel in Chicago last week talked about the potential for America's urban rail network to grow quickly in the coming decades. One of the main reasons: Roads and airports will be reaching capacity.
The coming boom in passenger rail is so palpable, he said, that traditional rail companies that long ago abandoned passenger service are demanding a return to the business.
“If you think about the business participation in passenger railroads, it’s coming back. My suspicion is that it’s going to come back very strongly.”
HT: Metro Planning