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bwithers1 last won the day on October 8 2014

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About bwithers1

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  • Birthday 12/16/1974

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    Nashville, TN

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  1. A few District 6/East Nashville updates, some catching up on prior posts here: -At last night's Metro Council meeting the street renaming of the 400 block of Summer Place (from I-24 to South 5th Street) to Jerry Newson Way was approved on third and final reading. I worked with Sheriff Hall on this request to honor the late Sheriff's Deputy Jerry Newson along this street section that abuts the new Davidson County Sheriff's Office HQ building that is currently being constructed on that corner through legislation that I approved during the Barry administration. -At last night's Metro Council meeting the legislation passed third and final reading approving a lease agreement for The Episcopal School of Nashville to move to the historic Ross School building at 1310 Ordway Place in the Lockeland Springs neighborhood. The Episcopal School of Nashville will move from their current location at St. Ann's Episcopal Church to this building, which was recently vacated by Nashville Classical, which has recently moved to the historic Bailey School campus in the Eastwood neighborhood. Note that this building is owned by Metro Government and not MNPS, and therefore this lease required coordination with the Mayor's Office. I have been working with the Episcopal School on this proposal for a while now. -During tomorrow's Planning Commission meeting the Historic Landmark Overlay application for the Gerald Nicely building (MDHA HQ) on South 6th Street will be considered. This legislation will ensure preservation of this historic asset as the Envision Cayce Master Plan implementation brings new construction phasing all around the building. -I am continuing to work with owners of industrial properties along the Davidson Street corridor to move it away from industrial uses and toward more active uses, particularly if they can address both the riverfront and the pedestrian/cycle track along the Music City Bikeway. Two adjacent parcels on Davidson will be considered for a zone change from industrial to MUG-A zoning at the August 27th Planning Commission meeting. There are no current project plans for the site; however the property owners are interested in marketing the parcel(s) for mixed uses once those base zoning entitlements are in place. -The Samaritan Recover Center property at 407 S 4th Street will also be considered for a base zone change to MUG-A at the August 27th Planning Commission meeting. This parcel is located in a T5-Center policy area, which is the second-highest-intensity policy area behind the Downtown policy areas. As such, this policy area between South 4th and 5th Streets serves as a buffer zone between the Downtown policy area which extends across the East Bank up to I-24 and the T4-Urban Neighborhood policy areas east of 5th Street. This base zone change is associated with a project and has been closely vetted to this point with the Planning Department. The Shelby House project will include a new facility at the northwest corner of South 5th and Shelby for Samaritan Recovery Center that nearly doubles their space. The project will also include a couple hundred apartment units with an affordable housing component to create more mixed-income housing opportunities in East Nashville. Here is a link to the video of a recent online community meeting presentation about the project https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1uEUK6rfI-uTk0hryO1Py2pPMcghdE2VK?usp=sharing.
  2. @Bos2Nash Thanks for your advocacy of affordable housing in Nashville. MDHA's Envision Cayce project has already added a net increase of about 100 new affordable housing units at Cayce on top of the one-for-one replacement matrix. The Barrett Manor project from 2015 and the Red Oak Townhomes project that is under construction add new affordable units over and above the one-for-one affordable housing unit replacements on the campus. The Red Oak Townhomes affordable housing units were subsidized by Mayor David Briley's affordable housing line item in his Capital Spending Plan and were not initially included in the State grant funding for the main Red Oak Flats building. The same Capital Spending Plan item also funded new, net increase affordable housing units at the Randee Rogers Apartments on Rosa Parks. Envision Cayce's affordable housing unit count has already increased by about 10% with the addition of Barrett Manor and Red Oak affordable housing units and we will continue to look for opportunities to add more affordable units in future construction phases as grant funding allows. The workforce housing units are the ones that we are struggling the most to fund at the moment. A good example of a P3 affordable housing partnership would be Curb Victory Hall on 12th Ave South, and yes, I agree that we need to continue to pursue those kinds of opportunities as well.
  3. It appears that repairs are underway or will be soon. They are probably still working through insurance, which can take a while.
  4. There were several East Nashville items on this month's Metro Historic Zoning Commission meeting agenda on Wednesday https://www.nashville.gov/Historical-Commission/About/Historic-Zoning-Commission/Meeting-Information/2020.aspx, including some of the first house plans to replace houses lost in the March 3rd tornado. The plans submitted for 1901 and 1903 Russell very closely approximate the original historic houses that had stood there. That's not a requirement but is welcomed in the aftermath of the tornado. The agenda also included a new mixed-use infill development at 307 S 11th Street https://www.nashville.gov/Portals/0/SiteContent/MHZC/docs/2020 Meetings/05_20_20/SR 307 S 11th St with drawings.pdf which is currently a gravel parking lot behind the restaurant/retail buildings that face Fatherland including the new Wild Cow location, etc. This proposal is by the same architect who worked on the Fatherland District/Shoppes At Fatherland, etc projects for the same property owner. I worked with that property owner to rezone this parcel from CS to MUL-A base zoning recently in anticipation of maintaining the mixed-uses that are encouraged by the MDHA Five Points Redevelopment District land use plan http://www.nashville-mdha.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/2015-3-16-Fivepoints.pdf once that redevelopment district expires at the end of this year. The staff had recommended disapproval of this project but it was approved by the Commission at Wednesday's meeting. In other East Nashville news, Mayor Cooper's office has worked with me to prioritize repair of the Holly Street Fire Hall and that repair and restoration work has started this week. Quite a bit of masonry repair is needed, and scaffolding has been erected this week. Once the masonry repair is completed the roof replacement can begin. We are fortunate to have as-built drawings on hand so that the restoration effort can work off of those existing plans. It will be a relief to get that building repaired and reopened. I appreciate Mayor Cooper's support on this priority project. The Metro Historical Commission and I are continuing conversations with YMCA over the status of the YCAP building, which is an historic church building that was badly damaged by the tornado. We were able to arrange a site visit to tour the building this week. There is quite a bit of debris inside the building that needs to be removed in order for structural engineers to complete an assessment and so more time is needed to complete that assessment. This property already has mixed-use zoning and so I believe that it would be a strong opportunity for adaptive reuses should the YMCA or another potential owner seek those opportunities. My understanding is that East End United Methodist Church congregation is continuing their structural analysis and reviewing options for that property, whether retaining some of the original structure or having to rebuild completely. A determination has not yet been reached at this time.
  5. District 8 Council Member Nancy VanReece made that Oakwood Park improvement a top priority in her first term and worked with then-Mayor Megan Barry to fund it. It is a little bit out of the way but is a great resource for that neighborhood which had been underserved.
  6. @smeagolsfree This particular project is not a budget overrun situation. It is partial funding in phases that maybe were not spelled out as clearly as some would have liked. But as the District Council Member, General Services kept me apprised. Sheriff Hall was aware. Even MDHA was aware, etc. It is unfortunate that perhaps others were not aware who were not part of the discussions and who did not ask that specific question when the initial $20M Capital Spending Plan allocation was requested and funded. That discussion is partly legitimate and partly some of the Metro Councilmembers wanting to micromanage Departments to the point that the Departments have no flexibility to provide services or facilities that were not budgeted a year ago. I can't always tell constituents that we have to wait a year to fix a pothole on their street because that pothole wasn't budget for a year ago. That's a minor example but that is where some of that kind of logic leads. The Departments do not report to the Metro Council, they are part of the Executive, not the Legislative Branch, per the Metro Charter. Some Metro Council Members deeply struggle with that. We all have to work together to serve our constituents. Some do that better than others. I like to hope that I do that well because I treat the Department Directors with respect and that respect is generally returned. And District 6 constituents are well known in the county for being vocal and, "particular," LOL. In this case, this DCSO HQ building construction started before total design was completed, particularly on the interior. But environmental, excavation, footers, and many other details were already established and it made sense to go ahead and get started, particularly since Metro is currently paying rent in several places for DCSO staff leased offices in scattered site locations and the sooner we can get this building open the sooner we can bring those staff all under one roof and stop paying rent on the commercial market. The State does Pay As You Go for roads. That is one category. Metro has to use our Capital Spending Plans to fund multiple categories (road paving, sidewalks, parks, affordable housing, police/fire equipment, etc) in addition to trying to fund sometimes one or two school facilities upgrades or replacements as well as in this case a Sheriff's Office all at the same time. Accordingly, projects are funded in chunks in order to keep several things going rather than making the entire county wait for a year on everything while one high school is completed, for instance. Now, sometimes, materials and labor costs do rise and that causes projects to require additional funding or value engineering. I am not saying that Metro projects have never gone overbudget. But to date, this one in particular has not.
  7. No: The way that the Capital Spending Plans are done are that large buildings are funded in "chunks" rather than all in one fiscal year. So an initial $20M was included in the Capital Spending Plan a few years ago. The project was still in design phase which was just completed not that long ago. The remaining approximately $17M to complete the project is being funded in the current Capital Spending Plan. This was never a $20M project: it is about a $37M project that is being funded in two allocations.
  8. This announcement is exciting and opens up a few possible uses for MDHA, none of which has been decided yet. The most recent Envision Cayce Town Hall presentation includes most things that are under construction or nearly complete (Boscobel I or Mosely on 6th is in move-in stage right now) after the Kirkpatrick Park apartments and Explore School were opened http://www.nashville-mdha.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Envision-Cayce-CAG-Resident-Townhall-16-Jan-2020-FINAL-Presentation-1-13-20.pdf. The library funding is not yet confirmed but we are working on that. Overall, once all of these projects join Kirkpatrick Park in being fully occupied we will be about one quarter of the way done with the Envision Cayce Master Plan implementation.
  9. This one really has taken forever. I feel bad for the tenants. I worked with them quite a while back on a BZA variance appeal because unfortunately it is not possible to construct sidewalks to current standards on this site without demolishing the building or severly limiting access to the existing parking. But even after that item was resolved, there have been a number of issues with this building including the water infrastructure being located on the parcel north of this one. The parcels were subdivided back in the day but easements were not done properly in order to grant access to the water/sewer equipment for this building once the northern portion of the parcel was subdivided out. So we had to do some work with Metro Water to address those issues. There have been other issues as well, all of which have really delayed the opening of this business. My understanding is that the project will be required to add a crosswalk across Woodland Street here, which is needed. But Woodland Street really needs a comprehensive infrastructure makeover all the way from downtown to Five Points. I am actually working with Walk Bike Nashville, the Mayor's Office and some other organizations to prepare for that effort, which we hope to start soon through the implementation of a grant. This grant will prompt a comprehensive look at 5th, 10th and Woodland in a fashion not unlike what I have undertaken with the East Nashville Neighborways project for which the steering committee is finalizing recommendations over the next few weeks.
  10. I introduced legislation approving this location for the Davidson County Sheriff's Office headquarters back in 2016 https://www.nashville.gov/mc/resolutions/term_2015_2019/rs2016_469.htm. It was later funded at about $20M in a Capital Spending Plan, but that was only a portion of the total funding needed for the project. Metro historically has often broken building projects into two or more capital funding "chunks," and this one is no different, but it was raised during last year's mayoral campaign debates about Metro financing practices. Quite a bit of logistical work had to be done to separate out this land area from the Public Works Department's area of this same parcel before construction could begin. The Jerry Newson Center has been demolished and now work is progressing quickly. Mayor Cooper has included the remaining $17M in funding for this project in his Capital Spending Plan that he is submitting to Council for our consideration. With the building being at this stage of construction, it would seem likely that this funding is all but guaranteed to be included in the Capital Spending Plan that the Metro Council will approve. I believe that it is anticipated to open sometime in early 2021.
  11. I have greatly enjoyed working with Ray Dayal on approvals for his 11-story LaQuinta Inn and Suites that is currently under construction on Interstate Drive. I would welcome an opportunity to work with Mr. Dayal on a full-service hotel offering on this site that activates the street. With the proper infrastructure in place, such hotel facility could help to transform this section of Woodland into a walkable and bikeable multi-modal corridor to get residents and visitors alike safely and quickly through this thoroughfare even when Titans games or other Nissan Stadium events are taking place across the street.
  12. Interesting. Between that and the former Steak & Pizza that is now Once Upon A Time In France, these are examples of buildings that I can't imagine anyone salvaging for any reason being repurposed into restaurant spaces. This is a good location virtually across Gallatin from the Nashville Biscuit House, and perhaps it will give them a bit of a run for their money. We most definitely need more breakfast spots in East Nashville. I do wonder whether neighbors here would oppose a beer sales permit minimum distance waiver as we saw for the building at Gallatin/Chicamauga. A neighbor led quite the campaign to oppose that beer sales permit and folks testified at the Metro Council public hearing on the resolution that they feared having intoxicated people walking on Gallatin Ave. Never
  13. @[email protected] Cayce is presently about 25% complete or under construction including Explore school, Kirkpatrick Park Apartments, Boscobel I (Mosley on 6th), Boscobel II and Boscobel III (Red Oak Flats and Townhomes). Barrett Manor is technically not part of the Envision Cayce mixed-income housing endeavor because it was funded separately using a LIHTC grant. Those 70 affordable housing units at Barrett Manor are on top of the one-for-one replacement of subsidized units that are being undertaken in Envision Cayce, and so while Cayce residents have moved into those units, MDHA is still committed to replacing all of the subsidized units with the Barrett Manor units representing a net increase of 70 affordable housing units once the project is complete. Boscobel IV may start to get us above that 25% completion line. But don't forget about all the CWA housing which is also part of Envision Cayce. This is a whole lot of housing yet to be built. Unfortunately, the proposed YMCA branch on South 5th Street is now off the table. We'll keep trying to bring services and job opportunities directly to the Cayce campus.
  14. Not sure whether this has been posted before: this is the presentation from the January 2020 Envision Cayce Town Hall http://www.nashville-mdha.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/02/Envision-Cayce-CAG-Resident-Townhall-16-Jan-2020-FINAL-Presentation-1-13-20.pdf. Designs for the Red Oak Towns townhome development start on page 10. The Boscobel IV is in very early preliminary stages. I am still meeting with Metro Departments, the Mayor's Office and MDHA on the library part.
  15. @[email protected]@LA_TN In Edgefield, South 6th Street, South 7th Street, Russell Street and Boscobel Street were all dis-connected from the street grid at some point probably in the third quarter of the 20th Century. This leaves only Fatherland as an east-west through street and only South 8th and 9th Streets as through north-south streets. Which is also why the cut-through traffic funnels through Fatherland, 8th and 9th Streets, which is why we are now needing to look at traffic calming for those streets. Disconnecting the street grid sometimes is necesary but often moves the traffic problem a block over, etc, and concentrates or creates new problems on those streets. One downside of gating off Fatherland Street near 10th would actually be that Edgefield residents would then have to use Russell and Boscobel to get out of their neighborhood, which would create safety and visibility concerns for them since those intersections are offset and sharply angled. It would also intensify vehicular traffic on the 800- and 900-blocks of Russell and Boscobel, which is the exact opposite of what residents on those streets would want. Frustrating conversation, indeed. In my hometown of Dayton, OH some streets were gated or dis-connected in an effort to control crime. The problem is that once crime takes hold on those blocks the residents themselves are trapped. Theefforts are too often permanent solutions to short-term problems or concerns that can be resolved by other means that still retains street connectivity.
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