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bwithers1

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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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  1. Metro has worked on several plans for the East Bank over the decades. The urban renewal project that created James Robertson Parkway even envisioned progress for the East Bank. Then the East Bank Redevelopment District was created in the mid-1990s prior to the stadium construction that cleared most of the area not including PSC. The Civic Design Center included the East Bank in their Plan of Nashville project in the early 2000s. The Metro Parks Riverfront Park Master Plan also included some recommendations for the East Bank. The construction of the Gateway (now KVB) Bridge also renewed interest in the East Bank somewhat. Sadly, none of these plans have really been built out. Former District 6 Council Member Mike Jameson did get Cumberland Park constructed and the historic Bridge Building rehabbed. The only new buildings constructed in 20 years were the relocated Gerst Haus and the new LaQuinta that is under construction. This East Bank Planning Study will be more focused on infrastructure and connectivity to make sure that things work well holistically as development occurs, which appears likely to happen soon, particularly with the Titans exploring development opportunities. I anticipate that the final report will include a feasibility study probably similar to the River North Urban Design Overlay. I am really looking forward to working with Perkins Eastman. One of the runner-up firms was SOM, which would also have been a great choice. It’s fantastic to have this kind of National-level attention competing for opportunities in Nashville.
  2. Underground power lines were not feasible and so yes, the power grid is above ground. MDHA actually had to pay a significant amount to upgrade the power supply for most of Lower East as part of this project. The new decorative street lighting looks good in the places where it has been installed. That may be the norm once the entire campus is built out but that will be a decade at least.
  3. The two-building commercial infill project at 1000 Woodland Street in Five Points received approval from the Metro Historic Zoning Commission tonight. This project is going to have huge infrastructure costs for storm water. It will also require replacing the sidewalks along both the Woodland and South 10th Street frontages to current standards including planting strips and street trees. That’s a heavy lift for two small buildings. But I am happy about this project and wish the team success. Now I need to continue working with Public Works to improve/extend the sidewalk on the rest of that block face and leading up to the corner at 11th. I have a long-standing Capital Improvements Budget request for that but so far it has been unfunded. Sidewalk bulb outs or curb extensions require a lot of underground storm water infrastructure work. The fact that Five Points sits over the combined sewer system doesn’t help, either. Nothing is ever as easy as it would seem to be. But this 1000 Woodland project will be great for increasing pedestrian activation in the Five Points area and will complete the block face, which will provide better connectivity to the very long 900 blocks of Woodland. For those who follow Development Tracker, the zone change for 943-947 Woodland to move from MUL-A to MUG-A zoning for a fairly large mixed-use project being planned by Clay Haynes is filed. That base zone change item is scheduled for a Planning Commission public hearing in late April.
  4. You are correct about this. The historic contextual setbacks for Gallatin were extremely deep. Many of these parcels were working farms well into the 20th Century. The schools, churches and remaining grand homes were all usually set back on Gallatin north of Eastland. Moving buildings to the sidewalk makes sense in some locations but not others.
  5. The permit for the mixed-use building at 307 S 11th Street (NEC 11th/Lillian) was issued today. This will replace a surface lot. East End neighbor Mark Sanders is the owner and East End neighbor Rich McCoy is the architect. The two-story building will have downstairs retail with upstairs residential and office. I worked with them during the early stages of my Five Points Rezoning Plan to move this parcel to MUL-A zoning. The project will upgrade sidewalks along the South 11th Street frontage to current standards, retain some existing street trees and add new street trees and I believe a rear shade tree and shrubbery screening.
  6. I think that this looks pretty nice. It is three smaller retail spaces that address the corner nicely. The amount of grading for the rear parking was quite extensive to level out the lot over the steep grade change. The sidewalk pours are nearing completion and the the crosswalks across Gallatin can be completed.
  7. The Boscobel IV phase includes a large green space to the north in order to preserve the root system of a Nashville Tree Foundation Big Old Tree Contest winner, which I believe is a Cherry Bark Oak. It has a massive canopy. This will be similar to the way that Red Oak Flats and Red Oak Townhomes are designed around champion trees. Otherwise, the scale of this building is going to be impressive. It is taking forever to complete the demolition for this quite large site. This phase will complete construction work on South 6th Street from the historic Gerald Nicely (MDHA HQ) building at Summer Place all the way to Lenore. Eventually, Summer Place will be connected through this site to the east the same way that Dew Street was connected across the campus to the west.
  8. These both look great and would be big improvements over the buildings that sat on those sites previously, although I obviously feel bad for the businesses who had been in those buildings that were destroyed by the tornado. There are some unfortunate underground utility issues in this area and perhaps having 3 McFerrin excavated and redeveloped will allow that long-needed utility work to commence. The 918 Main parcel would have been a good opportunity to consolidate with 916 next door to have that project wrap the corner, because the 916 project presently appears to be shoehorned in there a bit. But this 5-story building would wrap that corner nicely and provide good massing around the Main/McFerrin intersection, which is finally becoming a “downtown East Nashville” segment of the street. When Amplify Apartments and Fieldhouse Jones reopen and if the 815 Main project moves forward at Neal Ave, this area of Main will finally start coming together in a manner that might prompt some of the surrounding underutilized parcels to sell and redevelop as well.
  9. The bell tower roof is supposed to be installed tomorrow (Wednesday). It is a close replica of the original that was removed decades ago. This bell tower roof installation requires that NES re-route all of the surrounding neighborhood electrical supply and de-energize those lines adjacent to the building. This is such a great project. Architect Gina Emmanuel, who is an East Nashville neighbor, has been great for this project. I can't wait to see it completed!
  10. Unfortunately, MDHA's approval process has created ambiguities that "clever" developers have been able to manipulate or litigate. MDHA has approved buildings that did not meet their own design guidelines or the bulk zoning regulations. There are places where uses were permitted that are expressly prohibited by the land use plan. And yet there they are. In 2015, a land use attorney found an "archived version" of the land use plan and took it to Metro Council, where an At Large Council Member brought legislation to terminate the Five Points Redevelopment District, then also submitted an unfriendly amendment to the Land Use Plan update, got enough Council Members to vote to overturn the ruling of the Vice Mayor that the vote was closed so that the vote was reopened and then the unfriendly amendment was applied over the objections of the District Council Member at the time. That is what we are talking about. There are some glaringly obvious examples of buildings being approved that did not clearly meet the design guidelines and that were approved by MDHA's Design Review Committee over my and the neighborhoods' objections. We were told that MDHA DRCs are not public hearings and no public input opportunities are required as part of the MDHA process. So when the same neighborhood leaders write a letter stating that the redevelopment district provides the three neighborhoods with "a voice" in decisions, I kind of have to scratch my head. The reality is that almost all of the Five Points Redevelopment District is already covered by the Lockeland Springs-East End Conservation Overlay with Metro Historic Zoning Commission public hearing opportunities for new infill buildings. There are about 20 parcels that would have no Overlay projection when the redevelopment district expires. They include: -901 Woodland/WeWork, which is not going anywhere -Basement East, which is finishing up repairs and is not going anywhere -Attaboy/Lakeside Lounge/Pfeffer Torode Architecture -A cinderblock warehouse surrounded by chain link fencing owned by the County Music Hall of Fame, which is not going anywhere -The Nashville Fireman's Credit Union, which was approved in a car-centered layout that did not meet the redevelopment district design guidelines and that also did not meet base zoning bulk zoning regulations and required BZA variances -Hosse & Hosse locksmith, Backfield In Motion, the Meadery, Altria Salon -East End Lofts, which has the much more intense MUG-A zoning and isn't going anywhere -DRC, which is built with a parking lot in front -Park Center, which is built with a parking lot in front and isn't planning on going anywhere -Hill Center Five Points, and Jimmy Granbery sent a letter of support for the rezoning plan -First Tennessee/First Horizon, which is finishing up repairs and isn't going anywhere -Noble's Kitchen & Beer Hall, which finished up repairs and isn't going anywhere My point is that the "exposure" of the neighborhood is so slight that one of these handful of buildings is going to be replaced with something worse that I feel that the perceived "risk" to the neighborhood is greatly outweighed by the benefits of replacing the base zoning with pedestrian-oriented versions of Mixed Use Districts that the property owners themselves appear to support. To date I have heard no serious objections from property owners, just from some of our neighbors whom I know and respect but who need to let this document that isn't serving them well anymore go. I need them to stop stonewalling for a redevelopment district extension under a false pretense of blight and get on board with supporting the base zoning change.
  11. There are some elements of this article that are on-point and some that make me cringe. For instance, the rezoning plan that I have proposed is intentionally trying NOT to revert to the existing CS base zoning that litters the area and that the redevelopment district was intentionally designed to supersede. Instead, the rezoning plan is intended to change the base zoning to more pedestrian-oriented MUN-A, MUL-A and occasionally OR20-A and RM20-A base zoning that does automatically what the redevelopment district required manual overrides and sometimes human judgement calls to do: set build-to standards for sidewalk-oriented building placement, eliminate curb cuts where possible and limit vehicular access to alleys where they are present, in most cases. It is also not necessarily the case that "developers cheered on this change." Developers would typically like more zoning entitlements than what is proposed in my rezoning plan - or the elimination of restrictions entirely. And one of the folks who wrote in to support closing out the redevelopment district and switching it over to a base zoning change update is a former Lockeland Springs resident who still owns property along tornado-damaged Holly Street, who is a land use attorney by trade, and who is a Five Points-area small business owner who served on the Metro Historic Zoning Commission. The fact that this base zoning change update has been drafted in consultation with the Metro Historic Zoning staff gets a bit lost in this article. On the other hand, MDHA Commissioner Ansari's comments are on point: some of the neighborhood representatives have stated that their desire for keeping the redevelopment district in place is specifically to keep development from occurring, even if that development meets most or all of the tenets of the redevelopment district design guidelines that they wish to extend. I believe that the designs for the building have not changed but that the construction crew is using the corner lot for a staging area, as you have suggested, and that after this building is complete the Molly Green building on the corner will be reconstructed.
  12. That building appears to be fairly solid and could make for a good adaptive reuse candidate. Especially if the parking within the front and side setbacks were converted to outdoor seating for a restaurant space or something like that. Yeah, I am really bullish on this plan. Another great adaptive reuse concept for this building. The Metro right-of-way requirements along Gallatin make developing this sliver of a parcel prohibitive from a long-term standpoint. So this is a neat idea for the duration until we finally get some kind of transit.
  13. I am beyond thrilled about this race announcement! I had heard about the possibility maybe a couple of years ago, but today's announcement is exciting. Let's hope that by that time there will be a COVID vaccine and people will be traveling again. If so, the economic impact couldn't come at a better time to restart the engines of the local economy. I appreciate the Titans and Nissan Stadium being good neighbors and welcoming events like this to the stadium area. It would bring great attention to the riverfront and I am specifically hoping that it spurs interest in the East Bank since we have so many large underutilized parcels right there..
  14. So much irony there: opening a Fat Bottom Brewery location in a former Church of Christ building. My family in Jackson County are all Church of Christ so I can say that, LOL.
  15. This last photo of Explore School is taken from the vantage point of the triangle of land where the proposed 2500 SF library branch would be constructed. The library would be sited approximately equidistantly between Explore School and KIPP Kirkpatrick School.
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