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bwithers1 last won the day on October 8 2014

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About bwithers1

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  1. Not to worry . . . My understanding is that there will be a Starbucks with a drive-through window at Sharpe/Gallatin as part of the Hill Center Greenwood project and there will also be a Starbucks outpost in the renovated Eastland Kroger. I need to get over to check out Slow Hand.
  2. I have received no requests for residential permit parking in Lockeland Springs. Russell Street in Edgefield, yes, but nothing in Lockeland Springs. And Russell Street residents at the community meeting were sharply divided on the question. I worked on a county-wide ordinance that brings some updates to the existing residential permit parking process, which is quite confusing to everyone. Presently homeowners or residents (tenants can currently sign) petition the Council Member to write a letter of recommendation to the Traffic & Parking Commission and then a staff analysis may be done toward the end as a discussion item for the Commissioners. This makes residential permit parking primarily politically driven. The process that I proposed is a two-phase process wherein if residents indicate that they wish to explore residential permit parking, the Council Member forwards the request to Public Works and a staff assessment is conducted first. Then a community must be held so that residents can hear and discuss the results of the staff assessment and those community voices pro- and con- can be heard before a decision is made about whether to request to place the item on an upcoming agenda of the Traffic & Parking Commission. This process places traffic engineer staff assessment fieldwork closer to the beginning of the process so that the discussion is more information and context driven than politically driven, although that will always be an element. The second main piece of the legislation is borrowed from practices in other cities pertaining to guest permit parking passes. Currently in a residential permit parking zone residents must contact Public Works to purchase a guest parking pass in advance that identifies the make, model and license plate number of the vehicle of the guest, and that pass is only valid for 14 days. Therefore, residents in a residential permit parking zone have to request a pass for each guest every time they are planning to have a guest. The proposal included in my update legislation allows residents to purchase up to two annual guest passes per household when they purchase their own pass in January. Those guest passes can then be given to a guest when they arrive and returned to the resident when they leave so that (1) the homeowner doesn't have to purchase individual passes for each guest and (2) Public Works staff can spend less time on guest pass processing and more time on parking enforcement. There are currently only a handful of Public Works parking enforcement staff for the entire county, and they write about 250 parking tickets per day. So they are quite busy and if this saves those staff time, then it is still a net gain for parking safety enforcement for things like parking too close to the corner or parking in bike lanes. This ordinance was recommended for approval by the Traffic & Parking Commission and the new guest permit parking pass system when it is rolled out will apply to all of the residential permit parking zones in the county, of which there are about three dozen, mostly closer to Hillsboro Village, Vanderbilt and Belmont Universities and Edgehill Village, etc. Here is a link to the ordinance, BL2018-1329, including an amendment and the legal analysis, in case anyone is interested in reading it further This will be an ongoing discussion in our county, and in fact the Mayor's Office is receiving RFPs from consultants to look at parking requirements as a whole. But in the meantime, I wanted to get this residential permit parking system update underway for the new year and it can obviously be tweaked some more in the future.
  3. These are some random thoughts in response to some of the above posts. What you get with a grocery store building placed against the sidewalk and the parking in the rear is that pedestrians will have to walk all the way around the building to the back to get to the entrance to the building. See the Turnip Truck's new location on Woodland Street. While it is true that the building fronts the sidewalk, I am not convinced that it is necessarily designed with pedestrians in mind, because pedestrians have to go to the back of the store where the parking lot entrance is to access the store. The prior plan for this parcel (from a decade ago) that would have had a Publix fronting a portion of the street had a giant blank wall facing the street with the entrance on the "side" facing a parking lot. Since that time, the Gallatin Road SP was thrown out by the court and the Gallatin Road Urban Design Overlay that replaced it several years ago makes no requirements about building placement or signage. This site plan does add pedestrian-friendly features such as brand new sidewalks, a new bus shelter, and a new signalized crosswalk across Gallatin that is badly needed, and other features. Parking requirements are partly set by Metro Government but are largely set by the grocery store management companies. Therefore, even if Metro removed all parking requirements (as we have done downtown) the tenants would demand a certain number of parking spaces in order to sign a lease. I was able to work with Kroger to lower their parking spaces some. The new site plan is for a larger store and it reverses some of the design decisions that were made earlier so that now the loading dock will be from the side and not front-facing toward Gallatin. These design decisions arise from the larger store footprint. As for having a large wall facing the residential, yes, this can be true, but that is the purpose of trees and screening. If a large mixed-use building were constructed here, there would be multiple-story parking decks facing the neighbor's yards with dwelling units with windows overlooking their yards. At least this is a one-story building and maintains some degree of privacy for the neighbors. The business with the drive-through window is not an adaptive reuse of the former Mapco gas station (and who knows what before that) that used to be the home of Cizar's. Having been in that building, I find the idea of reusing that structure to be romanticized and not realistic. But that is just me. Urban Planning folks may decry the drive-through or the business itself but I predict that the business will be quite successful. Obviously, transit on Gallatin has been a non-starter twice now and so for the foreseeable future Nashvillians will drive to grocery stores even for short trips. If the decision on transit changes in the future, and if Nashvillian's willingness to use transit to go grocery shopping for the family changes, this plan could always potentially be revisited with more outbuildings fronting Gallatin subject to the lease terms with the anchor grocery store tenant. I often walk to Kroger, but then I am single and rarely home enough to eat at home and so there is very little in my refrigerator at any one time. So I may be an anomaly. Actually, I am one of the few non-STR-guests walking on Gallatin, so even the fact that I walk on Gallatin is considered an anomaly in East Nashville and is frequently remarked upon. My personal belief based upon constituent communications is that East Nashvillians want another grocery store option in the area, and so at some point the question becomes whether you want the grocery store that will sign a lease in the space or not. Given that choice, I am guessing that most people will be happy having another grocery store. Even the often-requested Trader Joe's stores that I have been to have parking lots out front. I am in no way suggesting that this store will be a Trader Joe's. I am simply saying that if the property owner felt that a potential grocery store tenant would sign a lease with a building built up to the street with parking in the rear, that the site plan would be designed that way.
  4. Yes, the current site on the Eastwood side of Gallatin is also suburban-style strip center, albeit a possibly historic one (and the much-loved Cizar's was a former gas station not too long ago). But the redesigned site plan will be a little bit more suburban than what had originally been proposed for the Hill Center Greenwood. Not moreso than Kroger or the Aldi, though. But nevertheless, I will count the opportunity to remove another billboard from the Gallatin streetscape as a victory. And gaining a new signalized crosswalk across Gallatin will be an improvement to the pedestrian safety environment. I spoke with Sheriff Hall recently and there are some complications with constructing the new HQ on South 5th Street. The boundary between the proposed DCSO HQ and the remaining Public Works facilities is not a straight line. There would be a need to remove a fuel pump that Public Works uses for their fleet. And the HQ building may need more space which could require the demolition of a Public Works office building that is currently occupied. Public Works may not end up moving up to the convenience center off of Trinity any time soon or at all, depending on budgets and other logistics. So there are a lot of moving parts. The HQ building needs parking and access to the interstate, which this site provides, and this is a better location than the downtown site would be. But there are some complicating factors that are leading to construction delays. The user has some highly specific design and functionality needs. My understanding is the DCSO will need to extend the lease at the Due West Towers while some of these logistics get sorted out. I have no new information about the car lot at Main/Forrest in Five Points. The fact that it has not been leased to a parking management company suggests to me that something is being considered in the relatively near term. But we will have to see. There are a couple of properties in Five Points that are being looked at for redevelopment but the parcels are too small to make the numbers work, and so in order to make projects viable someone would need to purchase adjoining parcels and combine them. The small size or the shallowness of parcels in Five Points and along Main Street are hindrances to large-scale development in some cases. There are also some underground utility easement issues for some of those parcels. The Fieldhouse Jones boutique hotel project had to be designed around some underground utilities and I worked with the property developer to seek variances in order to keep that project moving forward. These are some of the reasons why there are so many adaptive reuses of existing buildings (even the Mrs. Winner's building at Gallatin/Ordway): the parcel sizes (or the buildable portion of the parcels) are too small to make larger-scale development work. Speaking of adaptive reuses, the owner of the 927 Woodland building (at McFerrin) is looking at converting that existing warehouse building into a mixed-use building, but even in that case we are working through some of the variances that would be needed to meet Code. I am also glad to see that BoomBozz is finally nearing an opening in the former church building at 10th/Russell. That has been in the works for a long time and it was supposed to open last year but got delayed. There certainly is no shortage of pizza in the Five Points area (including Italia at 16th). Or sports bars. But I have heard from many families in East Nashville hat they are looking for restaurants with play areas where they can bring the kids, and so BoomBozz will fill a bit of a niche when it opens.
  5. Yes, this is correct. H.G. Hill Realty asked me to place the item back on the Metro Council agenda. Due to Council rules (pertaining to the fact that the item had been deferred indefinitely for greater than 90 days) the item will be placed on the October 2nd agenda and then deferred by rule for one more meeting until the October 16th meeting agenda for third and final vote. The site plan has changed slightly as the grocery store building is slightly larger and so some parking lot details had to be reconfigured. The apartment buildings along Greenwood and Sharpe have been replaced by a smaller number of town homes. The restaurant store at the corner of Sharpe will have a drive-through window service. The site plan should be updated in time for the October 2nd meeting. I have no information to share about potential tenants: I would have to refer those calls to H.G. Hill Realty. My general understanding is that some site work could begin during Q4 of this year.
  6. It's not an exact reconstruction of the original street grid (I have uploaded an image from the 1916 Fire map). But reconnecting Dew Street back as far as 6th Street is part of the plan. 8th will not go through because it will be interrupted by the K-8 Explore! school campus. The central park is being created where none existed previously. Some blocks (like Kirkpatrick Park) will have new "private" internal streets in them that will be heavily geared toward pedestrians moreso than cars. Connectivity and also defensible design are important goals of the plan. In other Envision Cayce news, the groundbreaking for Boscobel II at the northeast corner of S 6th/Lenore is tentatively scheduled for Thursday, October 6th I believe at 10:30 AM if anyone is interested in attending.
  7. Yes, this one is a mix of townhomes fronting the streets with apartment buildings built into the hill. I presently have legislation to abandon an unbuilt alley that exists there. The project as proposed includes construction the western terminus of Dew Street at South 6th.
  8. Yesterday the Board of Zoning Appeals approved the sidewalk variance and parking variance request for Hubba Hubba Tiki Bar project at 912 Main Street. I supported both variance requests. This project is a lease agreement for an existing building and lot that could use some reimagining. Powell Architects is working on designs. The team presenting the concept is the owners of Crying Wolf on Woodland. We have some cool adaptive reuses of otherwise nondescript buildings coming in the pipeline along that portion of Main/Woodland between 9th and McFerrin.
  9. Yes, I work on Melrose Ave and there is quite a bit of construction activity taking place between Melrose and I-440. This particular building site does have some pretty stunning city views.
  10. Yes. There was a spike in deaths related to gun violence in Cayce in 2017 and almost all of those shootings took place on S 8th. To be sure, that portion of the campus needs a fresh start with something much more positive.
  11. Fatherland: The Envision Cayce Redevelopment District and Master Plan most definitely includes the CWA properties on the south side of Shelby. Here is the sketch of the area that was included in the 2016 rezoning Since that time, MDHA acquired some of the parcels at the northeast corner of S 6th/Lenore and on the west side of 6th opposite Lenore. On the west side of 6th is the location where the Boscobel 1 project (96 units in three buildings) is currently under construction. We are hoping to break ground on Boscobel II (on the northeast corner of 6th/Lenore) later this summer. I have legislation that should be forthcoming for the abandonment of an unbuilt alley in that site. That project will have townhomes fronting the corner of 6th/Lenore with a larger apartment building fronting the middle of the block on Lenore and another apartment building at the top of the hill. There will be shared green space in the center of this component of the project, and MDHA will also build the terminus of Dew Street connecting to S 6th. Eventually, Dew Street will be connected all the way from its current terminus in a cul-de-sac just west of S 11th. It will be continued all the way through to S 6th to restore the street grid.
  12. Yes, about half a dozen of the original Cayce housing quadplexes along the middle portion of S 8th are being demolished to make way for the new Explore Community School K-8 school campus. 8th will terminate at the campus. S 8th Court, which is the portion that currently is a one-way around the horse-shoe heading southwest and dead-ending into S 7th Street will actually become a one-way going in the opposite direction (north/northeast) and leading into the school parking lot. Then traffic will head out through the Martha O'Bryan Center lot onto S 7th. These street configurations will be temporary until the health clinic on 8th is demolished and relocated and the new street that crosses along what is to be the central park frontage connects from 9th/Sevier over to S 5th at some point. The lower portion of the remaining S 8th Court "horse-shoe) will eventually be replaced by Dew Street, which will be connected from its current terminus in a culdesac over to S 6th Street. A portion of that terminus of Dew Street at S 6th will be constructed when the new Boscobel II apartments buildings and townhouses are constructed soon at the northeast corner of S 6th/Lenore. A lot of construction activity is taking place or starting soon in Cayce!
  13. The windows were greatly damaged during the tornado and most of this glass is actually not original. Some of the lower portions of the windows were removed and not returned under circumstances that were controversial and remarked upon in the press at the time. But as a general statement, the shape of the windows would need to be retained whether or not the actual glass pieces are retained or replaced.
  14. The same is true of the Fieldhouse Jones hotel project on Main Street. I know that the contractor changed, but I wish that progress were more visible.
  15. bwithers1

    Project Thread/New Construction/Photo du jour/Const. CAMs

    The River North project for the area between the Cumberland and I-24 north of Spring Street (along Cowan) will very much be like a riverfront Gulch if developed as proposed.