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Everything posted by bwithers1

  1. I have renderings of this project. It steps the height back from Woodland Street so that most of the tower portion kind of aligns with the parking garage of Eastside Heights. It’s a very contemporary design. There is a parking garage entrance off of Woodland closest to Eastside Heights where there is also a parking garage entrance. In this location alley access isn’t really feasible, though. It seems possible to me that similar to the new LaQuinta, this parking garage will make spaces unused by hotel guests available as paid public parking for events. The SP allows a greater floor area ratio than the base zoning in order to accommodate the greater height and building volume. The SP will also proving glazing and design guidance facing I-24 snd, by extension, the East Bank and downtown. This project is located within the MDHA East Bank Redevelopment District, which will be expiring in 2025. MDHA’s Envision Cayce Master Plan calls for replacing the CWA apartment buildings between S 4th Street and I-24 with a 12-story building. And so, taken together, these new construction buildings will begin to create a canyon effect along the eastern face I-24 between Shelby and Woodland that will create a gateway effect into East Nashville at both of those interchanges.
  2. @AronGThanks! The southern end of the campus is starting to come together nicely, but the Envision Cayce Master Plan is only about a quarter done as of today. During the community plan amendment for Envision Cayce the NashvilleNext community plan was changed from residential-only to mixed use at smaller “corner commercial” spaces where the numbered streets intersect with the planned Central Park. My understanding is that after the Cherry Bark Oak apartments at the northeast corner of 6th/Dew and the 5th/Summer buildings get closer to occupancy MDHA may break ground on the remaining units along the 600 block of Dew Street between Cherry Bark Oak apartments and 7th Street where the Martha O’Bryan Center expansion is underway. At that point in a few years we may begin to see the space clearing for the Central Park directly behind the MDHA HQ building. Then and only then will we begun to see spaces constructed for those “corner commercial” cafe spaces along the park. This will be well timed since the addition of market-rate units in rather large numbers is needed to support new commercial ventures in that area. The Cherry Bark Oak and 5th/Summer buildings will have about 100 market-rate units between them to help support that additional commercial nearby. The private 5th/Crutcher project should really help to bolster the market studies for commercial tenants. That is a real opportunity not only to clean up a site that creates dust and pollution but also to kickstart private development between Cayce and Davidson that enhances Cayce’s efforts to bring new resources to a long-neglected community. The majority of the mixed use community plan policy area is along 5th Street between Shelby and Summer. MDHA would need to relocate all of those CWA residents into new Cayce buildings in order to clear those blocks for redevelopment, with the corner of 5th/Shelby being eyed for either a large grocery store or big box retail that would include a grocery component. Otherwise, the largest area of restaurant and retail will likely come along the Davidson Street corridor where folks are exploring some potential projects along the riverfront and working with me on rezoning opportunities and working through significant utility and other constraints. The recent installation of the 108” sewer main down South 6th last year is already helping with that utility effort. Next year’s installation of a similar sewer main down South 5th will also help. One thing that I have learned from Envision Cayce is that Metro Council can give properties all the zoning entitlements in the world but if the utilities are not there to support it nothing gets built anyway. The utility reality is much more difficult than Zoning Twitter. And the utility piece is precisely what is holding back Main Street, a lot of Woodland Street and Davidson Street. That is also why the East Bank Planning Study is so focused on infrastructure to make future growth possible: the East Bank already has Downtown Code community plan policies and often already has zoning for fairly dense housing and mixed uses. It is the utility and infrastructure issue in particular that is holding back those parcels. We are working with engineers to figure that out for future cohesive development.
  3. @Bos2NashWhether condos or apartments, I am just glad to have reached an agreement after several years to move this site from industrial to residential uses. I am not certain of the number of units. These would be market-rate units, which is fine since the adjacent Cayce buildings are close to 50% affordable. The 5th/Summer building that is being constructed at the northern end of this block will be a little over 100 units with roughly half being affordable. Adding some private market-rate units on the perimeter of Cayce, particularly on the southwest corner of the campus, will help to support a potential grocery store at 5th/Shelby that has been called for in the Envision Cayce Master Plan. The location selection for the DCSO headquarters on 5th was also strategic to try to help attract a grocery store at 5th/Shelby.
  4. @Bos2NashThe potential ask is for a sky control plane special exception to allow greater height than base zoning allows on a portion of the site.
  5. It’s a little bit creepy to me that the map shows a geotag of my house on that arial map! But back to the topic at hand: as a reminder, the reason why some of these car-centric designs are still permitted for new builds on Main Street/Gallatin is that the Gallatin Road SP was challenged and thrown out in court and replaced in 2013 by the Gallatin Pike UDO that makes the bulk zoning requirements of the underlying base zoning optional.
  6. A replacement fire hall is being constructed there to replace the old one that was demolished alongside the former DCSO HQ that has since moved to South 5th Street. Across the northern end of that parcel closest to the railroad tracks Metro is building a permanent supportive housing development to move residents off the streets and into housing units with onsite wrap-around services.
  7. I have been otherwise engaged and was not able to follow the discussion about Five Points streetscape and how that devolved into nativism, but here are a few thoughts. The Sidewalk Bill legislation update that I cosponsored in 2019 now requires that new construction projects and some renovations in NashvilleNext Center policy areas update sidewalks to current standards and include street trees. This is generally benefitting the streetscape in Five Points and along Main Street as new projects upgrade the sidewalks, ADA curb ramps, and even sometimes storm drains. The Main/McFerrin intersection is a good example of a spot where three adjacent projects are upgrading the sidewalks to include street trees. The same is true of the privately-owned parcels in Five Points that are being redeveloped. Here are some comments that I offered in the Post about the 1000 Woodland parcel https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/five-points-site-eyed-for-two-restaurant-buildings/article_fa6bdf43-0b8c-5491-ab3e-83c81631ef8f.html. This project will greatly improve walkability on that 10th/Woodland intersection. If/when the privately owned parcel at 11th/Clearview redevelops it will be required to update sidewalks on both frontages, which will improve the streetscape. The Woodland Studios property was included in the Five Points Rezoning Plan that I undertook in 2020. The parking lot area is included in the NashvilleNext Mixed Use Corridor policy area that can support additional intensity, particularly on Collector or Arterial corners like 10th/Woodland. My conversation with the owners was that Planning would support MUL-A for now but any potential redevelopment of the parking lot would likely best be served by an SP zoning plan to address the changing topography of the site and the need not to overpower the historic Walnut Exchange Building at the bottom of the hill. This would tend to suggest a tapered or terraced building that steps down the hill somewhat. But in any redevelopment scenario, the sidewalks would be updated to include street trees, etc, similar to the 1012 Main Street project which is also terraced. In the past, one-time grants have been used for streetscape improvements such as one block of specialized lights that now rarely work. In the future, the redesign of Woodland to create bike lanes may help spur discussions about other streetscape and pedestrian improvements. I am unlikely to see either of those through this term but perhaps the next District 6 CM can pick up where I left off. I would also suggest a Business Improvement District for better coordinated garbage/litter collection, signage/wayfinding and beautification improvements. Metro is not quite there yet in terms of having a standardized BID program that neighborhood business centers can use for these purposes. But to my mind, that is a more sustainable and public process than the use of one-time grant funding, especially since the area has long since ceased eligibility for CBDG funding.
  8. Correct. A local architecture firm is working on future plans for this site. The plans have not yet been finalized for submission to the MDHA East Bank Redevelopment District Design Review Committee.
  9. Downtown and Lower Broad in particular have a Business Improvement District, which is how the Nashville Downtown Partnership pays for the extra garbage collections, the crews who clean the area continuously and other services that are in addition to the basic service levels that are provided to the entire Urban Services District. The Central Precinct provides police patrol services at a much greater rate of saturation downtown than at other areas of town. Even the Fire Department has purchased special smaller-sized vehicles to respond to ambulance and other emergency calls since regular fire engines and ambulances struggle to move around downtown’s narrow and densely crowded streets safely. The fact that the BID-funded special services cannot seem to keep up with the activity downtown in recent years speaks to the level of the problems that downtown business owners and residents are raising to Metro Government and in particular to the Mayor’s Office.
  10. Those are some interesting points. This building was constructed during WWII, and so if it had been lavish that would have been noteworthy. I’m surprised that given the wartime materials and rationing conditions that this building was constructed at all. I would describe the building as simple yet elegant, at least when cleaned up. The whiteboard writing added a uniquely human touch to the space and that is why I snapped a photo of that. Dr. Williams’s presentation talked a little bit about how this facility was part of a launch of political and career influence for African American mothers in Nashville, and that is something about which I would like to learn more. It would also be interesting to learn more about those who attended school here and what they were able to accomplish later in life. For my part, when this came before Metro Council last time some of us had asked MNPS to provide more feasibility analysis or a site plan to explore a potential rehab of some or all of this building as part of the proposed Nashville School of the Arts. For instance, could this building serve as a school library or something like that. MNPS asserted that the building was not salvageable and that they would plan to demolish it but didn’t provide additional detail to support that assertion. That’s why I voted against acquisition last time. I didn’t want Metro to buy the property with the stated intent to demolish an historic structure. It is one thing for private property owners to demolish historic buildings that they own. It is quite another for Metro to buy an historic building with the intent of demolishing it. In retrospect, perhaps at that time I should have voted to acquire the property but not given it to MNPS without first requiring a structural engineer’s report which is quite commonly required for demolition requests within historic districts. But in this case that structural evaluation information was provided and we have authorized acquisition. At some point in the near future Metro can conduct some feasibility analysis for adaptive reuse possibilities and lead community engagement efforts to select a future use and user of this building. And perhaps in that reimagined state this building can once again bring people pride as well as joy.
  11. “Architectural value” is probably best arbitrated by architects, and Metro commissioners who are architects have argued for saving the building for its architectural value. Dr. Learotha Williams provided information about the historic significance of the structure during last Friday’s joint Metro Council committee meeting about this structure. That information is available in the video along with the presentation from Metro Parks about how this site can relate to and enhance Wharf Park and future greenway connections. The discussion about Wharf Park’s riverfront access is described in good detail in the committee meeting video footage We do need housing downtown along corridors to support bus service and this is a key location to do that. If Metro did not buy this property, private developers would likely have bought the property, demolished the historic structure and put housing there. As things stand, now that Metro owns it we can work with MDHA, who has an adjacent parcel, to program the entire site comprehensively for better designed affordable housing and a better designed Wharf Park entrance while we explore future uses of the building, which is not in as bad of shape as I had feared. I have attached some of my photos from the Metro Council tour last Friday.
  12. East Bank events this week: -Monday, 12:00: WPLN This Is Nashville broadcast -Tuesday, 8:30: Urban Land Institute event, “Touchdown: The Future Of The East Bank” at Bass, Berry & Simms -Wednesday, 4:00: Metro Council joint committee meeting on East Bank Capital Improvements Budget items
  13. This is a good location steps from Hunter’s Station. This is one of those long-vacant parcels that has needed something for a long time. This design is also a big improvement over what was approved next door. Having a sixth floor will make this project be the tallest building to date in that vicinity of East Nashville., so it should stand out in a good way.
  14. Yes, Powell did a really nice job with that building. They also designed the apartment building that is being constructed across the street. That apartment building has a shared parking agreement with this building for some of the spaces in that rear lot. I am really impressed by the level of care that went into landscaping along the alley since it carries a fairly high amount of pedestrian activity. There is also a BZA case next week for the parcel that has Lakeside Lounge (formerly Edgefield Sports Bar) upstairs and Pfeffer Torode Architecture downstairs at the alley level. The request is to construct an outbuilding at the alley that would contain a small restaurant incubator space. The mixed use zoning has a 20-foot rear setback requirement and this request is to construct the outbuilding there within that rear setback directly next to the alley. If approved and constructed, that restaurant space could further activate the alley there alongside Attaboy, etc.
  15. I agree that Assembly Food Hall is very well done. Shopping/dining centers in urban centers that are open air or enclosed go back thousands of years in human history. The downtown Arcade is a mall. Covent Garden in London is a mall. Etc.
  16. @smeagolsfreeThis is at the northeast corner of 6th/Dew. The building was designed by Smith Gee Studio to leave room around the Nashville Tree Foundation Big Old Tree contest champion cherry bark oak tree. That is one of a small number of trees on the campus that are older than the public housing development itself. This one could conceivably date back to the Boscobel College days, and the Cayce housing blocks that were constructed on this initial block in the late 1930s were built around it. Lockeland Springs resident Mona Hodge at SGS was the lead architect on this project which is being named Cherry Oak Apartments in honor of the tree.. My favorite feature of this particular building is the interesting stairwell that will have open views facing the tree as if one were climbing a tree house. I anticipate that Smith Gee Studio will also complete design work on the rest of this block face along the north side of Dew Street between South 6th and South 7th Streets soon and that if things go well we will see those units break ground next calendar year. Meanwhile, the Martha O’Bryan Center expansion is underway at the northeast corner of 7th/Dew. When these projects are completed not only will Dew Street have been reconnected across the campus but everything along both sides will be either new or renovated with the exception of the MDHA maintenance building at 7th/Lenore, which backs up to Dew Street. MDHA may eventually be able to relocate those operations to another site in order to build housing on that corner.
  17. I haven’t received any recent updates about plans for that parcel.
  18. The Gallatin Road SP that would have required buildings be constructed to the sidewalk was thrown out by the court. The Gallatin Road UDO which makes even many base zoning requirements optional was put in place instead. That was during the 2011-2015 term before I was elected, so I’m not certain what all went into that process.
  19. Status Dough has locations in Knoxville in addition to this one in East Nashville. I am not familiar enough with Knoxville to know whether or not those locations are close to chain stores as competition. My guess is that a Dunkin Donuts would be packed, particularly with traffic from in-bound morning commuters, but that the local shops would still be fine. Similar to the Starbucks. To date, I haven’t heard of any local East Nashville coffee shops closing. Donut Distillery has raised its profile with a diversity of offerings and events inside the building and in the parking lot. Five Daughters Bakery and East Park Donuts are located in different mini-submarkets and should be fine. My prediction is also that native East Nashvillians will continue to lament the long-gone Krispy Kreme at Greenwood/Gallatin as though that had been a local independent shop. Nostalgia can be powerful. It is regrettable that the Gallatin Road UDO that replaced the SP strips out all of the urban placement requirements of even the base zoning on Gallatin. The 7-Eleven is built to the sidewalk and includes a greatly widened sidewalk but is in no way pedestrian focused. Despite its placement that building does the opposite of activating the street. The same would have been true of the original plan for the Publix circa 2007. That block of Gallatin from Petway to Granada is in need of some new energy in addition to Hearts. Well, it really needs a 5-story mixed use building lining the block, but assembling enough parcels to do that would be difficult. While it does not advance the desire to make Gallatin more walkable, this project doesn’t necessarily make things worse. Even most of the local restaurants that have popped up on Gallatin still have the pull-in parking lots that were grandfathered in with the existing buildings that were repurposed. I’m sure that NDOT will be taking a close look at this site plan.
  20. When this project was presented to the MDHA Design Review Committee the architect from Powell stated that these would be residential apartments and not STRs. Of course, STRs are permitted in the base zoning and the East Bank Redevelopment District was written so long ago that nobody thought that there would be hotel room demand in East Nashville beyond what a handful of traditional historic bed and breakfasts could offer. But while the base zoning permits STRa and the redevelopment district is silent on them, the architect stated to the DRC that these would be apartments and would share the parking lot with the office building that Powell also designed across McFerrin.
  21. The tax base increase on future mixed-use development was originally conceived to pay Metro’s portion of the cost of a stadium renovation. That redirected tax base, the hotel occupancy tax rate increase, and the $500M state bonds predicated upon a dome are all in addition to what Titans would contribute. The real question then becomes how much of a gap would remain, who would pay for that and how. That information is not yet available.
  22. There was a commercial building on that corner originally that was owned by a notorious slumlord. Then-District 6 Council Member Mike Jameson held countless community meetings with the Lockeland Springs Neighborhood Association to codify the Specific Plan zoning for this site based upon community concerns and feedback. The SP even limited the candle power of any potential signage. That puts the "specific" in Specific Plan zoning. Those meetings all took place over a couple of years and the SP zoning was passed in 2009, I believe. Since that time, several passes have been made at building this project within the SP zoning requirements with final design reviews from the Metro Historic Zoning Commission. This one is the most sensitive to the neighborhood and removed the rooftop deck access from the plans that were approved. I'm pretty happy with it, and Powell's construction team has been a joy to work with. I wish that all construction project management teams were that sympathetic to the neighbors. Most historic commercial buildings on these corners in East Nashville were pretty utilitarian. Mad Donna's and Lipstick had almost no detailing. Even the historic Woodland Studios building is quite utilitarian. Some of the original H.G. Hill grocery store buildings had a little bit of architectural detailing in the brick work or masonry or had tiled faux-roof along the pediment but that's about it. Simple and elegant. I'm with you that I am glad that the painted brick fad hasn't grabbed this one.
  23. This looks great and would be a fantastic upgrade to the Main Street corridor. We need more housing density to fill in some of the vacant parcels to support walkability, transit ridership and nearby businesses.
  24. A local East Nashville team has been working on that acquisition for a while now. Stay tuned.
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