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The Gulch Projects

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Always thought The Jade Hotel in The West Village of NYC would work extremely well for this site. 16 stories, but 12 stories could work here as well. 

 

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/10/10/realestate/commercial/a-hotel-building-boom-in-new-york.html

 

The entrance finalized...

http://www.thestar.com/life/travel/2013/05/09/travel_deals_live_the_life_of_the_great_gatsby_with_a_new_york_city_hotel_discount.html

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Well I may be in the minority but I really like this bridge and this is a big disappointment.  I think it's really important to create pedestrian links throughout the core to places that are not well connected.  Of course if the council actually thinks sidewalks are a good idea generally, this does represent a great advance in their thinking, we'll see if that's so.  

 

Personally I doubt they care, their constituents are just complaining that too much money is being spent downtown.  While spending in neighborhoods can improve the lifestyles there, spending downtown is an investment that brings people and their money to the city, creates huge increases in the tax base, and will pay off in the future with more money that can be used for other things.  I'm concerned about pedestrian safety, but people also need to understand the difference between spending for consumption versus investment.

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Well, there are several stretches of roads that either need sidewalks or improved ones, particularly in south Nashville. The pedestrian bridge will happen eventually, but I don't see it as a massive priority this year at least.

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Well I may be in the minority but I really like this bridge and this is a big disappointment.  I think it's really important to create pedestrian links throughout the core to places that are not well connected.  Of course if the council actually thinks sidewalks are a good idea generally, this does represent a great advance in their thinking, we'll see if that's so.  

 

Personally I doubt they care, their constituents are just complaining that too much money is being spent downtown.  While spending in neighborhoods can improve the lifestyles there, spending downtown is an investment that brings people and their money to the city, creates huge increases in the tax base, and will pay off in the future with more money that can be used for other things.  I'm concerned about pedestrian safety, but people also need to understand the difference between spending for consumption versus investment.

The whole problem with this pedestrian bridge is that it was taken out of the county-wide sidewalk fund.  In fact, pretty much it was the countywide sidewalk fund.  If this particular pedestrian bridge were listed as a separate line item in the capital expenditures budget that was debated and approved by the council last June - like the $55Million for the Sounds Ballpark was - that would have been one thing.  But when district Council Members heard about this bridge from their constituents who asked how it was being paid for, they went back to Rich Riebling, who said "it has already been budgeted."  How so?  It was the sidewalk fund line item.  And yet Rich Riebling is still telling Metro Council Members and department heads to be prepared for more budget cuts in June.  That's why people went crazy about this one.  Very bad political move. 

 

Maybe Tuesday, February 4th was Day 1 of Dean's Lame Duck term. 

 

The next mayor is going to have to deal with the fact that Mayor Dean is bankrupting this city with cool but unnecessary projects that do little to improve the quality of life of the folks who live here and pay property taxes year round, not just that one weekend when they came to town to drink at the honky tonks.

 

"Investment" downtown to bring in tourist money is OK as long as you can keep the lights on in the rest of the county.  But let's face it, the overwhelming majority of new residents - and hence private investment - is occurring in the urban core neighborhoods.  Downtown and even Germantown are a drop in the bucket.  The average Council District has about 17,000 people, and there are 35 of those, versus how many people in the Gulch?  What is the population of the new Roundabout?  Almost zero.  Sidewalk money needs to go where the people are.  That is what it is for.  We have already spent more than enough money on the Convention Center and other projects that are geared toward our tourism industry.

Edited by bwithers1
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Yeah, it was stupid of them to take it out of the sidewalk fund, and if all we have for sidewalks is $15,000,000 as backward as we are on sidewalks, we need to find some way to fund a multi-year sidewalk project.  

 

Does anyone have any idea how much sidewalks generally run?  A lot of places will need some major engineering to install them. I would hope they would give some thought to the design as well, there is all the difference in the world between a sidewalk that forces you to walk inches away from moving vehicles (like most in Nashville), and one with even an 18" grass buffer.  Women and timid persons are reluctant to use the former, and rightly so, especially along bus routes.  I've been stunned to see sidewalks directly on the street when there is plenty of room for a buffer.  Some concrete planters in particularly dangerous areas (set so as to block careless drivers, not pedestrians) would be a good idea as well.

 

Meanwhile DT developers need to be thinking about public/private infrastructure funding.  For example, eventually capping the canyonized portion of 40 through downtown is definitely something developers should think about promoting, and they should bring some money to the table.

 

BTW I have to take exception to the phrase "bankrupting the city", we're pretty far from junk bond status IMO.  And those drunks and high-end dining tourists downtown are paying taxes, and plenty of them.  Whatever lures people to visit and pay hospitality taxes etc. is fine by me.

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I welcome them and their tax money, but hasn't most, if not all, of the tax revenue is already allocated to MCC debt service.

 

BTW I have to take exception to the phrase "bankrupting the city", we're pretty far from junk bond status IMO.  And those drunks and high-end dining tourists downtown are paying taxes, and plenty of them.  Whatever lures people to visit and pay hospitality taxes etc. is fine by me.

Edited by Guest

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I agree with a lot of bwithers' points.

 

I'll start off by saying that I don't think Dean is a bad mayor, but I have been highly critical of many of his recent moves. He is proposing a large number of expensive legacy projects -- projects which, by themselves, are probably good for this city. That would be great if we had an unlimited amount of money to spend, because it would mean we could get those projects done as well as badly needed neighborhood projects.

 

When you add up the collection of large public projects (the Amp, the ballpark, the ampitheater, the Gulch pedestrian bridge, and the Division St extension -- as well as some I may be leaving out), you wonder where his head is at. Almost every one of these big projects are within a mile of downtown. Now I love our downtown, and I want to see it continue to improve for years to come, but I fear that this 'downtown-centric' building spree will lead to a backlash as some neighborhoods seem to get completely ignored (I do want to acknowledge that there are or have been government projects initiated in other areas -- Antioch, Madison, 12th South, namely, under Dean -- but the high profile projects are by and large inside the downtown loop).

 

Downtown doesn't need a lot of help. The economy is on fire, at least in terms of real estate. It will develop on its own. I don't think it is necessary to continue to try to foster new development. Out-of-town publications have been writing us up left and right for years now...with the MCC complete, I don't personally think we need to worry too much about the future of tourism. The hotels will come. I am not opposed to using a little bit of TIF money here and there, but for the most part, I think the market can and should take care of that.

 

I think the ballpark is not a great deal for the city, aside from purely aesthetic purposes, by speeding up the process of developing the parking lots/brownfields between downtown and Germantown.

 

I really like the Gulch pedestrian bridge, but it is a luxury item, not a necessity. It will not make or break that area.

 

I do not like the ampitheater project. I think the design is abysmal, and I still have reservations about whether or not that is the best use of the space.

 

The real loser here is the Amp, or mass/rapid transit in any form. With so many distracting projects, it's difficult to both amass the funding and the support/attention required to get this done. And while the Amp does benefit downtown, it is a multi-neighborhood project...one that could potentially benefit a lot of people (if done correctly). I don't even know if the Amp could get underway during the Dean administration, but I worry that rather than having a template, we're going to end up with the kind of mess that will require the next mayor (or the one after) to hit the reset button.

 

I think in the coming years, we need to see a de-centralization of government pet projects. More focus on neighborhood infrastructure -- sidewalks, bike lanes, safer arterial roads, neighborhood schools (we have quite a few little jewels from days past that I think should be renovated and used as SCHOOLS again). There are stormwater issues that need to be addressed in the wake of the flood, and there needs to be more attention paid to neighborhood zoning, rather than just 'densify everything!'

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One thing to keep in mind is that most of the outlying neighborhoods in Nashville don't generate enough property & sales taxes to cover the cost of providing government services to them. Commercial development, especially high density development, pays the bills.

 

That being said, the neighborhoods certainly shouldn't be ignored. But understand that downtown investments which encourage further commercial and high density residential development pay for themselves (and more). Investments in neighborhoods largely, do not.

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