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Do local officials have too much control over developers?

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This could provide a great discussion if politics in general about the role of government does not come into play. SPECIFICALLY speaking, does MDHA, the Metro Council, BZA, and others have too much control over developers?

 

Granted we don't need the approach of Houston, Texas in the 1970's and 1980's which was development at all costs anywhere at any time, however; we do need to loosen the rope a bit more to spurn development so more developers would be willing to take the risk rather than do nothing in fear of miles and miles of red tape.

 

Since Alex Palmer, John Eakin, Tony Giarratana, and Ray Hensler have taken the risk in the past few years, who is next? How much will the choke hold of local government keep anyone else from stepping up?

 

Discussion? Opinion?

 

John

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I would move this topic to the Coffee House.

 

I will say that in East Nashville, the MDHA Five Points Redevelopment District will expire in the next few years and there is discussion about not renewing it for precisely this reason.  It is hard to say that Five Points is a blighted area anymore.  Plus a lot of that area is covered by the East End/Lockeland Springs Conservation Overlay, so Historic Zoning will review and provide opportunities for public input on any renovations or development there anyway (from 10th Street east).

 

The East Bank Redevelopment District covers more of Main Street et al up to Five Points, and I am not sure of the status of that one.  Most discussion that I have heard about "government limiting growth" on Main Street focuses on the Gallatin Road Specific Plan more than on the East Bank Redevelopment District per se.  But then again, the Gallatin Road SP was precisely the legislative requirement that permitted Fat Bottom Brewery to locate on Main Street, to help that middle section of the street around 9th/Main.

 

If the demand is sufficient, developers will jump through any hoops to put their buildings and businesses in the redevelopment districts.  Metro could maybe streamline that better.  But I think that MDHA is doing a pretty phenomenal job in redeveloping Rolling Mill Hill, for example, so at least in some cases they are leading, not hindering, development.

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I think there are some tweaks that could be made. Maybe find ways to eliminate unnecessary red tape. But at the same time, part of the reason why there is so much to go through is to give the public time to voice their concerns. It's not always a NIMBY crowd...but at times there are things the city/planning commission don't understand because they don't live in the area.

 

I like the fact that as a city, we have a general vision of what we want. It's obviously not going to turn out exactly like a NCDC rendering, but it lets us have a little more purpose as we grow and shape our city. I'm sure some restrictions could be eased or lifted, and that might open things up a little bit. But it's not like we're seeing a dearth of proposals and renderings or projects underway. I think we're actually moving rather well for a city of our growth rate. While I would like to see a few more office towers go up, a lot of the reason they haven't is due to cost and demand.

 

I think loosening control/restrictions greatly will have minimal benefit, and at the risk of putting up with more developments that we do not want.

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What red tape/rope precisely? Are there specific regulations that make it difficult to develop in Nashville?

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What red tape/rope precisely? Are there specific regulations that make it difficult to develop in Nashville?

 

I would imagine no moreso than a lot of cities our size. In fact, in the past it seemed that a lot of developments were rubber stamped by our planning commission. 

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I think this topic is ok for now.  Just keep it civil and reasonable like you guys have done so far!

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I won't go into details here, but personally, I don't think they have enough control over developers.

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This could provide a great discussion if politics in general about the role of government does not come into play. SPECIFICALLY speaking, does MDHA, the Metro Council, BZA, and others have too much control over developers?

 

Granted we don't need the approach of Houston, Texas in the 1970's and 1980's which was development at all costs anywhere at any time, however; we do need to loosen the rope a bit more to spurn development so more developers would be willing to take the risk rather than do nothing in fear of miles and miles of red tape.

 

Since Alex Palmer, John Eakin, Tony Giarratana, and Ray Hensler have taken the risk in the past few years, who is next? How much will the choke hold of local government keep anyone else from stepping up?

 

Discussion? Opinion?

 

John

Since everyone of those developers you mentioned have received pretty healthy government assistance with their projects I am not sure how you would debate or separate the two.

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This could provide a great discussion if politics in general about the role of government does not come into play. SPECIFICALLY speaking, does MDHA, the Metro Council, BZA, and others have too much control over developers?

 

Granted we don't need the approach of Houston, Texas in the 1970's and 1980's which was development at all costs anywhere at any time, however; we do need to loosen the rope a bit more to spurn development so more developers would be willing to take the risk rather than do nothing in fear of miles and miles of red tape.

 

Since Alex Palmer, John Eakin, Tony Giarratana, and Ray Hensler have taken the risk in the past few years, who is next? How much will the choke hold of local government keep anyone else from stepping up?

 

Discussion? Opinion?

 

John

Hmm, not sure what the deal is, but it could be that Nashville is rather "new" to the "market" and people just haven't jumped on the bandwaggon yet.  Hypothetical scenario and pure spec on my part, but I have the feeling that if/once "a big name" or whatever takes a chance on Nashville then we could see a boom of followers.  Or it could just take a nice solid tower, which becomes the "signature" of Nashville, for others to follow.  This tower will have to be nice looking and the new tallest for Nash.  A Siggy type design/building/height (first height of ~700).

 

Thankfully we have a few people in town taking chances and working with Metro.  Those you've mentioned.

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One area I would be specific on is the residential restrictions in some parts of the core. I don't know if those had been lifted yet, but at one time residential projects were all but banned in the CBD. The original plan for the Music City Central was to have 11 stories of residential on top, but it is my understanding Metro did not approve the zoning change.

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One area I would be specific on is the residential restrictions in some parts of the core. I don't know if those had been lifted yet, but at one time residential projects were all but banned in the CBD. The original plan for the Music City Central was to have 11 stories of residential on top, but it is my understanding Metro did not approve the zoning change.

Didn't realize that.  I thought they just canned the residential due to the "risk."

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Didn't realize that.  I thought they just canned the residential due to the "risk."

Residential units were prohibited in the central core for some time, but that restriction was removed.  My understanding is that there remains a restriction only in the blocks immediately surrounding the state capitol building, which is the reason the apartments above the Music City Central were not developed.

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Residential units were prohibited in the central core for some time, but that restriction was removed.  My understanding is that there remains a restriction only in the blocks immediately surrounding the state capitol building, which is the reason the apartments above the Music City Central were not developed.

Yet there are a couple of (ugly) apartment buildings right at the base of Capitol Hill literally a block from Music City Central.

I think there has to be something more to it.

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I think the ugly apartment buildings at the base of capitol hill may be the REASON for the restriction!

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Since everyone of those developers you mentioned have received pretty healthy government assistance with their projects I am not sure how you would debate or separate the two.

As in TIF?

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I think the ugly apartment buildings at the base of capitol hill may be the REASON for the restriction!

 

I'm sure I'm in the minority but I think the Capital Towers building is a 60s classic.  I'm not being ironic, I find it beautiful.  That brick apt building next door is super bland.

 

As to the general question raised in the thread, I'm not under the impression developers are having a problem getting things built in Nashville, stuff keeps popping up all over, and developers being what they are I favor holding the line on the UDOs and whatnot.  Big box retail has become so suburban and car-oriented in their focus it's hard to see how they fit into the urban landscape now, so we might be losing the occasional big box behind a sea of asphalt on Gallatin Pike, but I'm fine with that.

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I think the ugly apartment buildings at the base of capitol hill may be the REASON for the restriction!

 

Hey, I used to live in one of those! Not my favorite residence... though being able to walk around town was great.

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Hey, I used to live in one of those! Not my favorite residence... though being able to walk around town was great.

 

Oh....that explains a lot.....

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