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May Town Center


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From the City Paper

http://www.nashvillecitypaper.com/news.php?viewStory=62085

IF I am going to be for this, I would want the May's to pay for the bridge and all intrastructure concerns. Also, since this is a clean slate how about going beyond LEED - rainwater collection, solar power use, perhaps wind tubines.

This could, almost, be a selfsustainable build

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In the words of DMX: Here we go again. Controversial May Town Project Revived Developer Makes Project Smaller edit: I just say put this thing in one of our dilapidated malls (HH, Ri

I thought this was pretty funny, lol..

Commissioner Victor Tyler said the idea reminded him of a scene involving Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz.

"She's going through the field and, all of a sudden, up pops the Emerald City," he said.

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  • 3 months later...

I think the fact that we are now in a recession has stopped many projects including this one for a while. Thats my guess anyway. This next year will see a lot of commercial property being foreclosed on if things dont get any better. There is about 20 billion in commercial loans due at risk.

Who knows what impact the stock market made on the funds that were being used for development of this project too. The stock market has fallen around 50% since this was announced.

My guess is this will appear back on the radar in 3 to 5 years if it is able to at all.

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Tony Giarrantana and Co. are in the process of answering Metro Council's questions about MTC (I believe about bridge financing and traffic impact).

Tony has stated that it will be another several months before he will be before council; therefore, 2nd or maybe 3rd quarter next year.

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I never thought they had a chance to ride the passing economic upturn, and I don't believe the developers did either. They needed several years to even get a bridge started, and have been upfront about that. This scheme was always a long-term, multi-business-cycle, alternative business location. Geeting up to speed to ride the next upswing is now their challenge.

This recession has a couple of things working for the development. First, the bridge may be constructed by government money, at least in part, if the economy slips to the point that we start putting public money into infrastructure as a means to stimulate the economy.

Also and unfortunately, if old depression-era images are any indication of what may come, our downtown won't be as nice a place after five years of hard times that bring abandoned real estate, increased crime and vagrancy, on top of reduced city services. Suburban multi-use developments would benefit from the ensuing negative image long after downtown rights itelf.

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As with Signature Tower, May Town center is an ego development for Tony Giaratanna. It is a development based on luxury, wants, desires, lifestyle, and excess rather than a project based on needs, function, productivity, problem solving, green development, viability and purpose.

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As with Signature Tower, May Town center is an ego development for Tony Giaratanna. It is a development based on luxury, wants, desires, lifestyle, and excess rather than a project based on needs, function, productivity, problem solving, green development, viability and purpose.

i think we can all agree that tony does have a large ego. good or bad is up to everyone's opinion. i'm not sure if i would include the may town center as not being based on needs, function, productivity, problem solving (what development doesn't create problem though?), green development, viability (of course the bridge is the key here) and purpose. there are definitely aspects of each of these in the plans. is some of the largeness of the project based on tony's ego? probably, but what developer doesn't want to create something big that everyone loves and uses? we will ultimately just have to wait and see what becomes of this project. me personally, i hope it gets done.

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  • 2 months later...

Bill to preserve Bells Bend could derail May Town Center plans

I wonder, what are the chances of it passing?

I have to wonder what the chances are that Giarratana could actually get MTC built in this day and age. Davidson county does need some sort of area for campus style offices but wernt the projected costs like in the $700 billion ballpark range? Let's be realistic here. Maybe scale it back a bit. Construction costs have come down I believe so that would help. Maybe just re-zoning the area to commercial use and letting relocating companies help with construction costs?

Does Giarratana really need to build a $5-700,000,000,000 second downtown?

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I have to wonder what the chances are that Giarratana could actually get MTC built in this day and age. Davidson county does need some sort of area for campus style offices but wernt the projected costs like in the $700 billion ballpark range? Let's be realistic here. Maybe scale it back a bit. Construction costs have come down I believe so that would help. Maybe just re-zoning the area to commercial use and letting relocating companies help with construction costs?

Does Giarratana really need to build a $5-700,000,000,000 second downtown?

I think you may have miss typed your numbers. I read that MTC is proposing that after maybe 25 years of development there could be 2 or 3 billion dollars of mix use development. I also thought Giarratana said that most of the SF is for Corporate campuses. I don't think downtown Nashville has ever gotten any 50 acre corporate campuses. I do know that Cool Springs has gotten about a dozen or more corporate campuses in the last 15 years.

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I think you may have miss typed your numbers. I read that MTC is proposing that after maybe 25 years of development there could be 2 or 3 billion dollars of mix use development. I also thought Giarratana said that most of the SF is for Corporate campuses. I don't think downtown Nashville has ever gotten any 50 acre corporate campuses. I do know that Cool Springs has gotten about a dozen or more corporate campuses in the last 15 years.

Whoops! I meant to say 7billion, not 700B. Multitasking (which I was doing at the time) doesn't agree with me too well lol. I don't know where I got 700B from. Thanks for clairifying though.

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  • 2 months later...

I just watched Tony getting interviewed by Nick Berris on Morning Line about this, and fielding questions from the public (mostly negative), and am fairly surprised at how... ignorant some of these people are. I don't know when this interview occurred, but people are having issues getting it through their heads that no tax dollars will go to the development of May Town or the bridge that will connect it. I really don't understand what's so hard to understand. I had to vent that off.

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VERY meaty, jice!

Looks like MTC will need a second bridge for complete build-out, but not one as wide as the first. They need bicycle access to reduce auto traffic, and that can only come from the West Meade side of the river.

edit: They are very concerned about the fact that if the one bridge is closed, all traffic will have to go up OHB. Also, they note that certain planned improvements to Briley Parkway need to be completed as scheduled by TDOT.

Interestingly, traffic is not restricted so much by the size of the bridge as much as the arrival/decelleration in May Town. At some point incoming traffic has to come to a stop at traffic signals.

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  • 5 weeks later...

Well, I think I have finally come to a stance on the project. I am for the May Town Center development, but I am against its location. I have been on the fence fore this for awhile, but I now have an opinion. I believe Davidson Co. does need a development like this to compete with neighboring counties, but I also believe it can go in another location. I also believe it will not necessarily compete with downtown, as DT is a different type of development area and location draw. I propose that MTC look at locations such as Bellevue Mall, Hickory Hollow Mall, or Donelson area. The two malls and area are in desperate need of rejuvenation and Donelson is a strong candidate for this type of development. What does everyone think?

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I propose that MTC look at locations such as Bellevue Mall, Hickory Hollow Mall, or Donelson area. The two malls and area are in desparate need of rejuevenation and Donelson is a strong canadite for this type of development. What does everyone think?

1. How far are you willing the county to go in condemnation to assemble enough property for a critical mass that would sustain mixed-use development(s)? Remember the Joy Ford saga? And, what of condemnation for strictly private speculation?

I'd be interested to review an inventory of underperforming urban space, specific in size and location, to see if what is proposed for MTC can fit elsewhere in smaller pieces. I think much space around Nashville State on White Bridge Road is wasted, for example.

2. What about infrastructure improvement at other proposed MTC sites? That's proving to be a snag for the current site. People have mentioned the fairgrounds as an alternative location, but what if comparable infrastructure improvements had to be made on I-65, Wedgewood and 8th Avenue; from adding ramps to widening roads? There would certainly be no less protest from neighbors in that area than from neighbors around MTC.

I think whatever problems development is facing in Bells Bend will be multiplied if proposed for established urban and suburban sites, even if at a much smaller scale. I don't think you could put a May Town concept on the Bellevue Mall site, for instance, because it's just too small. You'd need surrounding property to be condemned and may still need I-40 widened in that area.

If planning caves to negative public sentiment we can say goodby to large-scale densification developments in the 'burbs, because what can be stopped from being built in a pasture would certainly be stopped from being built on the edge of Green Hills or in Donelson. There's a development in Green Hills being debated right now; of course, neighbors are complaining about increased traffic, etc, but if we want growth to occur closer to the CBD than Spring Hill, Green Hills is as good as any place to put it.

The only thing keeping those mall areas you mention from being redeveloped is the fact that since bussing began the majority of folks earning the money to keep that much middle-to-high-end retail afloat have been moving and settling outside of Nashville. Just ask Emily Evans, who so famously opined that the May Town Demographic is a better fit for Williamson County than for Davidson. What was the median income in Williamson 40 years ago? 8k/yr? Unfortunately, no one in Metro government has set a goal to reverse the Evans trend, despite the re-implementation of neighborhood schools.

Lastly, I'd hate to see the project moved to a site approved by the city if that means, in return, the city agrees to pay for the infrastructure improvements, and swaps land that might cost $100,000,000 to acquire with Bells Bend land that cost only $23,000,000. The MTC developer has made too many million$ in concessions to just throw that site out, only to spend million$ of tax dollars to entice private investment elsewhere. And the reason the Mays have offered up those concessions is because developing that empty piece of land, as opposed to redeveloping developed land, will provide the most profit. I think locating a May Town, in one or several pieces, as redevelopments will take a lot of government investment/bribery to make such a venture attractive to private money.

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How about.. the city approves of Maytown.. and in return.. the Mays fund a state-of-the-art transit system connecting Maytown with downtown, including circulators for each, and stops at all major neighborhoods in between.

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Metro Planning recommends May Town center approval.. with conditions.

The Metro Planning Department just posted a 48-page recommendation that the planning commission approve the controversial, $4 billion May Town Center development proposal for the Bells Bend area, with extensive conditions.

48 page recommendation: http://www.nashville.gov/mpc/pdfs/meetings/2009/090625sr.pdf

blog link

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It has been some time since I have posted on Urban Planet, but I am glad to reconnect, at least for the next several weeks while debate concerning May Town Center continues. I am a member of the MTC design and development team, and I am obviously a major supporter of the proposal. On its most basic level, the arguments concern Nashville's ability to compete for 90% of the office market, the implementation of mutually-supportive land preservation strategies and compact development patterns, sustainable practice on a large scale (not just individual buildings), and the creation of jobs to grow Nashville's economy and support the desirabilty of living, working, and playing here, especially Downtown.

I hope that this debate can take place in the most informed way possible, so I am glad to be an informational resource over the next few weeks. Facts clearly lead to better discussion than misinformation. I know that some participate in these forums who are not as excited about May Town Center as I am, for whom the proposal frustrates well-intentioned ideals, but I hope to provide insight that convinces at least a few that this is good for Nashville and supportive of long-term strategies to urbanize and green our city.

(I have added this same post on Nashville Charrette for those of you who peruse both.)

Thanks,

David Koellein

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Interesting blog about MTC from the Scene:

http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2009/...rming_notes.php

The author claims there will be 3 bridges now.. not 1 or 2. But in the comments it is stated that a bridge has already been in the works for the west side for a while now??

And we read (p. 13) that "The larger issue, however, is that Metro Nashville/Davidson County does not have a history of assembling land and preparing it, with master plans, for redevelopment. Rather the County has historically awaited proposals by individual property owners..." So because this county has not planned in the past, it will eagerly grasp this opportunity to not plan again?
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Interesting blog about MTC from the Scene:

http://blogs.nashvillescene.com/pitw/2009/...rming_notes.php

The author claims there will be 3 bridges now.. not 1 or 2. But in the comments it is stated that a bridge has already been in the works for the west side for a while now??

The report notes that while the bridge proposed to connect to Centennial Boulevard meets the traffic capacity requirements of the project, a second bridge that carries pedestrian, bicycle and transit traffic (not cars) is also desirable.

The "third bridge" mentioned in the report is one that has been on the MPO's list of future projects for a very long time, and its conception is completely unrelated to May Town Center. It would connect Old Hickory Boulevard in Bells Bend to I-40. The Planning report notes that in the future its construction, if warranted, would improve connectivity to the area generally.

These points of access are the subjects of continued discussion to determine what is warranted and when, but, to be clear, the report does NOT require three bridges to develop May Town Center.

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