Nashville to Spend Tens of Millions on Riverfront Redevelopment Projects

Recently named one to the 10 best cities for urban green spaces in America by USA Today, for its existing parks and trails, as well as the city’s commitment to add around 22,000 acres of green space in the city in the next 25 years, as well it’s recommitment to

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Recently named one of the 10 best cities for urban green spaces in America by USA Today, Nashville boasts existing parks and trails as well as the city’s commitment to add around 22,000 acres of green space over the next 25 years. The city is continuing to live up to its reputation.

Nashville Mayor Karl Dean has announced major milestones and future projects in redeveloping and revitalizing as well as adding new green spaces along the Cumberland River. The projects are worth tens of millions of dollars and include developments on both banks of the river.

The west riverfront redevelopment project, which just moved from the planning stage to design, will include the construction of a flood wall along the pedestrian promenade running along First Avenue. This work will be partially funded by $7 million in federal flood aid, recently transferred to the project by the Nashville Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA). An additional $35 million in capital funds are also available for west bank projects, which further include the redevelopment of the former Thermal Transfer Plant, the last remaining open space in downtown Music City, into a 12-acre public park.

The repurposing of the Thermal site will include The Green, a 1.5 acre event lawn flanked by gardens and a dog park that will also accommodate a soccer field. The 3.5-acre Bowl will be the Thermal’s outdoor performance venue component, with a 6,500-person amphitheater boasting seating for 2,500. A mile of new greenways surrounding and crisscrossing the park will also be established, expanding the Rolling Mill Hill Greenway and connecting to Riverfront Park. Once complete, Nashville will boast a two-mile uninterrupted walking and biking greenway connecting downtown and the east bank. Large parts of the west side project could be completed in 2015.

The east riverfront redevelopment project has finished design and a request for construction proposals will soon be issued. Construction will kick off in autumn 2013 and will create a riverboat landing park. Details of the project include a flat upper park facing the LP Field complete with plaza, moveable seating, pedestrian and bike paths, green areas and space for tailgating, events, festivals and temporary athletic fields. The second component will be a lower park sloping toward the river, complete with docking space for large boats, floating docks for small motorized boats as well as a landing mat for canoes and kayaks. Seating and picnic areas, a meadow garden and a plaza are also included in the project. $6 million in FY 2010 capital spending is available for the investment, which is part of the circa $30 million in east bank revitalization funds.

Image courtesy of Mayor Karl Dean’s Facebook page