Metro Council members seemed to breathe a collective sigh of relief at Tuesday’s meeting when District 1 Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr. followed through on his promise to defer the zoning change that would have brought May Town Center to rural Bells Bend.
Matthews said he wants to make sure the proposed May Town Center developers follow through on their promise to give a 250-acre gift to Tennessee State University for an agricultural research park. Developers have also promised a $400,000 endowment for the university.
The May Town Center proposal would have turned 520 acres of open space in pastoral Bells Bend into a mixed-use business park, residential, retail development. The zone change proposal was defeated by the Planning Commission last month, meaning it needed 27 Council votes in order to proceed.
Matthews deferred the zone change before opening it up to public hearing. Matthews has not commented directly on whether the crux of the May Town Center proposal will ever advance.
Instead his focus has turned to TSU, his alma mater, and making sure the land gift goes through.
Through a spokesperson, Bells Landing Partners said they “respect Councilman Matthews’ course of action and will work with him.”
10South development advances
A proposed development, which would bring 13,600 feet worth of restaurant, retail and office space to the Tenth Avenue South advanced on second reading.
The proposal, which received nearly equal opposition and support from neighbors, will still be tinkered with before Council votes on third reading, District 17 Councilwoman Sandra Moore said.
Neighbors were concerned because the surrounding properties are all residential and only 31 spaces are allotted for restaurant parking, even though the attached restaurant would seat 60 people.