The Metro Development and Housing Agency has moved on from the debate over the Music City Center and will be taking up another signature project at a meeting of its board today.
Scheduled to be discussed and voted on for approval is the Riverfront Development Agreement, a project that if approved would bring a much discussed water park to the shores of the Cumberland River.
The agreement is the first step toward implementing the Riverfront Master Plan, approved in 2006-07, and calls for the development of the Cumberland River in stages.
Ed Owens, waterfront development director for MDHA, told The City Paper that the master plan would establish 19 park and open-space corridors along the downtown portion of the riverfront. In the sumer of 2009, Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Council allocated $30 million in capital spending to start a five-year development of some of those.
"We have started final design of the first project," Owens said. "[It is] called the 'Adventure Play Park,' to be located on the East Bank between the Shelby Street pedestrian bridge and the Korean War Veterans bridge." Part of that land is a parking area, which the Sports Authority owns and leases to the Tennessee Titans. That would be relinquished under the plan.
Owens said today's vote is simply "formalizing the understanding between the Sports Authority, the Tennessee Titans, and MDHA on behalf of the city."
Asked about construction schedules, Owens said that MDHA hopes to begin building the park by late summer and be finished by the summer of 2011.
Also already on board with the project is Hargreaves Associates. In 2006, the Cambridge, Mass.-based firm helped the city design its Nashville Riverfront Concept Plan. It is perhaps best known in the state for redesigning Chattanooga's riverfront. Other notable projects the firm is handling include Knoxville's South Waterfront Development, Bayfront Park in San Francisco, Louisville's Waterfront Park, and Cincinnati's Riverfront Park.