May Town Center proposal to be deferred indefinitely

Tuesday, June 30, 2009 at 2:55pm

District 1 Metro Councilman Lonnell Matthews Jr. plans to defer the May Town Center proposal indefinitely at the July 7 Metro Council meeting, so that details of the developers’ land transfer arrangement to Tennessee State University can be finalized.

Matthews confirmed his decision to The City Paper on Tuesday and sent a letter to Vice Mayor Diane Neighbors and his fellow Council members explaining the deferral.

“I do have a concern with the TSU land transfer. I want to know where they are in that process,” Matthews said.

May Town Center developers agreed to transfer 250 acres of land in rural Bells Bend to Tennessee State University for an agricultural research park. The developers also promised a $400,000 endowment for the school.

The research facility was proposed to be a part of a massive 520-acre, mixed-use corporate headquarters, residential and retail development for rural Bells Bend. That proposal took a hit last week, when the Metro Planning Commission voted to disapprove the necessary proposed zone change.

That left May Town Center needing 27 votes on Council, which even Matthews admitted would be difficult to attain.

Matthews said he decided to defer the proposed zone change, instead of withdrawing, so that he can track the land transfer arrangement, which he said would take at least three months.

As for the May Town Center’s chances of becoming a reality, Matthews, who became a supporter of the proposal last month, sounded skeptical.

“I don’t see what changes the developers could make to make it more appealing to those who oppose it,” Matthews said.

District 23 Councilwoman Emily Evans, who opposed the development, said Council should still do its part to ensure TSU and the proposed May Town developers can complete the land transfer.

9 Comments on this post:

By: shinestx on 6/30/09 at 1:40

Duh... Ms. Evans... TSU gets nothing if there is no May Town. Geez, these politicians are so stupid!

By: BigPapa on 6/30/09 at 2:48

I like how anytime someone wants a big project they drag TSU into the picture. "Look at us we're SOOOOOO community minded that we even care about that black school over there! See how great we are???"

It's like they think if they tie some TSU project to themselves that they can guilt everyone into voting for it because they're scared of looking like they racists.

Kinda like the ol' "It's for the chhhiiiilllllldddrrrreeeeennnn." screed. it gets old.

By: shinestx on 6/30/09 at 8:52

When has someone "dragged" TSU into the picture before? This was the first time I am aware that there was an offer tied to developers of a project such as this one.

By: Kosh III on 7/1/09 at 6:01

shinestx,
I agree. most of the time TSU gets ignored in favor of Vandy, as if Vandy needed money or more resources.

I certainly hope the Mays will honor their committment to do this regardless of MTC. But I am not holding my breath.

Hopefully, this is the end of the bad idea known as May Town Center

By: dman on 7/1/09 at 7:23

Bad idea? When someone comes to my town and wants to spend billions it should be 'red carpet, not red tape.' I hear developers try one project in Nashville then go to Williamson and vow to never come back. Unemployment in Tennessee is over 10% and that is before you factor in the what's happening in Spring Hill. This anti-business council is destroying Nashville. Do you think the Titan's stadium would have happened under this council? No way. What have they killed: the downtown Westin, the downtown ball park, May Town, and soon the convention center. Mike Jamison doesn't need to be scared of May Town hurting downtown, he and these other boobs are doing it themselves. Nashville is going to look like Detroit pretty soon. Protecting neighborhoods is great, but without jobs we the people are in real trouble.

By: Kosh III on 7/1/09 at 7:45

If the downtown Sounds ball park, Predators and the Titans were such a great idea, why are millions in taxpayer welfare checks required annually? So much for free enterprise.
MTC was not a bad idea, just a bad location. West Meade is thinly populated. There are hardly any homes on Chickering Rd. Let Mays buy those locations and build there. It is much more accessible than Bells Bend and requires no bridge, no infrastructure, no archaeological survey and rescue.
Or buy the golf course on Pennington Bend. Don't we have enough golf courses already. And it's also freeway-close.

By: girliegirl on 7/1/09 at 8:32

Wow Kosh, good idea! Dang! And you're spot on... the infrastructure is already there!!! Woohoo!

By: Equanimity on 7/1/09 at 11:21

Responding to " girliegirl on 7/1/09 at 9:32
Wow Kosh, good idea! Dang! And you're spot on... the infrastructure is already there!!! Woohoo!"

Infrastructure? What infrastructure? It's a golf course because it's in flood plain. The infrastructure consists of one bridge over the Cumberland connectable only by tapping into McGavock Pike, a good quarter mile to Briley Pky.

Did you actually say "Woohoo!"?

Kosh - I'm sure your tongue was buried firmly in cheek when you suggested that Chickering Road had hardly any homes and West Meade was thinly populated. Don't wanna hit the power brokers where they live and play golf.

By: shinestx on 7/1/09 at 12:04

Frankly, I would love to see the Mays take their $4 billion project to an adjacent county, right outside the Davidson County line. My vote would be for Wilson, but Sumner has plenty of available land right off the Hendersonville bypass and adjacent to Gallatin Rd./Main Street. Furthermore, if the Mays wanted to make more money beyond their office development, they could build a toll-bridge across the Cumberland and span their project into Wilson County too. It would be an instant success and an instant Cool Springs type project.