This story has been updated.
Metro Health Department appears to be near the end of negotiations that would locate a women, infants and children’s clinic on Nolensville Pike in the Tusculum neighborhood — the culmination of a reignited search after plans to move into Hickory Hollow Mall were denied.
Bart Perkey, the department’s director of health services, told The City Paper Thursday that Metro and H.G. Hill Realty Company should have an agreement in place within the next few weeks that would allow a new WIC clinic to operate out of the Hill Center strip mall in south Davidson County. The site is across the street from the Tusculum Hills Baptist Church.
“It’s in the 37211 zip code, which is the zip code with the largest number of WIC participants, so it fits our needs well,” Perkey said. “We desperately need another location, so it makes sense to locate it where the largest number of people are.”
Jimmy Granberry, CEO of H.G. Hill Realty, said a proposal was made to the department but they rejected it, and that negotiations are ongoing.
The health department currently operates three WIC facilities where low-income pregnant and postpartum women, infants and children up to five years old have access to health services, nutrition education and healthy food vouchers.
Previously, Metro eyed space to open a fourth clinic inside struggling Hickory Hollow Mall, but those plans were foiled at the request of District 32 Metro Councilman Sam Coleman, who sided with neighbors who feared the clinic’s arrival would signal the end for the mall.
As with the mall proposal, Metro will need to draft legislation and receive Metro Council approval before the move to the Nolensville Pike location becomes a reality. But this time around, the new WIC location appears to have the support of the area’s representative.
“At this point in time, I can’t see any reasonable impediment to the locating of this facility in this space,” said District 27 Councilman Randy Foster, who sat down with neighbors to discuss the site last week. “I don’t want to stand between people and good nutrition. The only way I would consider [opposing] it is if the site selected was plainly inadequate, problematic in the extreme.”