Metro, Downtown Partnership receive grant for SoBro study

Wednesday, March 28, 2012 at 7:05pm
Staff reports

The Metro Convention Center Authority and the Nashville Downtown Partnership have received a federal grant of nearly $400,000 to develop a strategic master plan for the area south of Broadway and the new Music City Center.

The Economic Development Administration, a division of the U.S. Department of Commerce, awarded the grant to the two organizations, which are currently searching for a consulting firm to help with the process. The study includes the area from Broadway on the north to Interstate 40 on the south, and from First Avenue on the east to 10th Avenue on the west.

The development of the plan will look at how to maximize investments made in the Music City Center campus, including the Omni Nashville Hotel and the extension of Korean Veterans Boulevard from Fourth Avenue to Eighth Avenue. The plan will also study ways to improve the area’s connectivity with the neighboring Gulch and central business districts.

Also, the study will create guidelines for development in the flood prone areas of SoBro, much of which was impacted by the May 2010 flood, as well as examine private development potential in the area.

“Laying out a long-term vision of how the SoBro area grows is important as construction of the Music City Center kick starts economic development in what is fast becoming a dynamic part of our city,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a statement.

“Construction of new hotels, restaurants and retail stores, plus completion of the Korean Veterans Boulevard expansion, will make the area south of Broadway an even more vibrant part of our tourism district and a key connection between downtown and the Gulch area.”

More information can be found at or

12 Comments on this post:

By: govskeptic on 3/29/12 at 4:47

400K of federal spending for this particular cause? Do the Chinese know
they are loaning money for this type of spending? Add that to the list of
items your children and grandchildren will be required to repay with interest!

By: nashwatcher on 3/29/12 at 6:04

connecting the area south of KBV with the gulch is a great idea...with all the work being done around KVB, and the number of parcels south of KVB that are underutilized, there is a great potential for development in this area -- connecting this area with the gulch makes really good sense long term

By: Kosh III on 3/29/12 at 6:21

What a waste of money.

Metro has a Planning Dept. Why don't THEY do it? That's what they're paid for.

I guess some consultant crony needed money and what better way than a welfare check from the government.

By: gm0168 on 3/29/12 at 9:20

Amazing how much $$ this city wastes. Its no wonder people leave Davidson and head for the surrounding counties. Why do we have a Planning Commission if we are just going to hire it out? If that's the case, then get rid of the Commission! Meanwhile, my street still doesn't have sidewalks.......Sumner/Wilson looking better by the day.

By: arctk2011 on 3/29/12 at 9:57

Seems like some people are ignorant as to what a "planning commission" does. The federal grant was given to the Metro Convention Center Authority and the Nashville Downtown Partnership- which will work with a consulting firm to best fit provide for a master plan of the area. If you think planning and oversight are not worth the time and money then imagine the city without these investments. Without a planning commission you could potentially see a jail next to your child's elementary school. Without investments into master plans (which only act as a working documents really) you could expect to see downtown Nashville become nothing but even more of a mess of parking lots and low-rise buildings. Architecture firms are often utilized as consultants on a master plan- something the planning department does not have time nor the resources to do. (There are other projects developing within Nashville other than this project that dictate time and resources as well).

By: Shadow63 on 3/29/12 at 12:17

Downtown Nashville has long needed an upgrade, especially lower Broadway. It looks like a depressed area. We have a riverfront with enormous potential but we're far behind other cities in developement of tourist attracting venues. Unfortunately Dean is hocking my property taxes to benefit his crony capitalist patrons. There has never been, or will ever be a trickle down to the taxpayer. Our property taxes will continue to climb in order to subsidize the free spending politicians and their benefactors.
Also, Consulting firms are a racket.

By: NewYorker1 on 3/29/12 at 12:32

I hope the plan includes a Bergdorf Goodman's, Barney's, Fendi, Versace, Hugo Boss, Armani, and for the home a Clive Christian.

By: PuckDaddy on 3/29/12 at 5:28

There already has been a Master Plan drawn for SoBro, years ago sure, the vision including KVB (then Franklin St. Corridor / Gateway Blvd.) was a part of that.
a new way to access the area from 65 South needs to be considered in this plan. KVB while an interesting concept, limits your egress to East Nashville. and primarily Shelby Street
If you've ever had to travel 65 from 440 / 100 Oaks area and exit onto Demonbreun (Gulch District / MCC / HOF / Omni) you'll notice that you're forced to crossing over several lanes of traffic and quickly merge onto the exit lane. it' dangerous. Everyone exiting onto Broadway congest' the area , and as of now, 5th Avenue is one-way the opposite direction of the MCC /SoBro area.

I suggest a new exit lane on I-65 after Melrose, at the Science Museum/ Ft. Negley bluff, either over or under the interstate and becoming 5th Ave.

KVB, while a much needed artery, doesn't currently link much. there needs to be a true Southern inlet. that will allow a more uniform expanse having a major 5th Avenue artery

Master Plan

By: brian21285 on 3/29/12 at 7:37

govskeptic, give it a freakin' break. You're right, let's just forget about planning and bringing new business, residents, visitors, and tax money to the area. I think the whole city should just stop all planning completely and just let anybody build anything wherever they want. Does that make it better for you?

By: nvestnbna on 3/30/12 at 12:48

Puckdaddy, your post doesn't make sense to me. We have exactly what you are talking about with the 4th Ave exit. Rt to the Cemetery, turn Rt and another onto 6th(or left to Adventure Science) and you drive straight through the convention(MCC) center to Broadway. I drive that almost every day and by far the easiest way into that area.

My question is, the MCC folks are the ones that positioned the convention center to turn it's back on SoBro(KVB), they put an NES substation on KVB(brilliant), speaking of brilliant, putting the Bus station two blocks away from the mission is right up there as well. The Tennessean and others are referring to KVB as the 'service' road to the convention center(albeit one with a $40 million budget). When the Civic Design Center evaluated convention center sites, they listed this site a strong with two requirements, that the street grid remain and the building big 'ringed' with active uses. My goodness they couldn't and didn't even put convention center public circulation on KVB!, .... and now these folks are going to head up the 'visioning' process for SoBro, They've demonstrated their lack of vision for SoBro and qualifications unequivocally.

By: Ask01 on 4/1/12 at 11:06

I cannot help but wonder how soon a campaign will be instituted to remove the Nashville Rescue Mission and facilities targetting the homeless and those with substance abuse problems. I'm sure Mayor Dean has nightmares of vagrants, the homeless, and other undesirables soiling the image of their expensive new compensating for something showplace. Imagine the image of the homeless and unemployed wandering around the public property of the supposedly publicly owned MCC. The stuff of nightmares I'm sure.

Given my total lack of respect for Mayor Dean and his Metro Council Gang, I would not be surprised to see them target the new Greyhound Terminal as I'm almost certain they will express some disdain for the clientel frequenting this establishment.

This is what I envision when Mayor Dean, Metro Council, and their business community handlers begin talking "studies" and "redevelopment."

By: localboy on 4/5/12 at 9:08

All this energy expended for south of Broadway...when is the City Paper ever going to focus on NoBro?? Or LoBro? Or FroBro? ;)