Jeff Syracuse Metro Council District 15
Great News – The Donelson Plaza Returns to Local Ownership!
There are a few consistent desires of neighbors across our community that I hear quite often. Folks would like to ride the Music City Star at more convenient and additional times and they’d like to see more retail and restaurant options in the area. Our Downtown Donelson Urban Design Overlay is a long term plan that fundamentally addresses these issues and provides the vision for sustainable growth and revitalizing the heart of Donelson into a mixed-use, pedestrian-friendly, transit-oriented town center.
That vision took an exciting and major step towards being realized with the purchase of Donelson Plaza by Holladay Properties. Holladay has been in Nashville since 1986 and I am very impressed with their leadership team and understanding of Nashville’s future and how Donelson plays a major role in that. I first met Jeff Ottman, CFO, through Leadership Donelson-Hermitage a couple years ago and also met Allen Arrender, Vice President of Development. Jeff, Allen and their talented team are invested in Nashville and share the vision of our Urban Design Overlay. This major investment can be the catalyst we need to begin this much needed revitalization and I am truly thankful for Holladay Properties and the opportunities before us. Read about this story in the Nashville Post and Nashville Business Journal. Stay tuned for more details in the months ahead…
“Music City Star 10th Anniversary”: As an excellent segue into the next story for this edition of my newsletter is the 10th Anniversary of the Music City Star. The Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market is part of this celebration. See flyer below for details.
“nMotion”: Another excellent segue is to mention the recommended regional transit plan as per the nMotion process that MTA/RTA engaged in over the past year. Visit their website and provide feedback on this plan. As part of it, the Music City Star is recognized as a critical component for the eastern side of Middle Tennessee (and if expanded on the west side of Nashville, up to Clarksville as well).
“Donelson Library”: The Donelson Branch is one of a number of Nashville Public Libraries expanding their hours to include Friday’s. I know this comes as welcome news for many as I’ve heard from a lot of neighbors that this was desired. Our Donelson Library is also celebrating its 50th Anniversary and the community is invited to celebrate on Saturday, September 17th at 2pm in the downstairs community room at the library.
“New ownership of Belair Mansion”: I’m thrilled to see Belair receive new ownership that has plans to renovate and return much needed focus on this historic home in Donelson. An event center is planned as a central piece of generating revenue. I look forward to working with Lewis & Connie James on this. I have already been working with them on the rezoning effort as well as applying a Metro Historic Landmark Overlay on the property to protect it. Each district Council Member is allowed three free rezoning applications and I am honored to utilize one of those to help the new owners as they revitalize this beautiful home.
“9-11-2001 Memorial”: I was honored to be Mayor Megan Barry, Vice Mayor David Briley and members of Metro Council at a ceremony on the Davidson County Courthouse steps to honor the victims and first responders of September 11, 2001. Big thanks to At-Large Council Member Jim Shulman for organizing the event.
Special thanks as well goes to Donelson View Baptist Church for a September 11th remembrance of placing USA flags by many Donelson neighbor’s mail boxes.
“Marine Week”: The week of Sunday, September 4th – 11th was “Marine Week” and showcased many events that highlighted this branch of the U.S. Armed Services. It was an incredible display of how these brave men and women serve our country. I was fortunate to be able to ride on a V-22 Osprey Tiltorotor aircraft from the Nashville Airport and bank. It was a thrill ride of a lifetime and certainly gave me a greater appreciation of how our Marines are transported into harm’s way to serve our country. Our appreciation and debt to our US Armed Services can never be truly expressed in words. Below is a picture of Mayor Megan Barry, Council Members and members of the Marines who flew our V-22 Osprey aircraft.
“Google Fiber”: I received over a thousand emails in support of Google Fiber. I am one of those that wants to see this healthy competition come to Nashville as quickly as possible. Google has found the existing 50+ year old process of attaching lines to poles to be outdated and inefficient. They have recommended a One Touch Make Ready process that streamlines this process for all service providers. This would actually assist the next provider wanting to come to Nashville and compete. I have listened carefully to all sides and supported the deferral last time to allow everyone to gather in the Mayor’s Office and try to work out a compromise. There was a deferral proposal again at the September 6th Council Meeting. Again, I listened to all sides and asked many questions directly to the providers, lobbyists and Metro departments. AT&T has threatened litigation against Metro if we pass this policy. They feel it will harm their collective bargaining agreement with Communications Workers of America (CWA) who have had a relationship with AT&T for over 50-years. I respect that. However, we need to be a city that embraces innovation and sends a message to tech companies that we want them here to help us grow our economy and spur further innovation across all our industries in Middle Tennessee. In the long run, this policy will help create more work and a better level competitive environment. I was the swing vote on the motion to defer and it was defeated 20-19. It then passed on second reading 32-7. The third and final vote will be September 20th.
“36-Unit Apartment Complex Rezoning”: The legislation has been filed for this rezoning. BL2016-404 seeks to rezone 1636 Lebanon Pike to SP (specific plan) zoning for a 36-unit apartment complex. I had a very productive neighborhood meeting with Clovernook. I believe this will complement the revamped and renamed Music City Flats (see Business News section for more info) and Spence Enclave and offer another very convenient living option to both Donelson and downtown. It will be a high quality development with rents starting at about $1800/month. Follow the Metro Council Agenda (http://www.nashville.gov/Metro-Council/Agenda.aspx) for the next reading and Public Hearing.