Sitar Indian Restaurant is coming to Donelson at the shopping center at 457 Donelson Pike. Thanks to Ken Powers and Will Tyner with Commercial Realty Services for investing in this piece of property in Donelson and bringing great new restaurant and retail options. Their next purchase was the CVS, Baskin Robbins and Pizza Hut parcels at the McGavock Pike and Lebanon Pike intersection. Thanks to Mia Keller with CBRE for representing the seller in that transaction. Read about these exciting developments in this article from The Tennessean.
Big congrats to Donelson Café & Catering, FiftyForward Donelson Station’s newest restaurant located in the Larry Keeton Theater. I was honored to attend the ribbon cutting. Owner Kevin Mehlke is a terrific chef and brings a lot of culinary talent to the community. Keep tabs with their Facebook page for delicious pictures of what is available that day and also contact Kevin for your event catering needs.
Homegrown Taproom & Marketplace celebrates their First Birthday Fest with a special event on Saturday, November 12th from noon to 5pm. Unlimited samples from special local brews. See flyer below for details.
A major renovation and total rebranding are underway for the 14-story Holiday Inn at 2200 Elm Hill Pike. It will become a full service Hilton by the Fall of 2017. Read a story about this exciting development in the Nashville Business Journal here.
Think 2 Change is coming to McGavock High School on Thursday, October 27th. Brian Earley, Donelson neighbor, founded this non-profit organization to help kids deal with bullying, abuse and suicide. The event is open to the public. See flyer below for details.
The Hip Donelson Community Farmer’s Market is extending the market season to the winter’s months via a twice-monthly online ordering system. Visit the website here and sign up for more information and how to participate.
The Larry Keeton Live Music Series continues this coming month with the Lynn Beal Big Band on November 12th! Lynn and band put on a great show. See flyer below for details.
I had the pleasure of visiting with Nashville’s Amateur Radio Club, which meets at Lock Two Park. Their meetings are the third Thursday of each month and are open to anyone interested in amateur radio. They provide opportunities for Scout Troops, schools and other community groups to learn about amateur radio, the services they provide especially in emergency situations. The club has been in existence since 1934.
I had a great morning joining volunteers joining Hands On Nashville in their 25th “Hands On Nashville Day” supporting schools throughout Davidson County. Pennington Elementary received strong support in a day of doing work inside and outside the school, which is going through construction as part of their needed additions and renovations.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed being part of the Music Makes Us Advisory Council and I thank Mayor Barry again for the appointment and opportunity to serve. Check out this great new public service announcement here about Music Makes Us and how the initiative is supporting a wide variety of music education opportunities through all of Metro Nashville’s schools. There is a great Online Hub listing resources and programs to help teachers enhance teaching and learning opportunities.
McGavock High School received revamped and relocated main signage as well as new directional signage on the Two Rivers Park side of the building to match the work that was done as part of the facelift and landscaping installed earlier this year. Thanks to Metro Nashville Public Schools for continuing these improvements!
Vice Mayor Briley called a special hearing on gun violence before the October 18th Council Meeting. Presentations from Metro Health Department Dr. Bill Paul and MNPD Chief Steve Anderson were very informative and provided suggestions for how to curb this violence by getting more involved in providing opportunities and mentoring for youth. Chief Anderson provided heat maps of Davidson County showing where incidents have occurred over the last few years. Watch the hearing by visiting the Metro Council page here and click on the Committee Meeting YouTube Channel link.
Thanks to an invitation from Bob and Deb Strasser to come to their farm to be part of the annual Mud Tavern Community reunion. I learned a great deal about the history of this community that has stayed connected through this annual event. It is gratifying to see the wonderful history of Nashville preserved and celebrated here in Donelson.
Many wonder what the color markings on our streets mean and the utilities they represent. Thanks to Metro Water Services representative John Honeysucker for providing the below color coded chart that shows what colors represent which utilities.
I was thrilled to receive an opportunity for a trip of a lifetime representing Nashville as part of the Sister Cities program. Belfast, Ireland has been a Sister City of Nashville for 20-years. Aside from Canada and the Bahamas, this was my first time travelling overseas. It was an extraordinary trip and I learned a great deal about their history, progress on overcoming socio-economic and political challenges, how they merge redevelopment with historic preservation, foster urban renewal and much, much more.
There are many similarities with how Nashville and Belfast are growing and what industries we are both attracting and fostering. I made many friends, was able to take part in a few formal diplomatic functions and have a number of opportunities to follow up on furthering the relationship between our two cities. Below are pictures of Belfast’s beautiful City Hall, me standing outside City Hall with Councilor Guy Spence and the Nashville delegation with Lord Mayor Brian Kingston and US Consulate General Dan Lawton.
As I have been reporting here in my newsletters, we have a major Metro Water infrastructure project coming soon. District 14 Councilman Kevin Rhoten and I will be hosting a community meeting on November 9, 2016 at 6:30pm in the Larry Keeton Theater / FiftyForward Donelson Station at 108 Donelson Pike . Metro Water staff, the contractor and CM Rhoten and I will be there to help answer questions and prepare everyone for this project. It will cause traffic challenges and we have done everything possible to work to mitigate those likely issues. Please come to learn more and help spread the word to neighbors.
I’d like to give a special shout-out to a few folks who have really stepped up to serve Donelson in big ways. The sale of Donelson Plaza would not have been possible without the dedication and hard work of Mia Keller with CBRE. She represented new owner’s Holladay Properties and worked tirelessly with the old and new owners brokering the deal that brought the property back to local ownership. Mia has been focused like a laser in helping to bring the solid economic development opportunities Donelson needs to revitalize the heart of our community into a true town center. With the Tennessee Board of Regents officially in their new state headquarters in the Bridgestone Park building, their next goal is to focus on opening up Nashville State Community College campuses in Donelson and Madison. I’m proud to report that Mia has been selected by the Board of Regents to find locations for their new campuses. I look forward to continuing work with Mia to bring this new campus that will bring great opportunities for our students and families. Mia was recently nominated to serve on the board of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce and will continue to do great things for the community.
Congratulations to Lara Tucker, who has been re-appointed by Mayor Barry to serve on the Housing Trust Fund Commission. With the recent increase in funding to the Barnes Fund and passage of Workforce / Affordable Housing legislation, this is a critical time for Nashville to ensure successful implementation of these initiatives to address a big need throughout the whole county. Lara’s vast experience in real estate development at Change Healthcare and broad areas of service to the community (including Past-President of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce) will continue to be of great value to this commission.
Congratulations also to John Doerge, who was nominated by Mayor Barry to serve on the Metropolitan Nashville Airport Authority board as a Neighborhood Representative. In addition to his role in Human Resources at Deloitte, John has set the bar of service to the community with serving on the boards of the Donelson-Hermitage Chamber of Commerce, Leadership Donelson-Hermitage, PENCIL Foundation and many more organizations. With the recent $1.2 billion expansion plans announced for the airport, this is a great opportunity to serve in a critical capacity representing Donelson.
I was honored to sponsor a resolution recognizing October as Domestic Violence Awareness Month. I’d like to thank Donelson neighbor and friend Whitney Blanton, who serves as the Director of the Jean Crowe Advocacy Center, for reaching out right after I was elected to invite me to tour the center and learn about the work they do. They do extraordinary work on behalf of women, men and families and it was an honor to be able to present this resolution recognizing the services they provide each day. Thanks to Council Lady Jacobia Dowell for co-sponsoring this resolution with me and presenting it to Whitney and Metro Office of Family Safety Chair Diane Lance. Watch the presentation at the beginning of the Council Meeting from October 18th by visiting the Metro Council page on Nashville.gov. The Metro Council Broadcasts section is where you can view it.
Congratulations to the Donelson Branch Library on its 50th Anniversary! The Friends of the Library organized a nice reception. Thanks to State Representative Darren Jernigan and District 14 Councilman Kevin Rhoten for attending along with many neighbors. Jen Todd with the Tennessean wrote a wonderful article complete with video and pictures going back to the grand opening.
Many have asked about Hip Donelson Farmer’s Market opening up on Saturday. Here’s your opportunity! This Saturday, September 17th from 8am to noon, the market will be down in Music Valley. Come on out and enjoy a great morning at the market!
The Larry Keeton Live Music Series is back for a great 2016-17 trio of shows you won’t want to miss. See flyer below for details. The first one is this Saturday, September 17th featuring Connye Florance and a great night of jazz music.
Another great option for live music will be the final Music at the Mansion for 2016 featuring The Moonlighters! This will be a great evening of big band music under the stars. See flyer below for details.
I am a proud sponsor of the annual Donelson Station Fall Festival & BBQ at FiftyForward Donelson Station on September 23rd and 24th from 10am – 7pm. There is all sorts of fun and food to be had at this annual event, celebrating 30-years! See flyer below for details.
If you haven’t been down to Scoreboard Smokehouse Bar & Grill down in Music Valley, earlier this summer they added a huge covered deck that adds a whole new dimension this great restaurant. Especially as the weather begins to cool a bit, I encourage you to go check it out. They have great food and it’s a great place of course to watch a game with friends.
Many have noticed the great renovation that Roundtree Apartments has gone through and it truly looks great. They have completed their renovation with a rebranding and renaming to Music City Flats. It’s a great option for folks wanting to be both close to Donelson and downtown.
I was honored to be part of the ribbon cutting for the new barn at Raider Ranch, a great addition that will expand teaching opportunities in the agriculture department at McGavock High School. Students, teachers and animals were very happy at the enhanced facilities.
Pennington Elementary is undergoing a much needed renovation and addition. Here is a rendering below of what the final look of the school will be once complete.
Saturday, September 24th from 8:30am to 12:30pm will be the annual Hands On Nashville Day. Pennington Elementary is the school in our community that will receive support. Sign up at the link above and come on out to help spruce up one of our great schools in Donelson!
Saturday, September 24th from 10am to 3pm will also be the 4th Annual Grace Run Car & Bike Show, presented by Grace Church of the Nazarene. All proceeds go back into our local community to help homeless school children purchase school attire and food. Come on out and support this very worthy cause!
The annual School Choice Festival to learn about all of our Metro schools and your options will be on Saturday, September 24th from 1-4pm at the Music City Center. See flyer below for details.
Big thanks to Gaylord Opryland Hotel for partnering with McGavock cluster middle school students in providing hands-on educational opportunities across multiple departments at the company. Check out an article about this new partnership here.
Big thanks as well to Hip Donelson for donating $2,000 towards replacing the books and supplies to Hickman Elementary when smoke and water damage occurred after a fire back on August 9th. Read about this donation and check presentation here.
Donelson neighbor Brian Earley and founder of Think2Change is hosting an event to bring greater awareness to bullying in our schools. Dare You 2 Move will be an event at a few of Donelson’s schools on October 26th where Brian will share his personal story called Power of One, detailing his struggles with abuse and how one person changed his life. In Brian’s words, “Dare You 2 Move will not only challenge students to be the power of one in someone’s life, but to also never let their circumstances define them.” Visit Brian’s website for more information.
The Fellowship of Christian Athletes presents “Fields of Faith” on October 12, 2016 at 7pm on the football field. See flyer below for details.
The main update for the Neighborhood News section directly relates to the changes happening at the Public Works department. Mark Macy served as the Interim Director of Public Works for a couple of years. He is a talented engineer and also served as the Chief Engineer of the department. He recently stepped down from his Interim Director position in order to return his focus on the many important responsibilities of being the Chief Engineer. Mayor Barry appointed her Director of Infrastructure, Mark Sturtevant, as the new Interim Director of Public Works. The Mayor directed Mark Sturtevant to perform a top to bottom review of the department and how we can address the increasing needs our communities all across Davidson County are experiencing as we continue to experience rapid growth. The NashvilleNext plan called for looking into creating a local Department of Transportation so that we can begin to focus on how we will build a much needed improved transportation infrastructure. Mark is working hard on creating efficiencies at the department in the short term and also planning for what the future structure of the department will be.
What does that mean for our neighborhoods? Two things that I am focused on have experienced delays because of these changes and I am working hard to support the good people at Public Works as these changes occur and we create an improved 21st century Public Works department.
The first is sidewalks. Mayor Barry signed an Executive Order updating our efforts to create “complete streets”. This means everything from the design to ensure NES poles and other elements are not anywhere near the actual sidewalk by increasing the width of the separating grass strip to ensuring the width of the actual sidewalk will be wide enough to accommodate future growth for pedestrian safety and accessibility to transit options. I am focused on moving the south side Lebanon Pike sidewalk from Bluefield Avenue to Graylynn Drive forward, as well as the Fairway Drive sidewalk project connecting Stanford Montessori to the current Donelson Library, which will improve the crosswalk across Lebanon Pike.
The second is implementing Traffic Calming measures in our neighborhoods. The current program is managed by a contractor for Public Works, who works very hard and has a very overflowing plate. I hope to move the Donelson Hills traffic calming elements forward, begin on Lincoya Hills, Maplecrest and move on to other neighborhoods as well. Ever since being elected, I have heard from many of you who experience major challenges with speeding and do not feel safe walking their streets at all. I realize that I will not likely be able to get sidewalks inside our residential neighborhoods during my time as our Council Member, but I am focused on doing what I can to improve the situation.
Saturday, October 1st will be Mayor Barry’s Fall Green & Clean event. Neighborhoods are encouraged to organize to clean up, spruce up and beautify our communities. Our District 15 Beautification Commissioner Naomi Regensburg has been working to organize this day in Donelson. See flyer below for details and to be part of the effort.
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.