Downtown Nashville stakeholders are now one step closer to rebuilding the city’s battered Second Avenue.
Metro’s Second Avenue project management team, made up of city leaders, has begun the process of evaluating design recommendations submitted over the past few months.
The latest include a string of bold ideas pitched by a national advisory panel made up of land use experts. The team was brought together by nonprofit Urban Land Institute.
Previously, local residents requested that the redevelopment include public art projects, a ban on vehicles and an increased focus on public safety. New suggestions include building a museum that highlights the historic character of the area. The panel also suggests renaming existing streets to their historic names.
That means First Avenue would become Front Street, Second Avenue would become Market Street and Third Avenue would be renamed College Street.
There is also interest in restricting short-term rentals in residential spaces. Other possibilities include expanding parking options and turning a stretch of the AT&T switching station into an art installation.
Getting buy-in from building owners
The panel’s ideas were in part established by conversations with local shareholders.
“I am very grateful to ULI for their time, expertise, and attention to our community,” said Nashville Mayor John Cooper, in response to the recommendations. “Second Avenue and the surrounding area is an historic gem to Nashville, and we appreciate the panel’s thoughtful recommendations as we work to preserve Nashville’s history.”
It’ll likely be years before the neighborhood is fully redeveloped. But once that happens, the hope is it’ll be a place that’s attractive to all Nashvillians.
The proposed redevelopment will cost at least $50 million to complete. The panel says funding could come from the state of Tennessee, Metro Nashville and donations.
“We are generally impressed by their thoughtfulness and thorough understanding of the importance of Second Avenue as a historic component of downtown Nashville. Many of their recommendations warrant further consideration,” said the Metro Nashville Planning Department’s executive director Lucy Kempf, who sits on the Second Avenue project management team.
The ideas, she says, will require buy-in and have to be approved by Second Avenue building owners and local officials.