Residents, developers discuss future of downtown - WSMV News 4

Residents, developers discuss future of downtown

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As Nashville settles into its place in the national spotlight, those who live, work and play downtown are fighting to make Music City the best it can be.

A new project is in the works that could bring major change to parts of downtown. A series of public meetings are helping developers shape what's being called a master plan, and it is one that offers a little something for everyone.

The Music City Center is just a few months from opening, and downtown is about to change in a major way.

"It's going to create an opportunity for new things to happen - new hotel, new retail. It's going to create demand," said Barry Long, with Urban Design Associates.

That is why leaders are working now on the strategic master plan for downtown, and in particular the area south of Broadway.

Neighbors, developers and planners all explored ideas for growth on Friday, talking everything from new retail to parking.

"Music City Center has a very large parking garage built into it, but in the future, we're going to need to continue to have parking integrated with new developments," Long said.

Flood mitigation and retaining each neighborhood's character is also a concern for some.

Curt Wallen lives downtown and says traffic flow is a priority.

"Maybe trying to make some more connectivity in terms of what's lacking in the street grid right now, but the main thing is the bike connections, the pedestrian connections," said Wallen, with the Urban Residents Association.

Renderings show what Fifth Avenue could look like in the future, with more shops and restaurants.

And planners point out they are not looking at changing the honky-tonk district, rather the areas supporting it such as The Gulch and Cummins Station.

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