City plans projects to improve riverfront, connect Gulch - WSMV Channel 4

City plans projects to improve riverfront, connect Gulch

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After years of open debate over what to do with the downtown Nashville riverfront property that used to house the Metro Thermal Plant, city leaders seemingly now have a plan for it.

The Convention Center Authority announced two new projects Tuesday that will change the landscape considerably.

"We've been working with a really talented group of planners and all of the residents," said senior project manager Larry Atema, "more than 250 meetings to formulate what could, what should, what's possible for Sobro in the years ahead - from a real estate and development standpoint."

The idea is to build a pedestrian walkway that starts at the roundabout right across from the new Music City Center convention center, crosses a set of train tracks and winds up somewhere in The Gulch to the north.

"There's a growing attraction there, restaurants and bars and so forth, so how do you get the people on this side of the railroad track to that side and vice-versa," Atema said.

In addition, the old thermal plant property near the Cumberland River that has been slated for everything from a baseball field to a music venue will be converted to a "yet to be defined" area for public use.

"I think what we envision right now would be some very fun usable space that the average citizen could use, as well as visitors, as well as conventioneers that come to town that attracts you to the river," Atema said.

It is not yet clear how the two projects would work logistically or how much they would cost, but the Convention Center Authority hopes to have those details firmed up in the next six months.

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