NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - Several organizations across Nashville rallied together on Wednesday to protest the city’s plan on another big development downtown along the East Bank.

Protesters are calling on Mayor John Cooper and the Metro Planning Department to listen to their concerns about how the East Bank development will negatively impact the city.

Representatives with Stand Up Nashville, NOAH, the Equity Alliance and several other organizations came together to voice their concerns over the space along the Cumberland near Nissan Stadium that’s currently a mix of industrial sites and undeveloped land.

The city announced earlier this year it wants to transform the area into a multi-use development full of housing, office and retail space with the first big piece of the puzzle including Oracle.

However, critics said the Planning Department’s study of the land has not been transparent and the public meetings that they host do not allow the public to speak or make comments.

Another concern is affordable housing and livable wages within the development.

“For this project here in the East Bank to be a success, it has to center workers. It has to be equitable for the people who live and work around the area,” said Brenda Waybrant, co-founder of Restaurant Opportunity Center Music City.

“As much as we know that we have a growing population here, we have to be intentional about how we build this city and now we see ourselves in it,” said Odessa Kelly, executive director of Stand Up Nashville. “Right now, I don’t see myself in the urban core of Nashville, and that is a problem.”

They also argue that these developers are almost always coming from out of state, which gives the jobs like construction and design to people who won’t be living here once completed.

“I think it should be fair for minorities and other contractors to be able to bid some of this work and have the opportunity to advance Nashville and be a part of Nashville growing instead of having all these out-of-town contractors come in and built our city,” said Michael Street, a local contractor and native Nashvillian. “Why won’t you let our local people help build our city?”

So far there has not been a response from Cooper’s office or the Planning Department. The city’s goal is to have the finalized plan for the East Bank development finished within the coming months.

 

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Meteorologist / Reporter

Melanie Layden is the weekend morning meteorologist at WSMV. She also has a segment during the week called "Growing Nashville" where she covers the growth of Music City. Melanie has been Working 4 You since 2014.

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