There seem to be no shortage of ideas for how Nashville’s former Thermal Plant site should be used. This past summer, it was used by the Nashville Symphony for its 4th of July show; there was once talk of it becoming the location for a new Nashville Sounds baseball stadium.
Not far away from the site, the booming areas known as SoBro and The Gulch continue to see developments go up, with businesses, restaurants and shops opening doors in the area.
With the recent announcement of two projects, it would seem that Mayor Karl Dean and his planners are ready to move on both fronts.
The Nashville Convention Center Authority has voted to spend $339,000 for a West Riverfront Master Plan that will encompass the 11-acre Thermal Plant site. It also opened the path for a $193,000 plan that will map out a pedestrian bridge connecting the SoBro area south of the new Music City Center to the Gulch. The proposed structure would help move pedestrians to the also-proposed redevelopment along the west riverbank.
The new city mater plan is said to utilize the riverfront property for park space and perhaps an outdoor amphitheater – usage that will most likely be viewed with favorable response, considering the success of the new Cumberland Park. Most any option that includes the involvement of green space is seen as positive by city planners.
The Gulch bridge is a long-wished-for project, but city planners are being extremely careful as they make plans to not disrupt any historic features of the riverfront. Right now, the project has a lot of unknowns, but it is expected to become more clear as dialogue regarding the project continues with the city, hopefully unfolding a plan of action along the way.
With desires to connect The Gulch and downtown at a high, an urban-designed pedestrian bridge, if designed properly, has the potential to be a huge hit in a city like Nashville.
Despite all of the unknowns that still remain with this project, what do you think? Would you support an outdoor amphitheater and park space at the former Thermal Plant site? Would you utilize a pedestrian bridge connecting The Gulch/SoBro with downtown? What other ideas do you have, if any?
We’d love to hear from you. Sound off below in the comments section!