Mayor Karl Dean marked the two-year anniversary of his inauguration with an economic development-themed speech in front of the downtown Rotary club on Monday.
Dean reiterated his desire for infill development and revealed that the priority will be aided by a new grant from the national Urban Land Institute. The grant will allow Metro to study infill development and to develop a corridor master plan for the county’s busiest roads like Charlotte Avenue, Gallatin Pike and Nolensville Road.
“At the end of this year, after visits from experts and opportunities to send our staff to other cities to learn from those who are already doing this, we will have a set of resources to help us encourage corridor and infill development,” Dean said.
In addition to Dean, Metro Planning Department Director Rick Bernhardt, new Director of Economic Development Alexia Poe and local ULI President Bert Mathews, will travel across the country to study infill and corridor redevelopment in other cities.
At the end of the year, Metro will develop a new plan, via tools acquired from the ULI grant to upgrade its corridors.
The plan came as welcome news to District 24 Metro Councilman Jason Holleman, who said he supported the focus for Charlotte Avenue.
The West Nashville Community Plan update, which passed earlier this year, includes a detailed landuse plan for parts of Charlotte, but leaves out stretches of the busy road closer to downtown.
“We need to do this and it’s exciting to hear the mayor talk about this,” Holleman said. “This is something I’ve heard people talking about since I was running for Council in 2007.”
Dean said the focus on infill and corridor development required the cooperation of the private sector and the development community.