Shelby Bottoms could expand with purchase of 132-acre airpark

Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 8:52pm

East Nashville’s Shelby Bottoms Greenway could grow by 132 acres, with Metro considering the purchasing of nearby Cornelia Fort Airpark, which borders the park on its northwest side.  

“This type of addition meets the purpose perfectly of the parks and greenway master plan and the open space plan” Metro Parks and Recreation Director Tommy Lynch said. “It’s a win-win situation for us.”

The parks department staff is set to recommend the purchasing of the property at the park board’s acquisition committee next Tuesday. For final approval, the full parks board would then need to sign off on the acquisition. 

“There are some buildings on site,” Lynch said. “The plan would be for the buildings more than likely to be removed, and [the land] would then just be added into the open space that the park has. We would initially probably put some primitive paths in there, and then ultimately add it on to the pathways that connect in to Shelby Bottoms.” 

Lynch said the airpark’s price tag is approximately $1.1 million. According to Metro parks administrators, William Colbert owns the airpark land.

“I think the park board is going to seriously consider approving the purchase, and we’ll be moving forward from there,” Lynch said.

With the 132-acre addition, Shelby Parks would become Metro’s fourth largest park in size, trailing only Beaman, Bells Bend and Warner parks. Lynch said Shelby Park, including Shelby Bottoms, is currently approximately 940 acres. 

Metro Councilman Erik Cole, who represents the area, called the potential acquisition of the airpark a “monumental addition” to the open space system in Nashville.

“This a perfect transition for the city to preserve that space and to increase flood protection,” Cole said. “Without Shelby Bottoms, we would have a lot more houses damaged last year in the flood.”

8 Comments on this post:

By: Radix on 4/1/11 at 7:54

What a great plan. How many chances do you get to do something like this, and that amount of open space for what is really a great price. Hope it happens!

By: HC20B on 4/1/11 at 8:36

I certainly hope that someone in the park/city has done some environmental research on this site. There was a lot of aviation fuel and oil products used and spilled over the years.

By: Kosh III on 4/1/11 at 9:03

Dean seems to want a "corporate campus" pretty badly, witness the Fairgrounds fiasco.

Why not take Shelby and SB and give it to HCA or whoever it is. It's flat, has roads connecting to the freeways within a 5 minute or so drive, there could be rail and water links, plus Cornelia Fort would be useful for the corporate bigwigs to use so they don't have to mingle with the riff-raff at the airport. After all, just like the Fairgrounds, it doesn't generate any money for the city right now, but as office space it would.

ShelbyMaytown anybody??

By: tardistraveler on 4/1/11 at 9:07

It's a floodplain. No sensible business would want to locate there. I'm guessing the airpark closed up shop after the last flood - this is land that was totally under water then, and has been underwater two other times in my lifetime.

It makes perfect sense to add this land to the existing Shelby Bottoms land, and use it for recreational purposes - when it's not flooded . . . ;)

By: Inglewoodmom on 4/1/11 at 9:53

This is a win-win for Nashville that will benefit generations to come with more open space along the Cumberland River and addition to Shelby Bottoms. Although the airport buildings will likely be torn down, I hope the park will come up with a way recognize the important role Cornelia Fort Airport has played in the development of Nashville.

By: RTungsten on 4/1/11 at 10:16

"...a lot of aviation fuel and oil products used and spilled over the years."

There is a lot of automotive fuel and oil products spilled on the roads everyday. Don't see people causing a stink over that.

By: Kosh III on 4/1/11 at 10:21

Reply to Rasselon

I was being tongue-in-cheek. I know it floods, of course so did some of the proposed Maytown property.

By: FranChessie on 4/6/11 at 2:48

Seems you shouldn't be buying anything new when you can't keep open things you already have. Much needed community centers are set to close in the next proposed budget. Community centers are needed to keep kids off the streets and out of trouble.