In reading the article “Pretty vacant” by correspondent Charles Maldonado (City Paper March 5-7 edition), I became concerned with a glaring omission over halfway through the piece.
Mr. Maldonado’s article addresses what the city's intentions might be for the vacant lot on the west bank of the Cumberland River at First Avenue between the Shelby Street Bridge and the Korean War Veterans Memorial Bridge, [a site that] was previously used to house the Nashville Thermal Transfer Plant. The author references a request for previous proposals by some council members to "redevelop it as a public amphitheater, green space, and a mixed-use residential development," but that this was voted down.
The author suggests that another option now may be to relocate the new Nashville Sounds stadium to a different location. He states that "the Dean administration has not thrown its weight behind the thermal property, and a site recommendation could just as easily be located elsewhere, such as the Sulphur Dell property north of downtown, home to a minor league park from 1870 to 1963, and now some parking lots."
I'm sure if the reporter had done some investigation or simply read the multiple signs on those parking lots, he would have seen that those lots are used for state workers employed in the downtown area. These workers are employed by a multitude of different departments and agencies for the state, which are vital to its daily functions. I would like to know where the reporter would suggest that these state employees park if the lots are used as the new site for the stadium. I don't believe that there are many available options in the limited space in downtown Nashville.
One suggestion for the "necessary" change of the stadium and the vacant lot may be to renovate the existing Sounds stadium, including the entrances and exits to its surrounding parking lots and roadways, and also make another request for proposals to turn the vacant riverfront lot into "a public amphitheater, green space and a mixed-use residential development." Those sound like good ideas and perhaps a better way to help renovate and reinvigorate downtown Nashville.