On Tuesday (10/25/2016) Murfreesboro Assistant City Manager Jennifer Moody told Murfreesboro Rotary members about this city's exciting plans for the city's future.
There were two major parts to her presentation: The Highland Avenue Study and the renovation proposal known as The Bottoms.
Final City-Owned GATEWAY PROJECT Land Being Sold
With these two projects on the horizon, she said the city's involvement in the tremendously successful Gateway Project was coming to a close. The city of Murfreesboro purchased the farmland that now borders the Medical Center Parkway area. Employment numbers and tax returns show this once controversial project, has become one of the Heart of Tennessee's most successful ventures.
Moody explained, "We are in the process of closing the final piece of city owned property in the Gateway area. The rest of the land has already been developed or the land has been purchased by developers."
As you know, the Gateway Project includes St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital and the numerous medical and office complexes that now fill the area. It also includes the Avenue of Murfreesboro, the Chamber of Commerce building, the Embassy Suites Hotel and Conference Center and numerous other hotels that continue to grow in the area.
More Growth: Highland Avenue Study and The Bottoms
Highland Corridor -- an area of downtown "extending north of the downtown square from the intersection of East Clark Boulevard and North Highland Avenue south to College Street, and east along Lytle Street from Northwest Broad Street to Middle Tennessee Boulevard. It includes proposed expansion of the park at Oaklands Historic House Museum, re-purposing of the old medical building on Highland to become the new Murfreesboro Police Department, along with other infrastructure improvements.
The area known as The Bottoms is along Broad Street from the Murfree Spring Wetlands, along Hickerson Drive to Cannonsburgh, including the old Murfreesboro train depot, plus parking areas around the current police department. In reality, it also includes renovation of the area around the new Judicial Building that is currently under construction, and the square block of property now owned by the City of Murfreesboro that was formerly First Methodist Church.
She stressed that history will be preserved, while new opportunities for business will be explored.
Citizen study groups agree that The Bottoms could be developed in a way that would attract local residents as well as tourists. The area might include a variety of music venues, restaurants, an up-scale boutique hotel, open waterways with greenway going down Hickerson Drive that connects Murfree Spring Wetlands to Cannonsburgh. The area would also accommodate a mixed-use residential that provides homes to a cross-section of incomes.
Projects Likely To Merge
Moody noted that in reality, these two projects would more than likely merge into one, since they are so tied with each other.
The Bottoms would be family-friendly and include museums to tell the history of the area and the people who inhabited it in the past. In addition, an amphitheater, galleries, art studios and more--all tied to local history.
Moody's presentation told how this was all incorporated in Murfreesboro's 2035. a study that takes ideas from citizens and has professional analysts study the feasibility of turning them into reality. In other words, "What are the missing pieces that would make Murfreesboro a more complete city."