(MURFREESBORO) As you recall, officials deem land that the City of Murfreesboro purchased for a park in the Blackman area would be a better site for Middle Tennessee Electric’s (MTE) campus headquarters—and vice versa. Leaders from both sides are studying the feasibility of a property swap.
The next public meeting will be at 6:00PM this Wednesday (9/6/2022) evening in the Council Chambers at the Murfreesboro City Hall (111 W. Vine St.).
On a WGNS' broadcast, City Manager Craig Tindall explained . . .
It appears that the current city-owned land is approximately 117-acres and that the MTE land is near 150 acres, therefore the land-swap would result in a slightly larger park (approximately 33 acres larger).
The City of Murfreesboro proposes to rezone the city-owned property along I-840 to be transferred to MTE from Park (P) to Commercial Highway (CH) and Gateway Design Overlay 1 (GDO-1). The City proposes to rezone the MTE-owned property along Veterans Parkway to be transferred to the City from Planned Commercial District (PCD) to Park (92.17 acres) as well as CH and GDO-1 (26.51 acres), and Commercial Fringe (CF) (30.34 acres).
The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday, June 23, 2022, to approve an exchange of property with (MTE) for land that will be developed into a park and other uses including possibly a school, Fire and Police facilities, and other community uses and facilities, for the western portion of Murfreesboro. The Real Estate Purchase and Sale Agreement exchanges approximately 117 acres owned by the City at I-840 for approximately 150 acres owned by MTE along Veterans Parkway for equal price. The agreement is contingent upon the City rezoning the city-owned I-840 property to Commercial Highway (CH) before the end of the year. The City commits to extend sewer to the property north of I-840, which is already in planning.
In a press release from Murfreesboro, the property owned by the City is located along I-840, Burnt Knob Road, Vaughn, and Blackman roads near I-840 and Veterans Parkway Interchange. A previous rezoning application included designating the property for Commercial Highway (CH) for a Business Park use including a GDO-3 overlay, with a portion of the property being developed as a park site. City Council deferred action on the request pending additional information and analysis of the proposal.
The Middle Tennessee Electric property is in West Murfreesboro one mile south of the City property along Veterans Parkway. Previously, MTE planned to develop the site as its future headquarters and the City rezoned the property Planned Commercial Development (PCD) based on a specific development plan by MTE. The MTE plan included a substantial tree and fence buffer along the south of the Berkshire subdivision as well as tree and open space preservation to the east (Overall Creek) and south (The Cloister and Villas at the Cloister). The City anticipates replicating that plan as well as considering how the proposed facilities on the property will interface with the surrounding neighborhoods. The buffer along Berkshire is in place and protected by a preservation easement recorded on the deed for the property.
Development of public facilities on the MTE land offers a substantial benefit to City residents and requires rezoning to allow these anticipated uses. City Council has discussed numerous uses for the MTE property at meetings, workshops, and retreats including primarily a park, a potential school site, potential fire and police facilities, and other community and neighborhood uses, and the rezoning plan proposes to accommodate these uses. The exact nature and character of the uses will be determined by City Council following the City’s Community Investment Program (CIP) process. The CIP process involves planning, scheduling, and budgeting for large projects and purchases proposed by City Administration and City Departments to prioritize projects and allocate funding including future bond proceeds for approval by City Council. The CIP is reviewed periodically by City Council as needed to prioritize projects and allocate funding. The City Council allocated $3 million for park purposes with the FY23 budget and an additional $5 million has been allocated through the Community Investment Trust for park purposes.
The City Parcel is highly visible from I-840 along the Veterans Parkway exit, which makes it well suited for economic development that also benefits the community. This strategic location adjacent to I-840 and accessible to I-24 and I-65 offers a superior location as a site for corporate headquarters and business development. MTE works extensively in the economic development arena with TVA, the State, and the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association. Thus, MTE ownership of this property enhances the economic development potential of the property.