Two Parks Planned For Both Sides Of Downtown Riverfront - NewsChannel5.com | Nashville News, Weather & Sports

Two Parks Planned For Both Sides Of Downtown Riverfront

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. – Mayor Karl Dean announced plans Tuesday for two new parks on the east and west banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville.

Mayor Dean said the plans will be an opportunity for the public to gain access to the river, making it truly the center of Nashville. 

"By making our riverfront a destination, it creates energy and excitement in the city," Mayor Dean said. "On the east bank, we are adding green space and improving access to the water for people to canoe, kayak and row. On the west side, the Thermal site is the last great vestige of open space in downtown Nashville. I can't think of a better use for such beautiful green space than an iconic park that all Nashvillians will be proud of and enjoy."

Redevelopment of the Thermal site on the west bank would connect with the existing 6.5 acre Riverfront Park. The 12-acre civic park would include an event lawn, an outdoor performance venue, and dog park.

The 1.5 acre green event lawn would be about three and a half times the size of the green at the Public Square.  

Additionally, 3.5 acres of green space would include an amphitheater, which could seat 6,500 people - with 2,500 removable seats.

Mayor Dean said the current site for events is closed off most days, but the new green space will remain open to the public 365 days a year.

It will also include a pedestrian promenade along First Avenue that will connect the riverfront and provide a shaded path from Korean Veterans Boulevard north to Church Street. It will also double as a flood wall with removable partitions to protect against further flooding of downtown Nashville.

A mile of new greenway will be added to extend the Rolling Mill Hill Greenway to the Riverfront Greenway, which already connects to MetroCenter. 

On the east bank, the next phase of the plan is to build a riverfront landing as part of a new 4.5-acre park in front of LP Field to include new green space, pedestrian and bike paths and attractive, easy access to the river for boaters. The new park and landing will connect with the 6-acre Cumberland Park play area just south of the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.

They plan to build flat upper park containing trees, green space, a plaza, moveable chairs and tables and pedestrian and bike pathways that will connect to the Bridge Building and Cumberland Park. It will provide new open space for temporary athletic fields, tailgating, special events, festivals and daily use as a place for recreation.

A lower park will provide a flatter, gentler slope to the river's edge to improve access to the water for boaters. It will include seating areas, new trees, picnic areas, a meadow garden and an uninterrupted view of downtown. A concrete landing mat will accommodate canoes, kayaks and crew teams. 

Docking space will also be put in for larger boats, including the General Jackson and Music City Queen.

A new plaza will be built beneath Ghost Ballet.

In total, 10 and a half acres of new park land will be added on the east bank.

The mayor said the plans will be started with funds from previously approved capital spending plans. Both parks will be managed by Metro Parks and Recreation.

Construction on the east bank park could begin as early as this fall. The final design plans for the west bank will also be completed this fall, so the mayor said the conceptual design could change before construction begins. 

Significant portions of construction on the west bank could be completed in 2015.

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