Nashville Riverfront Renovations Have Begun

The consulting firm that came up with Nashville’s riverfront master plan three years ago will be returning to town to design $30 million worth of downtown projects on both banks of the Cumberland River.

The Metro Development and Housing Agency voted Tuesday to hire Hargreaves Associates for up to $2,126,000. Ed Owens, MDHA’s waterfront development director, said he hopes the landscape architecture firm can start work by the end of the month on six projects Mayor Karl Dean and the Metro Council decided to build earlier this year, as well as an additional dozen in the city’s longer-term plans.

nashville riverfront renovation plan

The first phase of the plan includes a $12.5 million adventure play park on the east bank. Construction of the adventure park, based on Hargreaves’ full designs, should start next summer, Owens said. The park could open in 2011.

If you recall, Hargreaves is the company who is responsible for the dramatic riverfront turnarounds in Chattanooga, Louisville and Knoxville. In addition, Hargreaves was taped to work on ultimate projects like the Abu Dhabi Beaches in the UAE and the giant Singapore Marina.

Hargreaves, working with at least 13 local firms, also will prepare schematic designs for 17 other projects. Five of those, including an overlook at First Avenue and Broadway and an east bank river lawn, are in the riverfront plan’s first phase.

Perhaps once the first phase is complete, Nashville will come to value one of its greatest resources, the Cumberland River. Let’s not forget that real estate developers have all but ignored the East side of the river for decades. This will surely change over the next decade.