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After languishing for years in real estate limbo, the former Memorial Hospital site at 612 Due West Boulevard appears to have a bright future. A rezoning request for the 18-acre property was passed unanimously by the Metro Planning Commission at their Sept. 23 meeting and has been forwarded to the Metro Council.
Memorial Hospital opened in 1965 and was heralded as a state-of-the-art non-profit public health facility serving all Nashvillians. The hospital and adjacent medical offices served the community for 35 years. After the hospital closed in 2000, portions of the property were used for a variety of short-term purposes, but the bulk of the site has remained dormant.
According to District 8 Councilmember Nancy VanReece, the property is now under contract to a group that includes local developers Forbes/Plunkett and Core Development who have submitted a plan for a dramatic makeover utilizing many of the existing buildings. "Core Development is a Mark Deutschmann company, and Mark is well known for adaptive reuses and making walkable communities out of them," VanReece says. "Currently, about 14 of the 18 acres on this site are asphalt. This development would change that, renovating the existing buildings and adding new buildings on the site."
Forbes/Plunkett and Core Development described their plans in documents filed for the rezoning request: "The purpose of the project is to create an 18-acre urban-meets-suburban district that includes a diverse mix of uses with an emphasis on arts, music, food, commerce, social enterprise, and mixed-income housing. The investment strategy hinges on a collaborative, comprehensive, and creative master plan to achieve our vision. This plan will serve as a template for a longer-term, multi-phased buildout of the parcel.
"WeGo Transit has approved a new transit line that will run on Due West Avenue and connect with both Dickerson Pike and Gallatin Pike. We are excited about the opportunity to provide a vibrant and interesting transit stop."
The plans specifically call for residential and office space, restaurant and retail space, a community events plaza, community green spaces, a fitness trail, a nature area, and a pedestrian walkway winding throughout the entire property.
VanReece says that over six years of community feedback regarding possible uses for the site were incorporated into the plan, and the feedback from multiple community stakeholders has been positive. The request for rezoning was personally filed by VanReece as one of three rezoning requests each council member may submit annually.
The rezoning request is now in the hands of the Metro Council with the public comment period opening on Nov. 1. According to VanReece, if all goes well, the request could receive final approval by Thanksgiving of this year. For updates on this and other development projects in the Madison area, follow Councilperson Nancy VanReece on Twitter @NVR4District8.