Friday, February 15, 2008

Progress to Reach Bell's Bend

Please sir, don't turn Bell's Bend into concrete. [Where Meerah and I have been spending Sundays recently with human and canine friends]. The developers proudly proclaim that:

Their vision includes an amphitheater, a hotel, stores, condos and offices clustered around a central area designed to attract corporate headquarters.

... BUT they need a little help from the governement...

Access to the area also may prove to be a problem. May's proposal is contingent on the construction of a new bridge across the Cumberland and a new interchange with Interstate 40, projects that would need government approval and funding.

... more details (emphasis mine)...

The developers' $4 billion concept, called May Town Center, would create a dense commercial and residential district near the southern end of the Bells Bend area.

It calls for building up to 5,000 townhouses and condos and at least 5 million square feet of office space mixed in with street-level stores. A hotel would stand at the center of the development, and four building sites for corporate headquarters would be created on its western end.

Construction would cover 453 acres, leaving 981 acres as a conservation area. That area would be connected to the 808-acre Bells Bend Park, which lies to the west. Equestrian, bicycle and footpaths also would connect May Town Center to areas to the north.

The design is meant to preserve as much of Bells Bend as possible while giving Nashville a new site to attract big corporate development in the same way that Cool Springs has drawn companies to Williamson County, said Giarratana, whom May hired to advise him on the project.

Yes, just like Cool Springs! I can't wait to have a place with a unique character that doesn't look like anything else in the United States. I'm a techie, a scientist, and an avid believer in the boundless opportunities of human ingenuity, but somehow this doesn't strike me as progress. Sorry. I do also have a strong libertarian streak. That's why I can't really understand how building and maintaining expensive roads and bridges to nowhere [to seed economic growth and tax base expansion, i know i know] isn't a form of government community engineering. I really can't see how subsidizing such endeavors helps existing and neighboring communities. I'm not saying it's necessarily harmful or wrong. I'm just pointing that increasing land value, expanding the tax base, and creating jobs aren't sufficient indicators of the future wellbeing of the existing population there, also known as the current constituency.

My argument is stupid, of course, if we assume that the goal of local governments is to swap the existing constituencies that elected them with others that are more willing to produce and to consume.

1 comment:

cathryn said...

I detest Cool Springs! Hopefully this Bells Bend "improvement" will never come to fruition. Maybe the Nashville Civic Design Center will step in and protest.