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Urban Land Institute Announces its Recommendations on the Future of Second Avenue

Brandon Marshall

Metro Leaders and Staff from GHP Currently Evaluating Those Recommendations

A national Urban Land Institute (ULI) Advisory Services Panel unveiled its final recommendations for Second Avenue and the surrounding area during a public virtual meeting on Friday, April 23. ULI is a nonprofit that establishes best practices in design fields, and one of its core services is providing expert advice to communities that have experienced natural and manmade disasters.

The local ULI office, the Project Management Team for Second Avenue, Metro Department officials and stakeholders requested the panel, which was made up of seven national industry experts with expertise in urban and landscape design, economic policy and development. Panel members interviewed approximately 70 local stakeholders during the week of March 22, which helped to establish the recommendations.

“I am very grateful to ULI for their time, expertise, and attention to our community,” Mayor John Cooper said. “Second Avenue and the surrounding area is an historic gem to Nashville, and we appreciate the panel’s thoughtful recommendations as we work to preserve Nashville’s history.”

The panel compiled a number of recommendations in five key areas, many of which echo the matters raised during public community engagement sessions hosted in February and March by the Metro Nashville Planning Department. Topics include the importance of a strong streetscape, historic character and connections to the river.

“We are generally impressed by their thoughtfulness and thorough understanding of the importance of Second Avenue as a historic component of downtown Nashville. Many of their recommendations warrant further consideration,” said Metro Nashville Planning Department Executive Director Lucy Kempf. “However, some of their recommendations, particularly those related to scheduling, financing and implementation, will need to be further refined to best fit the context of Nashville and will require buy-in from the Metropolitan Government, private property owners and relevant stakeholders.”

The Project Management Team for Second Avenue, which is made up of Kempf, other Metro leaders, staff from the Metro Development Housing Agency (MDHA), and GHP, is currently evaluating all of the recommendations from the public listening sessions and ULI.  Once that work is complete, they will discuss various recommendations with applicable owners, community members, and Metro Government officials. The Team will then prepare an Action Plan that includes recommendations for phased project investment and area improvements that will guide the recovery of Second Avenue and the surrounding area.