Developer, AJ Capital Partners now has the necessary approval to progress the redevelopment of the Bell Meade Plaza shopping center. The Metro Council voted last week 28:1 to approve the modified plan with conditions for the new mixed-use district. The property is located at the border of the Belle Meade city limits, near the intersection of White Bridge Pike and Harding Pike. The address is 4500 Harding Pike.
After a series of community engagement meetings and council hearings, the approved plan differs from the original submission reported by CityNowNext back in December of 2022. The following is a high-level summary of changes to the plan:
Belle Meade Plaza – Plan Changes
|Building A||From 12 to 8 Stories|
|Building B||From 11 to 10 Stories|
|Building C||From 14 to 11 Stories|
|Building D||From 15 to 13 Stories|
|Apartments||From 350 to 287 Units|
|Condos||From 90 to 101 Units|
|Hotel||From 90 to 78 Keys|
|Retail||From 60K to 80K SqFt|
|Parking||From 827 to 920 Spaces|
In addition to the modifications listed in the table above, the developer must also comply with the conditions attached to the recent approval. Here’s the quick rundown:
- Provide 1.5 Hours of free parking to all retail/restaurant customers from the opening of the first establishment and then for 10 years after 75% of the retail/restaurant establishments are open.
- Contribute $250,000 to the Metropolitan Government before the first use and occupancy permit is issued, and the funds shall be used for greenway improvements in the vicinity of the project.
- Provide half of its $1,000,000 contribution to NDOT a minimum of three months before the final site plan is approved for this project, to enable NDOT to conduct a regional mobility study.
- The property owner shall not restrict access to any greenways running through the parcel. Metro Parks shall set the operating hours for all greenways.
- Contribute $375,000 toward upgrading traffic signals on Harding Pike from Belle Meade Blvd to the Saint Thomas Central Driveway to have fiber optic communication, non-intrusive detection, and CCTV capabilities. The contribution is required to be place in escrow prior to approval of any final site plans.
- Contribute $250,000 toward traffic calming. The contribution is required to be place in escrow prior to approval of any final site plans.
- Contribute $250,000 toward a larger area, transportation study. The contribution is required to be place in escrow prior to approval of any final site plans.
- Contribute $125,000 toward a feasibility study and preliminary design for geometric improvements to Harding Road and its intersection with Woodmont Blvd/White Bridge Road. The contribution is required to be place in escrow prior to approval of any final site plans.
Belle Meade Plaza
4500 Harding Pike
|What’s Now:||Shopping Center|
|What’s Next:||Mixed-Use Development|
|Developer:||AJ Capital Partners|
|Civil:||Barge Civil Associates|
There are two noticeable changes to the overall circulation of the site. One consists of a 3rd lane off the Harding Pike entrance that gets you access to the parking deck below; the other is the location of the retail. The plans now show the scale of the underground parking deck which spans the development site. There are 4 parking lobbies proposed which get you up to the street level, there is one in each of the multifamily buildings and two located within the town square retail plaza.
The retail plaza and fountain shifted closer to Harding Pike which allowed a change from parallel parking to perpendicular parking (pull in/back in) between the two multifamily buildings and the retail. The shift also eliminated an interior street that was adjacent to Harding Pike.
The overall project is still divided into two sites. Site A includes the 4 residential towers as well as the restoration and activation of Richland & Sugar Tree Creeks. Site B consists of the 5 retail buildings which make up the Town Square.
The now 8 & 10-story condo towers (Buildings A&B) are located closest to where the Kroger is today. The building sits directly adjacent to the new platform park which proposes using part of the concrete slab of the Kroger. There is vehicle drop off at the roundabout in front of the building as well as programed open space in the rear of the property.
The now 11 & 13-story towers (Buildings C&D shown above)) are located closest to White Bridge Pike. The 11-Story tower is proposed as rental apartments with street-level retail. The 13-story tower proposes a mix of both hotel and rental apartments with street-level retail. The two mixed-use towers are situated between the town square retail plaza and the activated riverwalk along Richland Creek.
The riverwalk features an outdoor dining promenade, restored natural zones, elevated boardwalk, and future Greenways trail connections. The image below shows a view of the two residential towers from the Town Center public plaza.
Some of the public benefits noted in the plan includes new sidewalks and tree line along Harding Pike, restoration of Richland Creek & Sugar Tree Creek, nearly 7-acres of publicly accessible open space, new riverwalk trail and park, interactive water feature, bike racks & repair stations, and public dog park.
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