Nashville East Bank master plan, replete with new arts center, affordable housing, and NFL Stadium, moves forward

“Loud and Clear”

Nashville East Bank master plan, replete with new arts center, affordable housing, and NFL Stadium, moves forward

The master plan would deliver 6 million square feet of new development on the Cumberland River (Perkins Eastman/Courtesy City of Nashville)

In Nashville, the mayor’s office signed two pieces of legislation last week that bring the city one-step closer to realizing a new mixed-use development in Nashville’s East Bank, a neighborhood abutting the Cumberland River. At the center of the new neighborhood is Nissan Stadium, future home of the Tennessee Titans.

Last Friday, Mayor Freddie O’Connell green lighted two motions to push the project forward: The mayor’s administration issued an ordinance authorizing the city and The Fallon Company to develop the Metro-owned East Bank Land. It also passed a resolution approving a non-binding memorandum of understanding related to the location of a new Tennessee Performing Arts Center to the site. Thus, the ordinance allows for the city and The Fallon Company to enter a development agreement and 99-year ground leases at the Metro-owned land.

Perkins Eastman designed a walkable street grid centered around a Grand Park. (Perkins Eastman/Courtesy City of Nashville)

The new legislation was informed by recommendations from the  Imagine East Bank Vision Plan, a 2-year study that gathered over 1,700 survey responses from 50 public meetings charged with ascertaining what Nashvillians want built on the site. The plan’s findings were unanimously adopted by the Metro Planning Commission in October 2022.

“We heard loud and clear that Nashvillians want spaces that feel welcoming, are affordable, and are safe for all modes of transportation,” Mayor Freddie O’Connell said in a statement. “Our work on the East Bank should serve as a model for how we connect neighborhoods, foster community, and make Nashville a place you want to stay.”

The Nashville East Bank master plan, drafted by Perkins Eastman, would also deliver a performing arts center and a Grand Park encircled by 1,550 new homes in a slew of townhomes and mid-rises; many of them affordable.

The 1.7-million-square foot Nissan Stadium is being designed by Kansas City firm MANICA with Atlanta-based TVS in the role of architect of record. Cumulatively, the project would yield 6 million square feet of new development on a 30-acre swath of city-owned land in Nashville’s Central Waterfront District, located within the purview of the reimagined East Bank. Groundbreaking on the new stadium is scheduled for February 29.

East Bank Master Plan (Courtesy Perkins Eastman)

In its current iteration the revitalized East Bank would transform the 30-acre swath of land on the riverbank into a mixed-use hub replete with entertainment venues and affordable housing.

Perkins Eastman have called the design a “stadium village.” Upon completion, the plan would divide the parcel into four walkable mixed-use districts. Spread throughout the complex would be a new home for the Tennessee Performing Arts Center, a new mixed-use “Mobility Hub” transit center, 12 acres of new parks, and a new domed arena for the Tennessee Titans.

Night View of Nissan Stadium (MANICA/Courtesy Tennessee Titans)

There would also be a new riverfront park that opens up the Cumberland for residents from East Nashville and a 1.5-mile multimodal boulevard with connections to regional transit. The latter would serve as the transportation spine for the entire East Bank and will be constructed by lifting the James Robertson Parkway.

Typical Boulevard (Perkins Eastman/Courtesy City of Nashville)

At the heart of the Development Agreement that was passed last week is affordable housing. Cumulatively, The Fallon Company is required to build 1,550 housing units with “a robust mix of affordability requirements,” a press release from the city said. Some of these caveats include the arbiter of building 300 affordable residential units in two years replete with access to space for a children’s day care.

Public Space (Perkins Eastman/Courtesy City of Nashville)

In six years, the development team is required to deliver 400 more residential units, with 10 percent building affordable. Then in 9 years, another 550 additional homes, with 10 percent of them affordable. In the future, once the transportation spine is complete, another 300 affordable homes will need to be jointly developed with an East Bank mobility hub.

Typical Residential Street (Perkins Eastman/Courtesy City of Nashville)

“This is the first piece of legislation in what is going to be a decades-long, transformational project for Nashville,” said Metro Chief Development Officer Bob Mendes. “I am grateful to The Fallon Company for recognizing the importance of our goals in achieving a walkable, bikeable neighborhood that’s for locals at every economic level.”

For next steps, the two pieces of legislation will be discussed by Metro Council Members on March 7.