Nashville Mayor Karl Dean Tuesday morning announced plans for two new riverfront parks on the east and west banks of the Cumberland River downtown with the centerpiece being a long anticipated amphitheater.
On the east bank, construction on a 4.5-acre park in front of LP Field, just north of the bridge building, will begin this fall.
The park will include a river landing that will provide people access to the river. The new park will connect with the 6-acre Cumberland Park play area just south of the Shelby Street Pedestrian Bridge.
On the west bank, a new 12-acre park surrounds the outdoor music venue planned for the old thermal plant site.
The amphitheater will include room for 6,500 with 2,500 removable seats and additional seating on a grassy hill.
The redevelopment will also include 18-foot flood wall markers, providing places for temporary walls to slide in if the Cumberland were at risk of flooding.
"I believe if done right, the thermal site can be an iconic park that generations of Nashvillians will be proud of and which they can enjoy," the mayor said in his prepared remarks.
Mayor Dean said the final design process for the west bank will begin this fall and take several months.
A projected finish date for the projects is 2015.
He said the city already owns the property involved in both developments and has funds in place to move forward.
The Metro Council previously approved approximately $35 million in three previous capital spending plans for the riverfront development, including $25 million this year.
Last week, Mayor Dean unveiled a plan to build a new stadium for the Nashville Sounds at the old site of the Sulphur Dell ballpark just north of downtown. The $80 million plan has not yet been approved and still in the preliminary planning stages.
When asked today about both projects, the mayor said "there has been money in the capital budget so these things can happen simultaneously or whenever schedule allows to build them."