BELLE MEADE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Developers have their eyes on a well-known shopping plaza and it’s causing some controversy in Belle Meade.
While some think the proposed plan for Belle Meade Plaza could be good for the area along Harding Pike at White Bridge Road, many cite concerns about sustainability and traffic.
“It’s just more condos. Condos, condos every time you turn around. I know we need living, but affordable living, not condos in Belle Meade,” explained Karen Koop, who lives in Bellevue.
The Belle Meade Plaza is a place Koop frequents for a cup of coffee and the unique charm of Katy’s Hallmark.
“I’ve been coming here for years, mostly to the Starbucks and to the Katy’s Hallmark. I love Katy’s Hallmark.”
She, like Emily Tidwell, isn’t against development.
“Something more beautiful would be welcomed. Beauty would be great, that we would accept but let’s not lose sight of our natural surroundings and enjoy what we have here,” said Tidwell, who is a Nashville native.
That’s something she fears would diminish with the proposed plans from AJ Capital Partners that include building around 90 condos, nearly 300 apartments, four retail buildings and two mixed-use buildings, with some of the new structures extending up to 13 stories tall.
“That’s not what we want,” explained Tidwell.
While the proposed plans do include at least 50% of the site to be open to the public with green space, greenway and courtyard areas, Tidwell isn’t not buying everything the developers are selling.
“I’m not sure they will be reality. Our city that we love is changing before our eyes and just keeps expanding out, and we are all dismayed by it, by a lot of this development. It’s not being done by people who live here and are about this city. We love this place and we don’t want it to change in negative ways,” she said.
News 2 reached out to AJ Capital about the proposal, and a representative said they aren’t commenting at this time as they don’t yet own the land. Meanwhile, the district’s councilwoman says talks about the proposal are just getting started.
There is a public meeting scheduled for Jan. 21, while the public hearing date before the planning commission is set for Feb. 9.