NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The banks of the Cumberland River in downtown Nashville are getting renewed attention like never before.

“We’ve got a great center city and really clean slate almost across the river,” said Nashville Downtown Partnership President and CEO Tom Turner.

Music City’s riverfront was the big development topic at their 2022 annual meeting and awards luncheon presented by Vanderbilt University.

“Obviously what was going on here with the mayor’s plan for the East Bank and the Titans plan for a stadium coming together with state support seemed like perfect timing,” Turner said. “We’ve seen what’s happened out of other cities.”

Those other cities Nashville looks to for lessons includes one more than 700 miles away from Nashville, nestled on Florida’s west coast.

“We’ve got cities that we compare ourselves to, certainly Charlotte, Austin, Tampa, Denver, a few others we have similar characteristics and things that we’re working on,” said Turner. “But Tampa had recent success with their waterfront and they call it an overnight success 40 years in the making.”

Turner said Tampa basically took their riverfront and turned it into their main street.

“When they had their Stanley Cup parade and their Super Bowl parade, they were on the river, it basically converted their river into their main street,” said Turner. “So, seeing the possibilities there and the amount of development that took place, even with the obstacles of having so many individual property owners, it’s really, totally put Tampa in a different direction. And so they seemed like a great example for us.”

Former Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn shared the story of the Tampa Riverwalk as keynote speaker of NDP’s annual meeting.

“Some sections of our riverwalk had to built out over the water as I suspect yours will be given the vertical incline of the banks,” Buckhorn told the audience.

Turner said when it comes to developing Nashville’s riverfront, they have to think big and think of what it can be long term.

“Think 20 years down the road, look at what other cities have done and how they’ve changed after their riverfront investments, waterfront investments. And it really was it was it was Be bold. Imagine what the center city looks like with a river running through it, as opposed to Center City with a river on the edge,” said Turner.

The Metro Council recently voted to take another step toward building a new domed stadium on Nashville’s east bank but that project is not a done deal as of yet.