Greer Stadium redevelopment team lays out vision to parks board
The Tennessean – Nate Rau, Aug. 1, 2017
Answering the increasingly loud suggestion that the Greer Stadium property should be converted completely to a public park, developers of the Cloud Hill project emphasized the large amount of open space included in their plan during a presentation Tuesday to the Metro Board of Parks and Recreation.
The Cloud Hill plan has received pushback from preservationists and supporters of Fort Negley that the Greer Stadium property would be best served as park land. But Cloud Hill executives pointed out that 65 percent of the property would be usable green space.
The Cloud Hill development, which was selected after two community meetings and a Metro bidding process, will include affordable housing, retail, maker space, creative space and park land. Developers will share a portion of their revenue with Metro and would sign a 100-year lease.
Clay Adkisson, a partner in openworks, the design and development firm working on the project, highlighted the large percentage of public space the project would create. Where right now there is unused parking lots and a decrepit baseball stadium, there would be green park land in the future, Adkisson said.
One slide shown to the parks board contrasted how right now 67 percent of the 21-acre property is occupied by paved parking and the baseball stadium. Under Cloud Hill's plan, just 35 percent of the land would be covered with roads or new buildings.
The open land would accentuate nearby Fort Negley, Adkisson said.
"What we'd like to propose is turning parking spaces into park spaces," Adkisson said. "That's the nexus of our plan."
Kim Hawkins, a founding principal with Hawkins Partners design firm, which also is working on the project, said the Cloud Hill development aligns with the Parks Department's parks and greenway master plan.
"This plan is working to achieve a number of those design parameters within the needs of Plan to Play," Hawkins said, pointing to the additional public ballfields, multiuse fields, greenways and trails.
The Cloud Hill proposal has received substantial pushback already from Civil War preservation groups and the Metro Council. Both the at-large council members, who represent the entire county, and the minority caucus have pushed back and asked questions of the plan.
Councilman Colby Sledge, whose district includes the project, supports the plan.
The project requires approval of the parks board, the Metro Planning Commission and council.