The Murfreesboro City Council voted Thursday, Dec. 2, to approve City staff moving forward with negotiation, due diligence, and document preparation for a land exchange with MTE.
City Manager Craig Tindall previously announced on WGNS Action Line Tuesday, Nov. 30, that Council will be asked to consider a potential exchange of property owned by the City for property owned by MTE. The concept of that exchange was presented to the City Council Thursday, at its regular scheduled meeting. Council directed staff to proceed. MTE has also determined that consideration of the land exchange has merit and should be explored. With this direction, both organizations will begin a due diligence phase to explore the details of a potential exchange.
“The City is committed to meeting the needs of the western part of the community and is proceeding with developing plans for a community space that will include parkland, green space, walking trails, and recreational amenities, as well as consideration for a school site or other complimentary City services,” said Murfreesboro Mayor Shane McFarland. “The property swap would provide the City with land ideally situated within neighborhood surroundings while providing land to MTE for its intended purposes.”
“Council has asked that staff prepare for a potential exchange of City-owned land near I-840 and Veterans Parkway with land that Middle Tennessee Electric owns on Veterans that is about a mile away,” said City Manager Craig Tindall. “Development plans for these two properties have changed over time and at this point an exchange of the properties offers significant benefits to MTE and the community. The potential development of a park on the MTE land, which is well within the City and closer to the communities, offers a substantial benefit over developing property as a park on our boundary.”
The property owned by the City is located along Veterans Parkway, Burnt Knob Road, Vaughn, and Blackman roads near I-840. Currently, the property designated for a future Commercial Highway (CH)/Business Park, with a portion of the property being developed as a park site.
The MTE property is in West Murfreesboro one mile south of the City property along Veterans Parkway. Previously, MTE planned to develop the site as its future headquarters. The MTE property is currently zoned PUD with substantial setbacks from the surrounding residential communities that limits its commercial development.
The City Parcel is highly visible from I-840 along the Veterans Parkway exit. City staff believes its “highest and best use” is clearly commercial development. As previously stated by Development Services Executive Director Sam Huddleston, “This strategic location adjacent to I-840 and accessible to I-24 and I-65 offers a superior location as a site for corporate headquarters and business development. The Commercial Highway zoning approved by the Planning Commission and considered by Council earlier this year will help shape and develop the area with benefits to the Blackman area and the entire City, along with potential park amenities.”
MTE works extensively in the economic development arena with TVA, the State, and the Middle Tennessee Industrial Development Association. Thus, MTE ownership of this property enhances the economic development potential of the property.