The announcement that Dean plans to build an "adventure play park" along the river drew praise from East Nashville residents, who were saying much different things about him two months ago.
The park was the first priority in a riverfront plan developed by Metro consultants with considerable public input in 2006-07.
But Dean's administration said in March that it was reassessing the priorities in light of the recession.
In the end, Dean said he would propose $30 million for projects on both sides of the river.
"It's an important victory that we kept the plan in place," said Kenny Byrd, president of Historic Edgefield Inc., a neighborhood a few blocks east of the river. "We can continue the process of reinvigorating residential and business life on the east bank."
The City Paper:
Riverfront redevelopment was a key focus of the projects released by Dean’s office. Included in riverfront projects will be a water Adventure Play Park, redeveloping the NABRICO building, an east bank river lawn, a new riverfront redevelopment district, the First and Broadway overlook, a city wharf and a pioneer walk on the west bank.
The Adventure Play Park was a sense of contention for District 6 Councilman Mike Jameson and East Nashville residents, who feared Dean might move the park to the second phase of redevelopment. Dean stuck with the original plan and kept the park in the first phase.
“I don’t think I’m overestimating the significance of this to say it was enormously important to folks on both sides of the river,” Jameson said. “The downtown neighborhood groups, as well as East Nashville neighborhood groups, and for that I’m grateful for the mayor’s decision.
“This is a decision that will have an impact for decades. An upgrade to the city’s riverfront has been something we needed for a long, long time and I think this is a historic moment.”
UPDATE: WKRN has a video report.
The only problem with this report is that Tiani Jones makes it sound like the development concepts were envisioned by the Dean Administration. They actually came out of a community meeting process before Karl Dean took office in 2007. However, the Mayor deserves credit for implementing them, and he now has some claim over them because he is freeing up taxpayer money to pay for their realization.
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