South Hartmann Gateway Plan team holds open house

Jacob Smith • Sep 28, 2017 at 7:28 PM

The South Hartmann Gateway Plan team held an open house Thursday at the Lebanon Municipal Airport.

The event featured posters set up with presenters at four different sections to explain different areas of the plan.

Economics was the focus of the event with a brief presentation on what the plan means to the residential and retail areas.

Team member Randall Gross talked to the crowd about the market analysis he had done on the area. Gross talked about what he thought to be crucial statistics for the growth of the area.

“The top priorities in the things that you’ve stated are things like commercial development, so I know the retail question is very important to you,” said Gross.

According to Gross, the area under development currently has about 1,300 residential units, 83 retail store, 40 offices, 15 institutions and 8 lodging facilities. He estimated the area could grow to up to 900 or 1,000 rental units and about 250 to 400 for sale housing units by 2022.

“On the retail side, you have a very complicated retail trade area,” said Gross. “First of all, you have people who live around this area. You’re part of the market, but there’s also people on the east side of Lebanon and people commuting in, an increasing number, commuting in from eastern Wilson County, Smith County and DeKalb County.”

Gross also mentioned the Interstate 40 traffic as potential customers for retail in the South Hartmann area.

In clarification to the crowd, Gross also said just because the studies say this kind of growth could be achieved doesn’t mean there are current plans to build anything specifically.

“People often look at a public plan like this and say ‘well when is it going to get built?’” said Gross. “That’s really not how this kind of plan works. This isn’t a developer saying ‘we’re going to build 1,000 housing units.’ This is a public plan, so it’s a community effort to look at how this area should develop over time so that when a developer comes in, we can give a framework to them of how development can occur based on what the community envisions for this area.”

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