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College Street's Lost Opportunity

Updated: Sep 10

By Dave McGuire, Editor, CU

Clarksville, TN (CU) - The old Frosty Morn building site's prime location is capable of changing the Kraft Street area and leading to significant developments in the surrounding area.


Not too long ago, a local task force group was created to research the development opportunities to best transform the Frosty Morn site. As the case with nearly all project management teams, it's expected initial ideas were floated ranging from small to impossible project ideas. Unfortunately, before the wheels could gain traction with any idea, an immediate obstacle appeared in the form of the current building's demolition expenses. A previous estimate to demolish the Frosty Morn buildings was placed at $1.6 million to include total demolition and clean-up costs. The potential federal grants for these types of projects would only fund about 1/3 the cost via Brownfield Grants. Considering the estimated property value of $200k, demolition was an upside-down proposal of at least $900k for the 3.57 acres of property.


Now the leaders were left with Ramen noodles when they expected a steak dinner. The energy seemed to disappear and the project team began reaching for low hanging fruits. The newly submitted ideas lacked creativity and were not very original in scope or their friendliness towards the private business sector.


Local Task Force Recommendations

- Police Station

- Juvenile Detention Center

- Youth Resource Center

- Fire Station Training Facility

- Bus System Hub

- Public Greenspace


Grasping their limitations, Clarksville’s task force began sputtering rather than productively working towards new options. The group concluded the greater Kraft Street area was a “piece of coal” to their potential hopes of developing a “diamond”. It just wasn’t their fault the project development had stalled. In time, it was decided the best outcome would be connecting with a civics firm for guidance and receiving a proper analysis of the situation. One of the most valued recommendations came from a Nashville based consultant. The plan of action would include negotiating an expansion of the land footprint by purchasing adjacent property, from then Vulcan property owner BF Goodrich, for the development of a larger project. Combining both properties would then increase potential development size to 40.5 acres while successfully connecting College Street to Kraft Street.


The civics’ firm also suggested a new focus of creating a multi-use redevelopment of the entire area. This new space would dramatically improve the visitor entry to both APSU and downtown Clarksville while potentially establishing a destination gateway.


The larger recommendation? The Nashville firm presented a proposal including a minor league/NCAA baseball stadium, hotel, retail, and residential units. In the coming weeks, we’ll consider the potential of those structures and how tightly they actually fit into the city’s goals for quality of enhancements.


LEGEND

Blue: Office Buildings

Purple: Hotel

Red: Retail & Commercial Space

Yellow: Condos & Apartments

Brown: Stadium & City Leased Property


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