February 22, 2016

Developer announces plans

By Karen Loew
– The Tennessean –

BRENTWOOD ­ For the second time this week, a developer announced plans to attempt locating a retail cluster in long commercial-free years well-populated east Brentwood. Memphis-based Boyle Investment Company is planning a grocery-storeanchored development for the corner of Concord and Sunset Roads, Nashville office Executive Manager Phil Fawcett said yesterday. The 75,000 square feet of shops would be built on 17 acres now owned by Don Demumbrum if the City Commission approves rezoning the parcel from residential to commercial. Boyle’s announcement comes two days after that of the Parker-Grass Company, which proposes putting 79,800 square feet of retail on 21.3 acres a ways to the west, on the northwest corner of the Edmondson Pike-Concord Road intersection. Both Fawcett and Dudley Parker said they’ve been eyeing the opportunity for some time to serve the needs of under-retailed east Brentwoodians, but waited for the recent City Commission election to pass before making plans public.

“We felt like once that was settled, we wanted to move forward,” said Fawcett, who aims to make his rezoning request before the commission on July 14. “The question has been, ‘is it needed?’ We’ll find out if the community really feels it is needed.”

“What is deemed to be the best site will win out,” DeMumbrum said. He lives directly north of the proposed site, on what’s left of the hundreds of acres once owned by the family of his wife, Carol Edmondson DeMumbrum.

Several years back, the couple also sold 15 acres south of this site to the city for construction of Safety Center East.

Parker-Grass also earned the participation of an old Brentwood family, signing a contract with Bill Primm. Both developers emphasized good landscaping, sensitivity to neighbors and identification of their sites in the Brentwood 2020 long-range plan. Boyle’s supermarket is about 10,000 square feet smaller than Parker’s. His company relied on the language of last year’s “neighborhood commercial” ordinance, which wasn’t voted into law but can be used for developer guidance.

Boyle’s preliminary plan calls for a 39,000 square foot grocery store with a building attached that would house about a dozen shops. Two outbuildings could house uses such as a bank or gas station. The early sketch orients the buildings toward Concord, where one or two entrances will lead in. Another entrance comes off Sunset. The land dips there, which should reduce visibility of new buildings from surrounding roads or houses.

Fawcett said design and occupancy of the center will be based largely on community input, so he will hold public meetings to hear from area residents. He mentioned Kroger or Publix as possible groceries, unlike Parker-Grass, which is committed to Publix. Parker’s request will come before city officials first, in the next few weeks. He plans to hear neighbors’ input tonight at 7 at the Brentwood Library.

According to Fawcett, his proposal has the advantage of being located in the “fastest-growing quadrant” farther east, and not being immediately surrounded by neighbors. He said few people live within 1,000 feet of the site, which is used by the city as the radius within which developers are required to notify residents of potential rezonings. Also, says DeMumbrum, a music producer, his family plans to keep on living right across Concord Road “for the rest of our days.”

“We’re probably more concerned than any resident would be about what’s going on across the road. We won’t really even be able to see the development, so if we can’t see it, the people in BonBrook won’t be able to see it at all,” he said, referring to the neighborhood behind him.