Planning Commission

This rendering by CMH Architects Inc. shows the proposed appearance of a “major retailer” that plans to open in The Avenue. The store’s name has not been released.

A “major retailer” that is new to the Rutherford County market plans to build a store at The Avenue, according to an announcement made Wednesday at the Murfreesboro Planning Commission.

Blake Nelson, senior vice president of CMH Architects Inc., The Avenue’s architect, said he cannot name the tenant at this time, but added that they are finalizing the lease. The retailer typically operates in “high-end centers” like The Avenue.

The retailer will both occupy part of an existing building next to Talbots as well as adding onto the structure, taking up what is currently an outdoor common area that is not frequently used, said Matt Taylor of SEC Inc. Some statues and benches in that common space will be moved. Some sidewalks will have to be replaced.

Margaret Ann Green, a principal planner for Murfreesboro, said she was initially concerned the new construction will wipe out part of The Avenue’s “lifestyle center amenities.”

The building will use Bahama-style shutters on windows as well as white metal panels “which are cleaner, slicker,” Nelson said.

Commission member Eddie Smotherman, who also is a city council member, made the motion to approve both the initial and final site plan.

In February, the commission approved plans for Best Buy to build a new store in The Avenue that will replace its current location in the mall.

In other news, the planning commission approved a final plat change that is part of a land swap between the city and New Vision Baptist Church that made possible the construction of a Vanderbilt children’s clinic and the extension of West Northfield Boulevard, which is currently underway, said Matthew Blomeley, assistant planning director.

Smotherman mentioned that an unnamed road connecting to North Thompson Lane at the bridge makes for a dangerous intersection. He asked if that will be demolished as part of the roadwork, but staff members said no.

Smotherman also asked if Northfield is being extended permanently or if it will be rebuilt later so it will come out directly across from the Stones River National Battlefield entrance, as has been discussed in the past. Assistant city attorney David Ives said his understanding is that the Northfield extension will be permanent as a five-lane road. He said most people believe that there is no immediate likelihood of obtaining land from the park for a right-of-way to realign the intersection.

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