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Could racing return to Nashville Superspeedway?

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Wants to introduce Mt. Juliet group to new owners

Wilson County Mayor Randall Hutto indicated there might be some type of plans in store for the defunct Nashville Superspeedway track, possible by "some folks in Mt. Juliet."

Hutto gave a brief county update Friday morning during the Mt. Juliet Chamber of Commerce's bi-monthly community development meeting.

On the heels of The Wilson Post's story last week about developer Panattoni's contract to pay $44.7 million for the speedway's 1,400-acre site, Hutto said there may be new life breathed into the track that opened in 2001, but closed due to poor attendance in 2011.

Panatonni's Hayne Hamilton said the company had no immediate plans to get rid of the track.

"We are going to leave it alone for awhile," Hamilton said. "We are not going to go in and quickly demolish the track. It was operated as a track previously and was not successful. We are open to any opportunities."

The track covers about one-fourth of the parcel, and the rest, according to Hamilton's preliminary estimates, will most likely be industrial-type development.

On Tuesday Hutto elaborated a bit on his Friday hint. He said a potential opportunity may have surfaced to revive the track.

"I know Panattoni wants to keep the track alive," Hutto said. "There's a couple of folks in Mt. Juliet that maybe have an idea to do that."

The Mayor said he's met with these people a few times to discuss what that idea might be.

"It might turn out to be a way for two groups (Panattoni and those interested in reviving the track) to come together and make something happen for the track," Hutto said.

He said he hoped he could "hook" them up and see what happens.

Hutto noted the people from Mt. Juliet interested in the track want to do something out there that "involves some type of racing."

When pressed, Hutto said he could not divulge any more, but would be forthcoming whenever something progresses on that front.

"We are really excited about all the opportunities out there with Panattoni," he said.

TriStar Summit ER in the works

Closer to Mt. Juliet, Mt. Juliet Public Relations/Affairs Director Dennis Buchanan mentioned TriStar Summit Medical Center's quest to build a freestanding emergency room in Mt. Juliet.

In 2015 a long-awaited approval of TriStar Summit's Certificate of Need application was reviewed by the Health Services and Development Agency and given the OK.

"We are most appreciative of the Health Services and Development Agency for approving our application for a satellite emergency department at the intersection of Beckwith Road and I-40," TriStar Summit CEO Jeff Whitehorn said after the hearing. "We are also grateful for the outpouring of support from the Mt. Juliet community. Our new emergency room will offer convenient, round-the-clock care and will allow TriStar Summit to better meet the health care needs of this rapidly growing part of Wilson County."

Buchanan noted he is working with TriStar on the project and "trying to find the right location."

On Tuesday Whitehorn said TriStar Summit Medical Center is still "committed to providing excellent healthcare services to the communities we serve."

"We are working through plan details to build our freestanding emergency room at Beckwith Road and I-40 that was approved by the Health Services and Development Agency earlier this year," Whitehorn said. "This new facility is part of our commitment to continue growing with the Mt. Juliet community and will allow us to provide more convenient access to care in a location where our patients need it most."

Plans are for 24/7 emergency care at the one-story, 8,900-square-foot facility that will have eight emergency treatment rooms and a pediatric-friendly environment. They hope to open first quarter of 2017.

Mystery retailer eyeing Paddocks

City Economic Development specialist Audrey Smithson joined in the update and hinted there may be a November announcement on an unnamed "big box" eying the Paddocks location near Walmart, just north of Interstate 40. Lowes is another big box opened in the center.

"We've met with him, and he's very serious about it," Smithson said.

She indicated there's a letter of intent from the big box.

Buchanan said potential business for the city seems almost unlimited.

"We've met every day this week about something going on," he said.

Smithson noted St. Jude's Children's Hospital is looking at property in the Jackson Hills Subdivision on Golden Bear Parkway in Mt. Juliet on which to build a Dream Home.

The St. Jude Dream Home Giveaway is one of the largest single-event fund-raisers for St. Jude nationwide and has raised more than $290 million.

If this year's ticket sales to build a new Dream Home go as planned and garner their goal of $1.5 million by selling $100 tickets, they might look toward Mt. Juliet. The house would be built in Mt. Juliet by sponsors and volunteers and then it auction off, and someone wins it. Smithson said it would be a great sales tax boost for Mt. Juliet if it comes to fruition.

Chamber President Mark Hinesley said they won't have a November economic update and have a "big" meeting at their new office building in December.

Writer Laurie Everett can be reached at laurieeverett1@gmail.com.

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Tags: 
development, Dover Motorsports, growth, Lebanon, Mt. Juliet, Nashville Superspeedway, Panattoni, racing, Randall Hutto, Wilson County
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