A $2.5 million library expansion, nearly tens of thousands proposed homes and apartments, a re-energized Northtown district, White Castle, Starbucks, an under-wraps Project Java, FedEx and Under Armour are harbingers of even more growth to come to Mt. Juliet.
In central Mt. Juliet, officials broke ground on the long anticipated $2.5 million expansion of the Mt. Juliet Library Wednesday. County Mayor Randall Hutto, along with many other city and county leaders, were on hand for the groundbreaking that will more than double the size of the library that draws more than 10,000 people a month. The expansion is 13,800 square feet and will bring a new meeting room, a "quiet" study room and new children's area, according to Library Director Nancy Armstrong, who has been there 21 years.
"The plans had been drawn for six years," she said. They were so crowded this summer all the special programs were conducted at the city's Community Center. Sam Anderson is the architect for the project.
"The addition will be continuing the same materials and motifs as the original building and the previous additions," he said Wednesday. "There will be a separate Children's Room with an elevated puppet stage. A Café area is provided for sitting and snacks and drinks, while another area is like a living room with a faux fireplace for reading the newspapers and enjoying the morning sun."
He noted there will be several "acoustically-private group study rooms centrally located.
"Downstairs is a large meeting room that will hold 240 people," Anderson added.
Hutto said it was "an awesome project."
"It will benefit all ages," he said. "It's long over due and the administration at the Mt. Juliet Library do a fantastic job."
Dubbed "Project Java," a new business will be announced soon, according to Mt. Juliet City Manager Kenneth Martin. Though he's not at liberty to spill the beans on the exact name of the business, he said the project will provide many jobs to Mt. Juliet and the state of Tennessee.
"This project will bring nearly 300 new manufacturing/white collar and skilled jobs," he said.
Those close to the project indicated the location is the former Campbell Hausfeld building near the intersection of Mundy Memorial Drive and Belinda Parkway.
Also in the industrial arena, Under Armour is "coming along nicely," Martin said. "As well as the FedEx facility at Beckwith."
Home2 Suites has resubmitted to the planning commission for the Providence area, and a new medical office building is planned for Belinda Parkway across from Two Rivers Ford.
The Meridian at Providence apartment complex is in the middle of site work, and Lifestyle Community in Providence is in progress that will also bring The Goat restaurant. In that same general area, Courtyard at Marriott is under construction. Just in front of Sellers Funeral Home near Mt. Juliet City Hall, the companion Sellars Retail and Office Center is nearly full.
Northtown no longer in shadow of Providence
Northtown District in Mt. Juliet has revitalized and gained momentum. Along with longtime mom and pops like Moss' and Houston's, they just broke ground on Starbucks and there's lots of buzz about a Krystal in that same area in front of Publix, as well as two other unnamed business in that same lot.
Culvers, a fast-food chain specializing in frozen custard and signature burgers is eyeing Northtown, and Bowers Steak House perhaps will open at the former recording studio, according to Martin.
"These are just some of the pieces of the puzzle to revitalize Northtown," said Ray Justice, who represents the district.
Bentley's Heating and Cooling is opening up a new office in Mt. Juliet in the former Dairy Queen on Lebanon Road. They are completely renovating the place.
New fare sweeps the city
Not only is Northtown on fire business-wise, dozens of restaurants are planned or proposed in south Mt. Juliet and all over the city. White Castle is under construction in the north and Rockie Williams Dodge-Chrysler-Jeep should soon start site work.
Some other possible new businesses include Panda Express, a new Dairy Queen in the north, Marco's Pizza, Jersey Mike's Subs, Smoke Fusion Q Restaurant and many more, said Martin.
"I say possible simply because until a business breaks ground, or actually opens, no deal is done until it either breaks ground or opens," said Martin. "As always, I urge everyone to shop Mt. Juliet First. There are many other exciting things proposed, looking or actually coming to Mt. Juliet."
Writer Laurie Everett can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.