Commissioner wants developer to provide cross access to project
A Mt. Juliet city commissioner is upset because he said a developer in his district indicated they won't provide cross access for its tenants and the general population. He hopes he can convince them to change their minds for the good of its tenants and citizens.
District 4 Commissioner Brian Abston said he plans to introduce upgraded, permanent legislation so another "really messed up situation" won't happen again. According to Abston, who ran for his seat in most part to support smart growth and watch traffic issues, the issue revolves around developer Boyle Investors. He said they developed the property in south Mt. Juliet with tenant Publix, a medical business, and restaurant.
"They lease from them," Abston said. "Now they are developing nearby there and near the Holiday Inn Express."
The commissioner said the new development will be a strip mall with Starbucks, Moe's, Super Cuts and a Chinese restaurant.
Abston said in order to get to the strip mall under construction people will have to enter through the Holiday Inn Express entrance. He thinks Boyle Investors should construct a cross access along the back of the development so those who want to go there won't have to use the Holiday Inn Express entry all the time.
"This could be a great development, but to not allow cross access through it leads everyone in and out of Holiday Inn Express's parking lot," Abston said. "Its no fault of current planning. This was done in 2008. Sometimes things look better on paper. This doesn't make sense."
Abston said the current plan will cause traffic congestion, be inconvenient and could possibly "drive traffic away from the developers' existing tenants like Publix."
"My beef is they are not looking out for residents or their tenants," Abston said. "Cross-accessibility can help tenants like Publix."
Abston explained he was told those with Holiday Inn Express granted access through their entrance, but understood a back access would be constructed eventually.
Abston said he met with the developer a couple weeks ago and tried to "make them make things right."
"I tried to give them the opportunity to fix things, and they indicated the cost was too high," Abston said.
The "fix" would involve constructing a cross access and also a bridge to go over the creek. Abston said estimated cost was about $300,000.
"It's just messed up," he said. "I enjoy working with developers who partner with the city and do things good for everyone, for all the citizens and aren't just in it for themselves. I have a problem with it."
He said he hopes the developer will "come back and do the right thing for the good of their tenants and the residents."
"I'm going to work where this won't happen again and have developers commit to cross-connectivity."
Abston said Boyle Investors could tap into some more undeveloped land in the city, and he hopes they and other developers will be "highly scrutinized for a best conceived project, done correctly."
The Wilson Post attempted to contact Boyle Investment Company but was not able to do so by press time.
Writer Laurie Everett may be contacted at email@example.com.