Below is a summary of events that led to redevelopment of Tony Rose Park (submittd by Rachel Zijlstra, EVNA)
BACKGROUND:  Without any community involvement or notice, Metro Parks has entered into a 1 year lease of Tony Rose Park.  During this time, the developers who are redeveloping the old CMA building will use the bulk of the park as a construction staging zone.  After the year, the developers have pledged to repair damage and improve the park with a budget of $90,000.  I’ve attached their proposal.
PROBLEM:  There are many, many issues related to the “deal” that Metro Parks made, namely that it’s no deal for Edgehill.  While we can appreciate that Parks oversees the greenspace, the lack of community input or even notice cannot stand.  The plan for redeveloping the park after its use (abuse) isn’t consistent with what neighbors want.  Lastly, EVNA and other Edgehill leaders worked with those very same developers in negotiations as part of the S/P process for the old CMA building.  They know who we are and how to contact us.  While $90,000 may seem like a lot of money, it’ll make very little difference in restoring our park.  (Reference:  the sidewalks and swing area at Flora Wilson Park cost $80,000 5 years ago).
ACTION PLAN:  A series of meetings have been conducted by RachelZijlstra, EVNA,  and Ronnie Miller, ONE. to gain our neighborhood’s input into the park situation. Through this meeting the Panattoni and Kim Hawkins, Hawkins Partners, have been working to help the neighborhood envision an new park that will be built with their support.
Report from  Kim Hawkins, Hawkins Partners, August 23rd.
FIRST, Panattoni has looked carefully at construction staging and was able to reduce the area for staging from 65% of the park to 35% of the park allowing a much larger area to remain open. (see attached)
Overall reception to the plan was very positive.
Cul-de-sac:  One of the biggest impacts to the park was recovering park space (approximately 6300 s.f.) with the use of the cul-de-sac.  The cup-de-sac then gets used for children’s plan (four square or kick ball) or with adults for street hockey.  Plans would be to work with Metro  Parks and/or Oasis Center to develop cup-de-sac art utilizing youth from the neighborhood to help design and paint it.   This concept was discussed with Mark Sturtevant, MPW< on Monday evening, Aug 14 when I ran into him at a Metro Council minority caucus meeting.  I did relay this to Freddie O’Connell.
Pavilion/Stage:  The plan suggests moving the location for the pavilion to an area between the existing playground and the new activated cup-de-sac.  The pavilion could double as a stage for small community music or festival events and is now oriented to a large open play area and provides better visibility into the pavilion from Music Circle and better visibility to the most active play areas (playground, cul-de-sac play and small multi-purpose field).  The suggested structure would be a Poligon or similar structure with a shed roof which opens to the open lawn.  After discussion, a solid metal roof is preferred.  Two moveable painted wood picnic tables were noted within the pavilion.
1/4 mile loop:  The park plan utilizes the existing walkway near the existing playground area and extends the walk with to 8’ wide for new concrete walkway to form a 1/4 mile loop that can be used for walking and also for children’s bicycling.  The new walk also corrects the stair entry from Music Circle and provides for an ADA access from Music Circle.  A bike repair station with tools and air was also noted just off the loop which could serve families in the neighborhood and is a very short detour from the nearby Music Row protected bike lanes,
Playground:  an option was shown which added some additional playground equipment in the area south of the existing play structure and still within the play structure surfacing.  Based on review, it appears that area could accommodate either one alternative swing structure or several smaller structures.  Some fabric shades were also noted.  This element had the most discussion about whether it was necessary to add play equipment to the area.  The fabric shade would be discussed with Parks as there may be concerns with long term maintenance.  HPI will incorporate these elements for pricing and a final determination can be made later.
Music play:  Several elements of music play (approximately 3 pieces) would be located within the area where the existing gazebo is now (it is planned to be removed).  This would be an area for music play with elements such as drums, xylophone, etc.  This bring the element of Music Row back into the park and is consistent with the influence of Tony Rose as a music leader and founding board of the Nashville Symphony.  The interpretive sign for Tony Rose would also be int his area of the park.
Site furniture:  Two existing concrete tables and the existing grill were to remain,  The plan suggested adding 5 new benches and several waste cans.  The community requested center arm rests for any benchesTwo existing dog waste stations remain, though one is relocated to the north end of the park. A water fountain (with dog bowl and water filler) is added off of an existing water line anticipated to be off of Hawkins St.  Provide one yard hydrant off of this line as well.
Multi-purpose field:  The loop walk on the north side is placed to allow for room for a small multi-use field within in.  This area and the open play lawn are both to be noted to receive some minimal regrading to eliminate the compaction from previous construction staging done by other parties and to eliminate ruts.  Plans call for an extension of a chain link fence on the north boundary of the park.
Shade trees:  Add shade trees especially in the northern parts of the park with limited tree canopy right now.  Trees should have gator bags to assist in watering.
There was discussion about a dog park and it was noted that if a dog park were included, it would occupy the area currently slated for the multi-purpose field and may impede the 1/4 mile loop path.  It also is a very small area.  Many of the community comments noted a place to dog walk, therefore the addition of the loop path, dog water bowl and related dog waste stations were added.  General consensus seems to be to keep the plan as shown.
NEXT STEPS:
1. HPI to review plans with Parks.  It is evident that the costs for improvements currently noted would exceed th original costs proposed by Panattoni.
2. HPI to provide narrative for the plans to allow for Panattoni to pull together initial concept pricing.  HPI to have plans with narrative to Panattoni by end of the is week (cc Tim Netsch with all plans)
3. Panattoni has committed to make asks of other contractors that have used the park previously for staging without permission as well as making asks of some music-related businesses.
4. Parks to review plans and make contact with the Tony Rose family about potential additional gifts.
The next meeting will be Sept. 6 at 5:00 at Midtown Police Precinct (right before the Neighborhood Conservation Overlay meeting).
A special note: CM Freddie O’Connell has been very engaged with all of us during this process. Thank you, Councilman!