Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency | BROWNFIELD PROGRAM
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Environmental Protection Agency

Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation

National Brownfield Association

Program Overview


Recognizing the need for a coordinated and comprehensive approach to the redevelopment of brownfield sites within Nashville and Davidson County, Tennessee, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency (MDHA) completed, with the assistance of a consultant team comprised of local and national experts, a Comprehensive Plan to guide the establish-ment of a formal brownfield program for the City of Nashville.

What are brownfields?

Brownfields are old factories and other industrial and commercial properties in inner cities, suburbs and rural areas, which have been stigmatized by years of neglect and/or potential and unpredictable liabilities. Due to their unpredictable nature, developers routinely avoided these sites, choosing to focus on undeveloped property, or “greenfields”.

The Federal government has historically defined brownfields as “abandoned, idled, or underutilized commercial or industrial sites where growth or redevelopment is complicated by real or perceived environmental contamination”. Recently, as part of new brownfield legislation, this definition has been broadened to “real property, the expansion, redevelopment, or reuse of which may be complicated by the presence of potential presence of a hazardous substance, pollutant, or contaminant”.

It is estimated that anywhere from 125,000 to 600,000 brownfields exist within the country.

What are the goals of the Brownfield Program?

The brownfield program will be an ongoing effort to:

  • Clean up pollution caused by contaminated properties;
  • Revitalize disadvantaged neighborhoods adversely impacted by brownfields;
  • Reduce urban sprawl by eliminating barriers to brownfield redevelopment;
  • Optimize the use of Metropolitan Government resources through the coordinated efforts of existing department functions;
  • Use government resources to leverage private investments to meet the combined needs of the community and the marketplace; and,
  • Balance the need for timely, measurable success and environmental justice.
Redevelopment Efforts

Despite the lack of a formal brownfield program, the City and MDHA have been involved in the redevelopment of distressed sites and areas for many years.

LP Field
The City helped to clean up a concrete plant, auto salvage, sand and gravel facility, steel plant, and other industrial facilities into LP Field. Home of the National Football League’s Tennessee Titans, the 67,000-seat, open-air, natural-grass facility is located on a 105-acre campus on the east bank, across the Cumberland River from the downtown entertainment district.

Dell Computer Campus
The City worked with Dell to convert a former hospital site with a landfill and other contamination issues into a 360,000 square-foot sales, technical support and distribution facility, and a 300,000 square foot manufacturing facility. Over 2,000 people are employed at these facilities, both situated on 80-acres of the Dell campus near the Nashville International Airport.

Bridgestone Arena
The City helped to turn a former industrial area comprised of electroplating, printing, vehicle maintenance and other facilities into the Bridgestone Arena. Home of the National Hockey League’s Nashville Predators, the 20,000-seat facility is conveniently located in the heart of downtown and is credited with stimulating much of the revitalization of the entertainment district in downtown Nashville.

Star Bagel Site
An old gas station in the Sylvan Park neighborhood was cleaned up and redeveloped into a Star Bagel restaurant. As a commercial anchor, the restaurant is a tremendous asset to the community and continues to draw additional businesses to the area.

Rolling Mill Hill
The former home of Metro General Hospital and Metro’s government vehicle fleet center, Rolling Mill Hill has been transformed from brown to green and into a site for new residential and business opportunities downtown. The cleanup and development of Rolling Mill Hill is part of a larger rebirth of Rutledge Hill, one of Nashville’s first “suburban” neighborhoods, dating from the early 1800s.