According to the Nashville Post, Nashville Electric Service (NES) is in the process of relocating its downtown Power Substation from Church Street (behind the YMCA) to the Gulch. The new location covers nearly half of the NES Headquarters Parking lot on 11th Ave. South between Church Street and Haynes Ave. According to Drawings on TN.gov (shown below), it also includes proposed sidewalk improvements along the property between Church Street and Charlotte Ave.
Creatively integrating large undesirable infrastructure into the built environment, such as this, has become a trend around the country. Developers and municipalities are taking advantage of brownfield sites, underdeveloped areas and opportunity zones to spur economic development on otherwise unusable land. Cleaning up and reusing these sites can improve air and water quality, public health and safety, facilitate job growth and provide neighborhood character. In the instance of Nashville, the old substation will make way for the new Amazon Operations Center of Excellence and conceal what was a NES storage lot in the Gulch.
While these sites provide a plethora of benefits, they tend to have undesirable elements such as utility infrastructure which is necessary to function. The challenge now is to creatively integrate them into the built environment to encourage redevelopment.
I have posted some notable electrical substation Projects from around the country. How do you think they compare to Nashville’s Gulch Site?
New PEPCO Power Substation – Potomac Electric Power Co. – Washington, DC
Denny Substation Project – Seattle.gov – Seattle Washington