American Communities, the company developing the Bel Air at Beckwith site, recently took City Manager Kenny Martin and City Planner Steve Foote to Texas to show what they could expect from the site.
“I haven’t seen another development like it,” said Martin.
Martin said the communities, which were located in the Dallas and Plano areas, were like little separate towns from their surroundings. He said if you were blindfolded and dropped there, you would think you were in a completely different city.
“They are just gorgeous,” said Martin.
The project has been in development for about five years because the economic down turn slowed things a bit. But American Communities is several million dollars into the project, getting the area prepped for things to start moving in. There are three letters of intent, with a possibly of a fourth, from multi-family and single family builders ready to go.
“After that, the retail will be automatic,” said Martin.
American Communities paid for the flight down there and the hotel accommodations. They also paid the salaries to the city for the two days that Martin and Foote were away from working for the taxpayers.
Martin said that the development, along with Providence Central, which will bring Class A office buildings, more multi- and single family residences, and retail, will help Mt. Juliet continue to grow. All the growth the City has seen has seemed like a lot, but when you compare it to other surrounding cities, Mt. Juliet still has a lot to go.
“This is just the tip of the iceberg,” said Martin.
Hendersonville and Gallatin are bigger population wise than Mt. Juliet, as well as Murfreesboro, Smyrna, La Vergne, Brentwood and Franklin. Martin thinks that Mt. Juliet can get there if things work out like they are planned.
Martin said that there are still a couple of planning problems to work out for the Bel Air at Beckwith site, but it should start coming together soon. He said he wouldn’t be surprised if the Providence Central site was started first.