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Mt. Juliet city commission approves Project Sam

The Mt. Juliet City Commission unanimously approved the proposed development known as “Project Sam” at a meeting Monday night.

Project Sam proposes a 5-story, 3.6 million-square-foot warehouse and office facility on approximately 80 acres at the corner of Golden Bear Gateway and East Division Street. The office space will utilize 80,000 square feet of the facility with the remaining space reserved for the warehouse.

Project Sam is more than double the square footage of the largest industrial building in Tennessee, Nissan Integrated Logistics Center in Smyrna, according to Nashville Business Journal. The nearby Under Armour, located on Athlete’s Way in Mt. Juliet, ranks second on the list, coming in at nearly 1.1 million square feet.

In the Sept. 23 meeting, the project passed first reading with amendments made by the commission. Previous amendments to the plan include extending an acceleration lane from the East Division onramp to Golden Bear Gateway as well as having the five-acre site on the east side of Golden Bear Gateway be used for a trailhead and parking lot.

The Board also previously had concerns with the building’s exterior as there were no windows shown on the plan and the exterior was not 100% brick, as per city code. At Monday’s meeting, Vice Mayor James Maness made a motion that was passed 3-2  to remove those conditions as a “small concession” for all of the improvements the developer will make around the site.

Mayor Ed Hagerty took issue with the lack of improvements proposed on East Division Street toward North Mt. Juliet Road, saying the increased traffic warranted a commitment from the developer to address the safety concerns. The developers, however, said the majority of traffic would be coming and going from the interstate.

Amendments that were passed in the meeting racked up the additional costs to the project, leading to a recess to allow for the developer to call the applicant, who was not in attendance.

After an hour and a half discussion, and another hour and a half recess, the board unanimously approved the project as amended. The applicant agreed to a $7 million cap for repairs and safety improvements for East Division; any costs that exceed that $7 million will be handled by the City.

The name of the company has not yet been announced publicly but an official with the developer said it will be made known soon and that they are optimistic about the future of the project.

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