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Planning and Common Sense

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The Invites Are Out, But Are We Even In The Race For White Collar Jobs?

 

“The city is not attracting that many white collar jobs,” Councilman Eddie Smotherman

A planning consultant has told city leaders that the old rules don’t apply any more when it comes to attracting quality companies with high-paying white collar jobs.

The trusted formula was that cities attracted companies by offering tax breaks and other inducements the same way they compete for sports franchises. Workers naturally followed these companies, locating where well paying jobs were plentiful.

""Are the inmates running the asylum?"
“”Are the inmates running the asylum?”

According to the consultant, the Texas-based Kendig Keast Collaborative, that formula has been stood on its head. The best companies are now following the most talented workers. Instead of enticing companies to locate here, Kendig Keast says, the best approach is to make Murfreesboro an exciting place where young, urban professionals want to live.

So how are we doing?

Continue reading “The Invites Are Out, But Are We Even In The Race For White Collar Jobs?”

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“Why Can’t We Be More Like Franklin?” Resident Asks Murfreesboro Planners

An apartment developer, who has bent over backwards to please neighboring residents in single family homes called a town meeting Thursday night to try to win them over.

His aim was to convince them that they have nothing to fear but fear itself. They weren’t buying. While no one came away from the meeting happy, it is likely the developer will get city approval for his luxury apartments off Manson Pike. Continue reading ““Why Can’t We Be More Like Franklin?” Resident Asks Murfreesboro Planners”

Squid Sells Better As Calamari

What’s in a name? Maybe a rose would smell the same by any other name to Shakespeare, but picking the right name is important in the development business.

After all, Google was once called BackRub.

"What about the Belgian chocolate compay that changed its name to ISIS in 2013 and then had to swicth again?
“What about the Belgian chocolate company that changed its name to ISIS in 2013 and then had to switch names again?

The idea is to use a name that makes a prospective homebuyer want to drive out and look at your homes. Once you have him on the site, the battle is half won. It doesn’t hurt that once he is out there it might give him a good feeling to think he lives in Sherwood Forest — even though there isn’t a tree in sight. Trees are good.

We have a shopping center on Thompson Lane called The Oaks. Maybe there is an oak there. I haven’t checked it out, but it’s nothing like a grove of stately trees. The Avenue Murfreesboro evokes an image of the upscale stores on New York City’s Fifth Avenue.

Continue reading “Squid Sells Better As Calamari”

Historic Home Is Safe For Now

There is a good chance that the Springfield House, one of the oldest homes in the county, has beaten the wrecking ball.

This treasure apparently has survived another threat.
This treasure apparently has survived another threat.

It won’t be around for us to tour and enjoy like the Oaklands Mansion. But just to know it will still be with us is a relief in these times when it seems more natural to tear something down than to preserve it.

Charles Haskett, a principal partner in Bonavic Development of Birmingham, Ala., told the city’s planning commission Thursday that he is committed to preserving the Springfield Mansion. He said it will be a theme for his apartment and townhouse development on 17.92 acres along Manson Pike.

Continue reading “Historic Home Is Safe For Now”

Hey Cookie! Your Diet May Be About To Improve

Maybe you decided as your New Year’s resolution to eat blueberries every day on your vanilla flavored active-culture yogurt.

"Get to the point. You are really backing into this story."
“Get to the point. You are really backing into the lead of this story.”

Great idea! Blueberries are high in nutrients, low in calories, taste delicious, highest in antioxidants of all common fruits and vegetables and may fight cancer, lower blood pressure and prevent heart disease.

Bad idea! Blueberries are among those fruits with the highest content of pesticides, according to an Environmental Working Group analysis.

Continue reading “Hey Cookie! Your Diet May Be About To Improve”

If It Were The Gong Show, Hook Would Have Come Out At Parks Briefing

A consultant for the parks and rec dept. used the most sophisticated techniques modern science offers, but something went tragically wrong!  Despite a sophisticated 100-point matrix for selecting a park site on the city’s west side, the top choice landed with a thud when presented to council members Thursday night. Continue reading “If It Were The Gong Show, Hook Would Have Come Out At Parks Briefing”

Former Methodist Church Could Be Focus Of Downtown-MTSU Corridor

“Cities need old buildings so badly it is probably impossible for vigorous streets and districts to grow without them.”  — Jane Jacobs.

"Has the world slipped off its orbit?"
“Has the world slipped off its orbit?”

Judging from last week’s council meeting it is likely that the former United Methodist Church behind Franklin Synergy Bank on East College St. has a date with the wrecking ball. For once, councilman Eddie Smotherman and this site agree on something: The loss of this landmark would be a tragedy.

Continue reading “Former Methodist Church Could Be Focus Of Downtown-MTSU Corridor”

Late Night Scores: Sensible Planning 1, Laissez Faire Economics 0 (Extra Inn.)

“It has been said that, at it’s best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future.”
-William Murtagh, first keeper of the National Register of Historic Places

         *          *          *          *

It was the first test of their commitment to the 2035 plan for Murfresboro’s future growth, and (if you’ll pardon the cliche) city council members passed with flying colors Thursday night.

Continue reading “Late Night Scores: Sensible Planning 1, Laissez Faire Economics 0 (Extra Inn.)”

Eco: 35: How A Sense Of Place Can Mean Money In Merchants’ Pockets

Writing about Oakland, Calif., the city she grew up in, the author Gertrude Stein once wrote: “There’s no there there.”

I wound up in Murfreesboro because there seemed to be more of a “there” here than in Smyrna, my original destination.

Where’s your proofreader, Mr. Keast?

But to be honest, we don’t have the kind of “there” that Franklin has or even Chattanooga.

Continue reading “Eco: 35: How A Sense Of Place Can Mean Money In Merchants’ Pockets”

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