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Bell family donates land for new park

Staff Reports • Updated Aug 18, 2016 at 1:00 PM

The Bell family recently donated more than 15 acres of their Hamilton Springs property to the City of Lebanon for a new public park that will be built adjacent to the Hamilton Springs train station on the west side of the city.

The Lebanon City Council accepted the donation of the property at its Aug. 16 meeting.

“When I first ran for office one of my platforms was the need for an increased focus on quality of life opportunities within the city. For the last six years, I have on multiple occasions commented on the lack of amenities on the west side of town,” said Councilor Rob Cesternino. “This amazing investment in the community by the Bell family is the first step of what I hope to be a priority focus to address both issues. I cannot thank them enough for their gift."

“Having a public park next to the Music City Star stop fits into our overall plan for transit oriented development at the site,” said Jack Bell, president of Horn Springs Development, Inc. “It will be an asset to the residents of Hamilton Springs and also the community at large. We are grateful to be able to provide this space to the City of Lebanon.”

Hamilton Springs Station was approved last May. Bids for construction on the station will be received on Sept. 1. The stop will be the Music City Star’s seventh regional rail station and an additional travel option for people in Lebanon and Wilson County’s growing community, which has experienced a 33 percent population increase since 1990.

EOA Architects of Nashville is the lead architect of the Hamilton Springs Station and Lose & Associates, Inc. is performing the site design. Concept design of the park is currently under development by Lose & Associates.

 “Several local leaders have been extremely supportive of this idea, and we greatly appreciate their support,” said Rick Bell, Horn Springs Development, Inc. partner and Lebanon councilor.  “With our ties to the City of Lebanon, it is a great privilege to donate this park space for current and future residents to enjoy.”

Hamilton Springs is the first community in Middle Tennessee that has planned, designed and constructed a traditional neighborhood “village” with residences and businesses centered around a train station.  It emphasizes the use of transportation modes other than cars.

Hamilton Station, the 396-unit luxury apartment community at Hamilton Springs developed by Gross Builders, is currently approximately 94 percent occupied. These residents are expected to provide an immediate effect on ridership once the rail station is complete.

“Once again, local civic-minded community members have stepped up to the challenge of making Lebanon a great place to live,” said Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead. “We appreciate the generosity of the Bell family in making this land donation to our City. Lebanon is uniquely positioned to build on an asset that no other city in Tennessee can match. As a transit oriented community, additional train stops and services on the Music City Star can increase the possibility of this park development becoming a future destination as a major entertainment venue for Wilson County. You can see the reasons for the excitement of our community. Planned site amenities include an amphitheater with gladiator seating, playground, picnic area with pavilions, walking trails, dog parks and greenway trails. This park will become a major trailhead for the continuation of our greenway system. This contribution of 15 plus acres will enable Lebanon to continue moving forward on our commitment to intercity connectivity to our parks and trail system.”

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