There’s an exciting movement afoot in Downtown Clarksville, a revitalization that’s not only renewing the beauty and charm of a number of historic sites, but one that’s also injecting a new sense of worth and interest into brand new ways to live, learn, play, stay, work, and eat right in the heart of it all.
Barnes and Noble
At the top of the newsfeed is Austin Peay and their partnership with big-box bookseller Barnes and Noble to open an off-campus bookstore where APSU students may purchase new and used textbooks and APSU branded merchandise as well as a huge selection of trade books ranging from fiction and non-fiction to children’s books and office supplies. Fortunately for the rest of the bookworms in Clarksville, the new 13,000 square-foot bookstore opening within the renovated spaces of what was once Jenkins and Wynne auto dealership’s main showroom will also be accessible to the public, so you can browse the titles to your heart’s content to find the next bestsellers on your reading list.
The downtown district is also looking forward to the upcoming opening of Civic Plaza, which will include a large pavilion perfect for events and live performances, an expansive green space for gatherings, a beautifully designed water feature with areas of terrace seating, public restrooms, shade trees and a large rain garden, a pavilion for rentals of recreational equipment, and even a seasonal ice skating rink that the city hopes to have open during the cold months of winter. “When we broke ground for Civic Plaza, one of the things that I said was that this was not about the moment, but about a movement,” says Montgomery County Mayor Jim Durrett. “Progress downtown provides such an important opportunity to raise property values in our community, and that’s one of the reasons we continue to focus in that area. We’re just in the early stages of downtown resurrection, but we plan on keeping the foot on the gas pedal!”
Using part of the tax revenues being gathered by Montgomery County to subsidize redevelopment and community improvement, a new plan has been put in place to begin a student housing project at the corner of Main Street and University Avenue called 608 Main. In total, the project will cost an estimated $10 million to be completed in one phase of construction for 72 units with 156 beds in arrangements of one, two, and three-bedroom apartments. Other amenities will include a student lounge, fitness room, and group study areas to be located on each of the building’s four floors. An outdoor commons area will be located on the top floor. APSU students will comprise a majority of the building’s tenants, but Main 608 is not officially part of the university. Red River Trail A downtown section of Clarksville Greenway is under construction to connect the core of the city to Heritage Park, creating a 10-mile long trail for hiking and biking. Extending from the RiverWalk in McGregor Park to the Highway 41A bridge, the newest section of the Greenway is called Red River Trail and will include a walking trail, irrigated landscaping, security lighting, and parking areas. This section of the project is expected to be completed by late September 2017.
Cycle of Sharing
Bike share programs are becoming increasingly popular in bigger metropolitan areas like New York City, but Clarksville is proving you don’t have to be a booming metropolis to benefit from taking the alternative route. Getting things into high gear, Clarksville Academy students have begun working in partnership with Clarksville Parks & Recreation Department to build bikes that will be used at two new BCycle stations that will begin operation this spring, adding to the two stations already in operation at Liberty Park and Cumberland Riverwalk.
The BCycle program itself is the successful brainchild of students of Clarksville Academy’s Challenge Based Learning program, who wrote and won a grant proposal to the Clarksville-Montgomery County Community Health Foundation in partnership with the City of Clarksville. The new stations will hold ten bikes each and will be located at Clarksville Greenway at the Pollard Road Trailhead and downtown at the corner of Public Square and Franklin Street.
For more information about memberships and rental rates, visit www.clarksville.bcycle.com or contact Clarksville Parks & Recreation at (931) 645-7476.
Other notable upcoming events and news about downtown:
Riverfest: September 7-9, 2017. Join in the community fun for this year’s 30th annual festival. Riverfest brings thousands of people together to the banks of the Cumberland River to celebrate the arts, music, recreation, and all things fun at McGregor Park. Free admission to the public. For more information, visit www.clarksvilleriverfest.com or call (931) 645-7476.
Clarksville Downtown Market: May 20-October 14, 2017. Come check out this open-air market held weekly at City Hall’s parking lot featuring locally grown fresh produce, edibles, and handcrafted products from local farmers and artisans. Enjoy live music and special events on select market days. For more information, visit www.cityofclarksville.com.