Gallatin city leaders have given initial approval to the restaurant, retail and residential portion of a proposed mixed-use development that would bring an ice rink to Sumner County.
The Gallatin City Council voted unanimously on first reading Tuesday in favor of a preliminary master development plan and rezoning request for a 25.67-acre portion of The Goat Farm project located at the corner of Nashville Pike and Shute Lane near Hendersonville.
A final vote on the city portion of the development is expected to take place next month. However, separate approval from county leaders will be required for the southern 25.67-acre portion of the property, which would include the ice rink.
“This is actually an exciting proposal and I think it would be really beneficial to us,” District 3 Councilman Jimmy Overton said about the project earlier this month.
In all, the development would span 54.32 acres and would include 60,000-square-feet of retail or restaurant space along with a four-story hotel and indoor recreational venues totaling approximately 36,000 square feet. There would also be an activity lawn that would feature entertainment throughout the year such as movie nights, lawn games and small performances.
The Sumner County Ice Center would be located on the southern half of the property in the county portion of the property, according to plans for the project. The facility would feature two National Hockey League (NHL) regulation ice rinks that would be open year-round with seating for more than 1,800 spectators.
While supporters of the project have said it would help make recreational hockey more accessible to area youth while also benefitting the local economy, many nearby residents have voiced their objections in recent weeks to the location of the proposed development.
Their concerns have ranged from potential noise and light pollution from the development to increased traffic and crime in the area.
“We are trying our best to listen to the residents of the area to apply changes to the plan,” Senior Project Manager John Sexton with Nashville-based Lose Design told city leaders Feb. 9. “We’re doing our best and open to any suggestions to make this a true asset for the county.”
City leaders were informed earlier this month that developers had scaled back the overall residential portion of the project from 122 multi-family units to 76 condominium units. A proposed connection to Vaughn Road in the county portion of the project is also being evaluated.
When asked about financing the development, Kevin Caine with Stratos Development said developers plan to seek approval for a “conduit TIF” or tax increment financing which would allow for property tax collections to be used to pay off construction costs. Developers are also considering requesting state sales tax abatement for only the ice center portion of the project.
“There would be no indebtedness taken on by any public entity,” Gallatin Economic Development Agency Executive Director James Fenton told members of the city council Feb. 9. “That needs to be made very clear up front.
“All of the sales tax from the restaurants, the entertainment center and the hotel would continue to flow to the City of Gallatin.”
A public hearing regarding the city portion of The Goat Farm development is expected to take place during the Gallatin City Council meeting on March 2. Without any deferrals or delays, a final vote could take place on March 16.
If approved, construction could start later this year and be completed by the summer of 2026, according to a Gallatin Planning Department staff report for the project.