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New Business Interests For Ailing Lebanon Development

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New Business Interests For Ailing Lebanon Development

By Mark Bellinger. CREATED Aug 20, 2014

LEBANON, Tenn. - It might be just what the doctor ordered for an ailing development in Wilson County.

The Cumberland Center was promoted nearly three years ago as the next big commercial development in Lebanon.

With the exception of two businesses, it has yet to take off.

Nearly three years ago, a developer unveiled plans for the new Cumberland Center in Lebanon.
It would be located right off Interstate 40, and in a decade bring 3200 jobs.

"If we can realize that whole vision over the next decade or so then we've got a power center on steroids," said Developer Larry Frankenbach of Vastland Realty Group.

Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead proposed an entertainment district where tax dollars would pay for improvements, including a minor league hockey arena.

The city council rejected the mayor's plan and the project stalled.

All was not lost.

A western store and restaurant have moved in, and recently the city council approved infrastructure improvements, including a road extension with utilities to make the site more attractive.

"I wish that we were a little further down the road on that issue, but I know that a lot of people in the community really would like to see this,” said Mayor Craighead.

Now, the Cumberland Center may be getting the shot in the arm it needs to really get going.

A company called Goodsports is interested in building a sports field house on the site with a 120 room hotel.

“And that field house will be the venue for tournaments and competitions for basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, wrestling [and] cheerleading competitions,” Frankenbach said.

It's a $20 million project.

Goodsports and the developers are banking on families spending money during the competitions.

“You'll have mom and dad and Johnny and Suzie coming in to spend a couple nights for the hotel, a couple nights eating in restaurants and they'll be shopping at the local retailers,” said Frankenbach.

Mayor Craighead said it's all private money, and he feels this part of the project has the full support of the council.

Mark Bellinger

Mark Bellinger

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Mark Bellinger is a reporter who isn't afraid to ask the tough questions. It's a quality that makes him an asset in the NewsChannel 5 newsroom.