The County Commission voted Wednesday to approve a TIF (Tax Increment Financing) for an extension of MLK Boulevard by the city. The vote was 8-0 with Commissioner Tim Boyd absent.
The city wants to extend the road directly across Riverfront Parkway to the Blue Goose Hollow Trailhead on the Riverwalk.
The City Council earlier approved Tax Increment Financing (TIF) for the $5.2 million project.
However, officials said the project will not go forward unless the County Commission also gives its okay.
Last Wednesday, commissioners asked Chamber of Commerce officials to determine how much tax income would be created if a developer builds 40 apartments on the TIF site.
The commission was told that the deal involves paying Evergreen Real Estate of Nashville $3.5 million for a strip of land for the road and building the new boulevard that would include sidewalks, bike trails and landscaping.
There would be another $1.7 million in financing costs.
Under a TIF, the developer would take out a loan for the project and would be paid from future tax income from four parcels at the site.
Commissioners also asked about the existing 9th Avenue that does give some access to the trailhead.
Officials said that road will remain whether or not the new road is built.
Charles Wood of the Chamber said the project would add significant value to nearby properties, including the Alstom site that is for sale.
He said it would create a broad new access point to the popular Riverwalk.
Aaron White, who heads Evergreen, said the roadway would allow those coming down MLK Boulevard to be able to see all the way to the river.
Evergreen has already begun constructing buildings on either side of the road site.
County Mayor Jim Coppinger urged the commissioners to approve the TIF.