The Murfreesboro City Council voted Wednesday (Aug 10) to approve a finalized Development Agreement with Notes Live INC for a new live entertainment campus at the southeast corner of Medical Center Pkwy and Gateway Blvd. The City and Notes Live finalized the proposed agreement this month. Construction of Bourbon Brothers and Boot Barn Hall is estimated to take 18 months and the amphitheater 20 to 24 months following design approval by the Planning Commission and Council.
“We are excited to finalize the agreement for the high-quality entertainment venture featuring live music in both indoor and outdoor settings,” said Mayor Shane McFarland. “The public-private partnership will add an attractive amenity to our City and elevate Murfreesboro in the Nashville music scene. On behalf of the City Council, I thank Notes Live for making this substantial investment. We can’t wait to see construction and live performances get underway along with necessary infrastructure enhancements to Medical Center Parkway.”
Mayor Shane McFarland and JW Roth, chairman of Notes Live, INC, unveiled plans May 19, to open a 4,500-seat state of the art open-air amphitheater in the Murfreesboro Gateway called The Sunset Music Colosseum on the Stones River. The amphitheater will be located on land that Notes Live will purchase from the City.
The agreement also provides for the development of other venues on the Gateway site:
- Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern, an upscale, casual dining restaurant
- Boot Barn Hall, a 400-seat table setting, acoustically designed music and corporate venue that can be converted into 1,400-stadium seating
- Together, the venues are expected to hire 200 full and part-time employees featuring weekly concerts and see approximately 800,000 patrons per year
The Development Agreement calls for a number of off-site infrastructure improvements including the extension of Gateway Boulevard to Robert Rose Drive with connection to signalization of Warren Street at Medical Center Pkwy (Fire Station 4). The $7.1 million Gateway Extension Project received unanimous approval from City Council July 21 as part of a reallocation of CIP funding from FY 21-22 Bond Proceeds.
- Gateway Blvd. northbound dual left turns onto westbound Medical Center Pkwy.
- Medical Center Pkwy eastbound right turn lane onto southbound Gateway Blvd.
- Medical Center Pkwy eastbound right turn lane and westbound left turn lane at the median opening at The Fountains (Fountains Crossover)
- Connect Access Street A on eastside of the BBST property to align with the eastern drive into The Fountains to Warren Street
- Signalize Access Street A and The Fountains East Drive at Medical Center Parkway
These improvements will include additional signalization, median reconstruction, sidewalk, streetlights, drainage, irrigation, and needed utilities.
While amphitheater venue traffic can be managed appropriately, similar to other medium to large-scale sports and entertainment events, the City and Council has also identified the need to expand Medical Center Parkway to improve traffic flow with a three-phase road-widening project beginning in early 2023. This approximately $26 million infrastructure improvement is independent of the Notes Live Project and could be completed by 2026-27. Council voted July 21 to reallocate CIP funding from FY 19, FY 21-22 Bond Proceeds to add an additional through lane in both directions.
- Phase 1 would widen Medical Center Pkwy from I-24 to Thompson Lane (2023-2024)
- Phase 2 would widen Medical Center from Thompson Lane to The Fountains (2024-25)
- Phase 3 would widen Medical Center Pkwy from The Fountains to Broad Street (2025-26)
Council voted to reallocate CIP funds to the Medical Center Pkwy expansion so the critical project could be initiated sooner.
The multi-million-dollar Sunset Colosseum on the Stones River amphitheater will host large touring acts on a live music entertainment campus featuring 45 firepit suites alongside stadium-style seating and causal lawn seating. The full-service restaurant will include a high-quality tasting room, rooftop patio and an integrated large outdoor patio.
Under the finalized agreement:
- Approximately 8-9 acres will be sold to Notes Live for a 10-year commitment on the number of performances and level attendance.
- Approximately 9-10 acres will be developed by Notes Live that will serve as parking for the Boot Barn Hall and Sunset Colosseum and also provide an area for City Events and a trailhead for the Murfreesboro Greenway running alongside the Stones River.
- Notes Live will design the development to Gateway Design Overlay (GDO) standards and will complete a Traffic Impact Study to assist with management of traffic volumes for large events.
JW Roth, Notes Live Founder and CEO, said: “We couldn’t be happier to partner with the city of Murfreesboro. A show at the Sunset on the River will be a live music experience unlike any other. We expect our live streaming and content strategy to make ‘Live from Murfreesboro’ a household name in every living room in America. Along with Bourbon Brothers Smokehouse and Tavern and our indoor concert venue, Boot Barn Hall, Murfreesboro is the perfect place for our next Notes Live campus.”
Nationally-recognized Younger Associates has completed an analysis of the economic benefits of the Notes Live Project. The annual economic impact of the project is estimated at approximately $50 million ($500 million over 10 years) with an additional $36 million economic impact from construction, supporting 132 jobs and $7 million in wages. Full-time jobs, direct and indirect, are projected to be 138. Total local tax revenue is estimated at approximately $428,000 annually after operations begin with a 10-year benefit to local taxes of $8.5 million. Property taxes are boosted by approximately $6 million.
The Murfreesboro Boot Barn Hall will be modeled after a similar Notes Live venue in Colorado Springs, which opened in February 2019, adding an 8,000-person state-of-the art outdoor amphitheater in 2022. The Sunset in Colorado Springs amphitheater is on the same campus with Bourbon Brothers. Additional venues are underway in mid-sized markets with growing populations, including Gainesville, Georgia, a suburb of Atlanta.
Notes Live identifies markets in fast-growing regions with live entertainment featuring unbeatable sound, sightlines and elevated food and beverage offerings. Murfreesboro is an attractive high-growth area, located along major corridors near the Music City. The public-private partnership fits the City’s long-term vision for an amphitheater within the City as part of park development. Livestreaming from the amphitheater and the neighboring indoor venue, the Boot Barn Hall, are anticipated.