By Thomas Sellers Jr.
The landscape of Millington, Tennessee has seen tremendous change in the past decade.
The 2010s concluded with more additions with Arby’s Restaurant being the latest. With more to come in the 2020s, Millington Mayor Terry Jones said the leadership of Flag City is poised for more change in a positive direction.
“I thought 2019 was phenomenal for Millington,” he said. “I think we’ve got everybody in the right places to get things done. It’s all a process of networking and working together as a team.
“We’re trying to make it one team with everybody in the city from the schools, the city, the IDB, the airport, trying to get everybody working in the same direction,” he added. “It seemed to work out very well in ’19.”
During the 2010s, Millington gained its own school system with Millington Municipal Schools. Shortly after that the Shoppes at Millington Farms came to fruition with businesses like Huey’s, Ross, Dunham’s Sports and many more.
Prior to that Chic Fil A, IHOP and McAlister’s made Flag City home. Now some classic locations in Millington are preparing for a change. Navy Road has seen a couple of new businesses open and the historic USA Stadium is about to undergo major renovations.
“Starting here with the city, we’ve got USA Stadium sold,” Jones recalled. “So we’re bringing a baseball conglomerate which is supposed to bring baseball fields here for a complex for 12 to 16 years old.
“Talking to the people coming in, they’ve got about 170 days of baseball scheduled for this year,” he added. “That’s going to be a lot of baseball which means a lot of people here in the city.”
With USA Stadium about to enter a new era, the city will try to secure more businesses ensuring there safety from natural disasters like floods.
“Another thing we’re moving along with is the resiliency grant,” Mayor Jones said. “We’re at the 10-year mark of our flooding and one thing the resiliency grant is going to do is lower our flood stage by about 4-feet. That’s underway right now as they’re getting all the byways done. That’s about a $40 million project.
“About $7.5 million dollars of that is toward recreation,” he added. “They’re talking about putting in an amphitheater outside along with the football, soccer and rugby fields. Actually it’s in the proposal about putting a tunnel to connect USA Stadium with the other side. We’re hoping that gets done.”
Jones noted those who visit the future recreation area and USA Stadium will have plenty of options for food.
“Arby’s just opened up,” he said. “We’ve got Kentucky Fried Chicken still coming in. And we have Waffle House coming.
“Other things we’re excited about, we’ve got our shopping center Millington Farms which we got through the TIF program (Tax Increment Financing),” Jones continued. “We’re working on our second TIF right now. This one we’ll probably use for about 103 acres which surrounds the fields around the shopping center near Lowe’s.”
Walmart and Lowe’s were the centerpieces in the early 2000s in Millington. They will continue to service as that as land is cleared within sight of these businesses.
Millington plans to extend Glencoe Road near Lowe’s by putting a road there to go north toward Veterans Parkway. It will be cleared for a $25 million development project for upscale apartment. The road project is budgeted at about $3.5 million to keep traffic flowing.
It won’t cost taxpayers a thing when the TIF is secured.
“We’ve got rooftops going in right now,” Jones said. “If you haven’t been up Wilkinsville, the subdivision already has roads laid and we have 48 lots for sell going in there.”
With about 215 upscale apartments coming, Jones said that means more growth for Millington Municipal Schools.
Growth is returning to Navy Road. Jones and the Board of Alderman have made it a concern to return retail the stripe.
“New business are filling in old spaces on Navy which is what the city needs,” he said. “We’ve have a couple of lots vacant on Highway 51. But Navy Road is coming back to life. We’re getting ready to start our phase 2 of the streets capes which is going to improve Navy Road more.”
The City of Millington has concentrated on getting rid of blight and realigning roads from ADA program. On Raleigh-Millington, re-cuing that area and redoing the bridge on Raleigh-Millington into one 5-lane bridge instead of 2, two-lane bridges.
Orange cones will be a temporary fixture in Millington with Astoria Avenue also undergoing future construction to become a five-lane road as well near the Millington Memphis Airport.
“It’s always important to plan for your growth,” Jones said. “If you’ve been to Nashville lately, they’ve overgrown their roads. It’s bumper to bumper all the time no matter what time of the day you’re there. They’ve had so many people move in there and the roads just haven’t been able to keep up with the growth.
Growth means doing seemingly unimportant things like constructing a detention pond. Then more visible ventures like the Veterans Administration outpatient center coming will be a construction site.
“That’s going to be another huge feather in our cap whenever the VA comes in,” Jones said. “Not only will the VA come in but they’ll have referrals to other doctors. We have plenty of areas for them to grow into as well.
“I would like to see us continue with a controlled growth,” he concluded. “I would like to see our homes sold here and we continue with our next projects. I would like to see some of the things we already have in work come to fruition. That’s the main thing, anything we can do to help our schools, the Industrial Development Board and our citizens, our services for the citizens are probably better than any other community around.”
By Thomas Sellers Jr.