Forty years ago, Bellevue was expanding and rapidly shaping into the community that we know today. 1979 was a pivotal year of development and construction. New buildings, expansions, and the creation of the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce were key points of progress and growth that was happening in our quaint community.
A look back to 40 years ago and the Bellevue of 1979
A 6 acre plot of land at the corner of Hwy 70S and Harpeth Valley Road was originally slated to be a medical clinic serving the Bellevue community. However, the development became an office park. Pictured below is Rob Stogdill, agent for the sale of the land, and seller Edward Polk.
Artist rendering of a new commercial complex to be located on Old Hickory Blvd. At the time, the estimated cost to complete the structure was $500,000. Today, the development is known as Hickory Forest Plaza and houses Elite Martial Arts, Bellevue Cleaners, Bellevue Coin Laundry, Farmers Insurance, Suki’s Alterations and Dixon Center.
Metro Public Works cleared land for a road off off of Coley Davis Road, creating the entrance into what would be developed as the Bellevue Park soccer fields.
Construction of the Concordia Lutheran Church on Bellevue Road was scheduled for completion on September 1st, 1979. The building today is known as Redeemer Lutheran Church.
On February 1st, 1979, J.D. Martin’s Restaurant opened on Belle Forest Circle. The building was formally the Belle Forest Country Club, O’Charley’s, and then Gaucho’s. The area where Deer Lake Condominiums is now located was a small golf course. The land where the old Bellevue Carmike 8 and TJ Maxx currently stand was a driving range. The Belle Forest Country Club overlooked the golf course and driving range.
Construction was underway on the Bellevue Executive Plaza located on Belle Forest Circle. The 9000 square foot office complex opened in the spring of 1980. The first photo is the artist’s rendering.
Service Merchandise once occupied the building that is now home to Gold’s Gym. The space was vacated in the late 70’s by Kroger, which moved to the building that is now occupied by TJ Maxx.
Grand Opening of Winn-Dixie, Bellevue’s newest grocery store in 1979. The store later became Piggly Wiggly and today is home to Staples.
Here’s an odd one. It was announced in 1979 that Bellevue Center would be completed by 1982. As most long time residents are aware, the mall didn’t open until 1990. The original owners of the mall, The Taubman Company, delayed the development for several years. In the late 80’s, Councilman Vic Lineweaver was instrumental in getting the development reignited and completed.
Bellevue Church of Christ added a 16,000 sq ft addition. The construction was completed in May 1979.
Due to the growth and development of 1979, local business leaders formed the Bellevue Chamber of Commerce the same year. Pictured below are the founding members President Rob Stogdill, Vice President Pete Mears, Secretary Bob Officer, and Treasurer Danny King.