On the horizon for 2017, the sprawling development on the Alexander property and a new Chick-fil-A is on the forefront of Mayor Rick Graham’s mind.

Southeast Venture – known for its large-scale commercial developments in Cool Springs and Nashville – has plans for a mixed-use development on the 780-acre Alexander property on Buckner Road. Included in the plans being worked on are a proposed Interstate 65 interchange at Buckner Road. In total for transportation in 2017, $19 million will go toward widening U.S. Highway 31 to five lanes. Another $15 million will go toward widening of Buckner Lane to five lanes, for connection to a potential future I-65 interchange.

“This is coming up in the next several months and will tie into all the road work,” Mayor Graham said. “It will give us a mixed use capability, and in a few years, if we can get the interstate interchange, it is going to lead to office building – a Cool Springs south with office space and white-collar job opportunities, which will reduce traffic by creating jobs that people do not have to commute north for.”

In addition to new job opportunities on the Alexander property, Alexander has witness more growth with General Motors and Tenneco, which both announced mass new hiring in 2016. GM, which is building a new plant by its already existing one, is in the process of hiring up to 650 people and a new shift at its plant, while Tenneco, opening its own new location, is hiring 200, as 2017 begins.

“We are so blessed with all these jobs we get on the blue collar side,” Graham said.

The 117,000-square foot facility, located near GM’s Spring Hill assembly plant, began production in late 2016. It became Tenneco’s second facility in the state, joining the company’s Clean Air plant in Smithville, which employs 650 people.

The new facility will employ approximately 20 people at first, but will gradually grow to employ approximately 175 by 2019.

“This has been a long process, and we’ve been waiting on this announcement,” Graham said. “It’s exciting – a third auto supplier. Like I continue to say, most cities would do backflips for 40 or 50 jobs. Ours come in big waves of 200 or more.”

Big news in restaurants, and what might be happening in 2017, came just last week, when Mayor Rick Graham announced that Chick-fil-A may very well soon sign a letter of intent to come to the Old Silo property.

“After traffic, Chick-fil-A is the thing I hear the most about from people, when I am out in the community,” Graham said.”You have got to give the people what they want.”

If and when the letter of intent is signed – which developer LinkRealty said could be in January – the project will be going through the planning process from the very beginning.