The efforts of a gas service station to move into the location of a longtime Hermitage golf driving range have been quashed.
Customers and nearby residents of Hermitage Golf Learning Center driving range are breathing a sigh of relief at the news RaceTrac fueling center’s attempt to open a 20-pump fueling station and convenience store with beer sales at the corner of Andrew Jackson Parkway and Old Hickory Blvd. have shuttered.
“They backed out,” said District 11 Metro Council member Larry Hagar. “I don’t have any idea why. It didn’t work out.”
Hagar did confirm a second attempt by RaceTrac to revive their interest in the driving range property won’t happen.
RaceTrac’s attempts to locate on 3 prime acres of the 13 acres at this corner owned by the Morgan Family Trust began in October 2020.
Steven and Sandy Cisco have leased about four acres of the property from the Morgan family since 2000, built up a mainstay business with the driving range and constructed several buildings as their business grew.
A rezone request last year from agriculture to CS (General Commercial) by RaceTrac late last year passed at the Metro Nashville Council after three readings, despite strong opposition by customers, supporters and residents worried about the ramifications of a gas station and beer sales near their homes. They also were in support of the family-owned driving range.
Business supporter and friend of the Ciscos, Mary Crews, led an effort to oppose the rezoning last year.
“Roughly 1,000 people signed the petition to oppose this plan,” she said. “Petition signatures were obtained at local establishments, from door-to-door canvassing and through social media.”
According to Crews, there are already 15 fueling centers within two miles of the property and eight of those are within one mile or less.
The petitions listed concerns about increased crime, traffic congestion and loss of a family sports venue in existence for decades.
Sandy Cisco, who operates the driving range with her husband Steven, said she can relax now that she knows they won’t have to shut down.
Cisco said Tim Morgan, part of the Morgan Family Trust, confirmed to her Race Trac did back out.
“He too, did not know why,” she said. “But after all my research about what would have to be done to the property, it came down to too much money to adapt the land to fit the fuel center. I know two retention ponds would have to be built and the pumps alone could cost up to $2 million.”
Cisco said they have two more years on their lease with an option to renew.
“We hope we can lease another five years after the two years are up,” she said. “We are very happy with our use of the property.”
Through the years there has been interest shown in the property from a hotel, a restaurant and even someone who wanted to plant a corn maze there.
Cisco said there are four employees at the range and they are open year-round with hundreds of long-time customers and members using the range each week during peak season. There is a golf pro on hand as well.
“I am relieved this ordeal is over, both my husband and I are 74 years old,” she said. “I love having a place for my husband to work and cut the grass and be busy.”
She said theirs was one of the few businesses that flourished during the pandemic because they offered an outdoor venue. Old Hickory Country Club is somewhat close, but Cisco said a lot of people simply want to practice.
RaceTrac has since set their sights on Madison, with a station there at the corner of Myatt Drive and Gallatin Pike. Hagar said he heard someone with a boat dealership asked about the property.
Attempts to reach Tim Morgan were unsuccessful at press time.