HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. - The plan to build a treatment center on the Hendersonville property once owned by Johnny and June Cash has sparked controversy.
James Gresham purchased the property in March and wants to build an eating disorder treatment center.
"The concept is a residential treatment center," Gresham explained. "They would stay 60 to 90 days to be treated for an eating disorder."
Gresham's plan is to construct buildings on either end of the property that would house patients. The site of the former Cash home would remain empty, for the time being.
The property's new owner felt the lakeside land was perfect for his proposed facility.
"You need kind of a homey feeling in order to heal. That's what this is," Gresham said. "So I think the real opportunity is to build something like this, and it continues the legacy, or enhances the legacy, and the story of redemption that's in Johnny's music."
Gresham said it is his goal to preserve the history on the property through reclaiming as much as possible from it.
"And just enhance the legacy they started of hope and healing. That's the whole point of this," Gresham said.
Many of the residents who live near the property are not pleased with the plans to build a treatment center in their neighborhood.
Chris Spencer recently purchased land two homes down from the former Cash property.
"If they put a medical facility here, I can't see how I can build two lots away from a medical facility, Spencer said.
Harry Adamson has lived in the neighborhood for the last 27 years. He questioned how the project has progressed so quickly.
"None of the residents knew this was happening, and it needs to be investigated, in depth, as to what brought all this about," Adamson said.
The property would need to be rezoned from residential, to office, before any construction could begin. Gresham said he wants to work with area residents to help him understand his plan.
"With most the people, when I've been able to sit down, and they've been able to hear what I am going to do, and they see the renderings, then they get supportive," Gresham explained.
There will be a public hearing in front of the Hendersonville Planning Commission on September 2.