A three-tenant business area across from West Wilson Middle School in Mt. Juliet demolished by a 2020 tornado has been revived from the ground up and will house Autism in Motion.
Property owner Susheel Kumar Chanda said he recently signed a 10-year lease for the entire space and Autism in Motion will be the first tenant.
“We welcome Autism in Motion,” Chanda said. “I am so impressed with this business and its mission for the Mt. Juliet area.”
Chanda’s 3,000 square-foot business space on N. Mt. Juliet Road had three businesses — Stem Builders, Tennessee Spine chiropractic office and Ideal Weight Watcher — prior to the tornado.
“It was really, really bad,” said Chanda, who decided to rebuild a space that doubled the square footage and is brand new. “It was devastating. When you lose all that income you have to hustle, and we did with a new building and tenant.”
Originally, Chanda made a request to the City of Mt. Juliet to change the existing zoning from OPS (Office Professional Services) to CTC (Commercial Town Center) to give him more options for tenants. However, nearby residents expressed concern over that request.
“I had wanted it to be rezoned for commercial and retail and I applied for it,” Chanda said. “The neighbors didn’t want it. So, I withdrew the application. We ended up keeping it OPS out of respect for the community. While it was hard to get through the pandemic, we knew we were doing the right thing.”
Mt. Juliet City Planner Jennifer Hamblen confirmed no zoning was changed for the space.
Chanda said the 6,100-square foot building should be ready by Aug. 1. Autism in Motion, which specializes in autism therapy, will become the first tenant at 854 N. Mt. Juliet Rd.
Ali Thomas, head of Autism in Motion’s community outreach and strategy, said it will start serving clients Aug. 9 and will celebrate a community-wide grand opening Aug. 28.
Autism in Motion’s Brentwood and Donelson locations opened in 2020.
The Mt. Juliet clinic – the business’ ninth in Middle Tennessee — will work with clients 18 months to 18 years to help with independence. This newest clinic’s Clinical Director is Vanessa Iros.
“We are really excited to be in the Mt. Juliet area,” Thomas said. “We can bring our clinic and therapy right into their neighborhood.”
There are several programs offered, with emphasis on early intervention. The clinic offers a gross motor skills room and play area, a large natural play space, a sensory room, one-on-one instruction and services for teen clients.
“There is such a need,” said Thomas. “So many families are emerging out of the pandemic and are excited for Autism in Motion. We are truly invested in Mt. Juliet.”