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Nashville: Developments and News

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Nashville planning 1.8 mile tunnel for light rail and buses beneath its downtown.  Looks like it might be a single-bore tunnel like the notorious Bertha tunnel in Seattle. 

 

http://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2017/10/26/nashville-underground-tunnel-why-mayor-megan-barry-transit-team-says-tunnel-wouldnt-too-big-dig/795533001/

 

The project is contingent on a 1-cent sales tax increase in 2018. 

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30-story, 500,000 sq foot office tower for Korean Veterans Blvd., just south of the gigantic convention center. 

 

http://www.tennessean.com/story/money/real-estate/2017/11/01/law-firm-baker-donelson-headed-mainlands-one-kvb-office-tower/823166001/

 

Here is the location, about 800 feet from an subway station proposed last month:

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1551105,-86.7776946,863m/data=!3m1!1e3

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This scandal just keeps getting juicier and juicier:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/02/22/megan-barry-affair-nude-cell-phone-photos-deleted-chats-may-show-evidence-crime-mayor-megan-barry/360898002/

 

If the police officer was in fact billing overtime while he and the mayor were partying, it's over for Mrs. Barry. 

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I think it is hard to have 175k in overtime for the year without having inappropriate behavior going on. I don't know for certain of course but do the math, there are only so many hours in a year where he could possibly be "on the clock" assuming a reasonable amount of "sleep" which he apparently did not get on the mayor's detail, it seems like her time in the mayors chair is limited.

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Megan Barry has resigned as mayor of Nashville as a result of her guilty plea to felony theft:

 

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry resigns from office; 'I love you, Nashville,' she says

 

Nashville Mayor Megan Barry announced her resignation at a news conference Tuesday morning. The resignation comes after she pleaded guilty to felony theft over $10,000 related to her affair with her former police bodyguard.

 

She faced multiple investigations into the affair with police Sgt. Rob Forrest, who is now retired. Barry agreed to reimburse the city.

 

The mayor gave a short statement to the media shortly after 10 a.m. at the Metro courthouse on Public Square.

 

Barry said is has been her "honor and privilege" to serve as mayor and urged residents to rally behind her successor.

 

"I love you Nashville," she said.

 

More below:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/news/2018/03/06/nashville-mayor-megan-barry-expected-resign-press-conference-tuesday-morning/398440002/


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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A huge number of hi-rise hotels under construction as we speak in and around downtown Nashville, plus a few office and residential towers:

nashville-1_zpswpyuuxgc.jpg

 

Announced projects that might break ground this year:

nashville-2_zps8qhjerdx.jpg

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Dear lord do most of those look boring... It's crazy there's now a market there for 30-40 story condos while we're lucky to get half that height for residential buildings in any of the 3C's.


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Yep. I really hate Nashville and it’s because I’m jealous the boom that’s happening there.

 

For those that know, what’s fueling this? Where is all that money coming from in what was a sleepy southern capital until recent history?

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Dear lord do most of those look boring... It's crazy there's now a market there for 30-40 story condos while we're lucky to get half that height for residential buildings in any of the 3C's.

Comparing Nashville to Cleveland and Cincinnati is just asinine because over the years both of the Ohio cities have had old structures that have been converted into residences/hotels. Nashville, on the other hand, is mostly building new structures. And while Columbus’ new construction projects apparently aren’t on Nashville’s level at this point in time, there is obviously a great deal of development going on, especially downtown. And each of the 3C’s have bigger and taller skylines than Nashville. And BTW, what’s going on in Nashville is impressive.

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The thing I can't wrap my head around is you always hear people vocalizing about how they could "never live in a 'red state'" and love to sneer at O-K-I (et al), but then they just eat the hell up out of Nashville. It's just weird to me that cities like Nashville and Austin have so successfully managed to sell themselves as progressive champions in two of the reddest states. Maybe it's because of that contrast, and not in spite of it, that's made them stand out so much. Do non-Nashville Tennesseans (both in the cities and elsewhere) view this boom as an overall good thing for their state, or are they threatened/scared of it?


“To an Ohio resident - wherever he lives - some other part of his state seems unreal.”

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Comparing Nashville to Cleveland and Cincinnati is just asinine because over the years both of the Ohio cities have had old structures that have been converted into residences/hotels. Nashville, on the other hand, is mostly building new structures.

 

Yeah Cincinnati has had about 5 historic high-rises converted to boutique hotels since 2010, but the sheer number of hotel rooms being built in DT Nashville is pretty impressive.  Meanwhile, there is relatively little office space going up.  Nashville's biggest office hi-rise is only half the square footage of Queen City Square.  Even with all of the construction, the downtown will still not be a formidable center of professional employment.  But hotel and restaurant workers are unfortunately forced to drive to work because public transportation there is so poor. 

 

The thing I can't wrap my head around is you always hear people vocalizing about how they could "never live in a 'red state'" and love to sneer at O-K-I (et al), but then they just eat the hell up out of Nashville. It's just weird to me that cities like Nashville and Austin have so successfully managed to sell themselves as progressive champions in two of the reddest states. Maybe it's because of that contrast, and not in spite of it, that's made them stand out so much. Do non-Nashville Tennesseans (both in the cities and elsewhere) view this boom as an overall good thing for their state, or are they threatened/scared of it?

 

I don't get it.  Unfortunately a lot of the Nashville natives I ran across when I worked there were all smiles but had some sort of creepy or dark side to them.  Living in Ohio you just don't run across as many Jesus people who are secretly alcoholics or drug addicts, secretly homosexual, scam artists, etc.  Now these people have been joined by a bunch of rich people from California and other miscellaneous trust funders. 

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Yep. I really hate Nashville and it’s because I’m jealous the boom that’s happening there.

 

For those that know, what’s fueling this? Where is all that money coming from in what was a sleepy southern capital until recent history?

 

Automotive and all the spinoffs from it.  You need that blue collar employment base to support whatever else you want to do as a city.  We always talk about moving on from heavy industry.  The south doesn't talk like that.  There was a Nashville conversation here a couple weeks ago and I did a little research.  Since then, ads promoting industry in Tennessee are still chasing me around the web.  They think it's insane to give up on their industrial base, instead they're ramping it up.

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Yep. I really hate Nashville and its because Im jealous the boom thats happening there.

 

For those that know, whats fueling this? Where is all that money coming from in what was a sleepy southern capital until recent history?

 

Automotive and all the spinoffs from it.  You need that blue collar employment base to support whatever else you want to do as a city.  We always talk about moving on from heavy industry.  The south doesn't talk like that.  There was a Nashville conversation here a couple weeks ago and I did a little research.  Since then, ads promoting industry in Tennessee are still chasing me around the web.  They think it's insane to give up on their industrial base, instead they're ramping it up.

 

I question how much automotive stuff is actually going on in Nashville.  Every auto industry article I have seen is lathered in typical Nashville hype.  The only two big things that have happened in the past 10 years were the Nissan HQ (which is in the suburb of Cool Springs) and the new Bridgestone tower, which is Downtown, and one of the few new office towers (most of the new towers are hotels or residential).  Also, the Bridgestone building looks pretty nice but it's actually not very large by square footage. 

 

According to the recent report by Site Selection, Nashville's boom is a bit of a Potemkin Village:

https://siteselection.com/issues/2018/mar/top-metros-2017-repeat-defenders.cfm

 

It's getting outgunned in real business growth by Cincinnati and Columbus.  The hi-rise construction boom is tourism-related and new housing for California transplants.     

 

 

 

 

 

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You'd have to look further back.  Their growth tracked closely with the decline up north, which began in the 60s.  I was in the industry around 2000 and Nashville was already a major hub.  Its housing market is just now catching up to its employment market.  The employment boom already happened.

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You'd have to look further back.  Their growth tracked closely with the decline up north, which began in the 60s.  I was in the industry around 2000 and Nashville was already a major hub.  Its housing market is just now catching up to its employment market.  The employment boom already happened.

 

I am still quite skeptical.  Cincinnati lost the Toyota HQ and a Ford plant in the past five years and it's easily beating Nashville using this place's criteria. 

 

Digging into the criteria...

• Restaurants/ Bank branches (Headquarters will qualify

if meeting the General Qualifying Criteria.)

• Retail including shopping malls, museums, elementary and secondary schools

and other non-commercial educational facilities, government facilities (other than

infrastructure categories listed below), self-storage facilities, airports, arenas,

business parks and spec buildings, hotels, casinos, destination resorts, theme

parks, highway projects, hospitals and other medical facilities, power plants, rail

and rapid transit systems, university research facilities, water and waste units

 

 

The flurry of downtown hi-rise hotel construction is impressive but is not the product of an underlying business boom.  These are leisure travelers, not business.  The residents of the downtown residential towers aren't people who need to be downtown for business -- many of them don't even have jobs.  They are trust-funders or retirees or divorcees who are just hanging out. 

 

 

 

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saturn used to be located about 40 minutes south of nashville and that died off in the great recession. nissan more than made up for the saturn loss, but it also is located outside of davidson county.

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A huge number of hi-rise hotels under construction as we speak in and around downtown Nashville, plus a few office and residential towers:

nashville-1_zpswpyuuxgc.jpg

 

Announced projects that might break ground this year:

nashville-2_zps8qhjerdx.jpg

 

Jake what happen to the two images you provided in your post, I saw them when you first posted and wanted to go back to it at a later time. Now poof! they have disappeared.

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Finally some news on the West End Summit site.  This is the area's most conspicuous relic of the 2008 economic collapse...a developer dug a deep basement for a pair of hi-rises, then abandoned the project.  The pit filled with water not unlike a flooded rock quarry. 

https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2018/03/26/nashville-tn-west-end-summit-sold-propst-development/457767002/

 

You can see the water from space:

https://www.google.com/maps/@36.1546249,-86.7945305,255m/data=!3m1!1e3

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Not surprised. Nashville is in TN after all. THis looked like the Cincymoves plan from 2002 that went down in similar fashion

 

After reading the article and looking at the map. It's stunningly similar.


“All truly great thoughts are conceived while walking.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

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The Nashville plan was much, much bigger.  1-cent sales tax + hotel tax + car rental tax + business excise tax.  Metro Moves was merely a 1/2-cent sales tax. 

 

It's important to note that Davidson County only has 680,000 residents whereas Hamilton County has 810,000.  So a tax in Davidson County would need to be somewhat higher to raise the same amount of money. 

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Bigger in what? Size and scope or just cost?

 

Metromoves had no tunnel or exotic piece of engineering.  Also, metro moves was centered around using existing bypass rail and expressway right-of-ways in order to reach outward as far as possible rather than reinforce existing arterials.  In short, it was park-and-ride oriented to a much greater degree than was the Nashville plan. 

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which plan would have been more effective?

 

The Nashville plan was much more ambitious.  The Metro Moves was a good plan for the price but it wasn't going to establish a grade separated core that a big-time system could feed into.  With Metro Moves they prioritized getting close to the edge of the county in several directions over a much shorter grade separated project in the city. 

 

The Nashville plan was going to fundamentally realign the place.  It was going to tie together four suburban avenues that each enter the downtown in a different fashion and don't meet in and organized way (the complete opposite of Detroit or Columbus or Indianapolis).  Then is was going to remake those nondescript suburban avenues as higher-density and walkable places.  It would be like turning Beechmont or Rt. 4 or Colerain into an attractive boulevard with a center reservation for rail. 

 

There really isn't a comparison with Cincinnati.  Cincinnati has narrow streets in the prewar city and except for Madison Rd. they probably couldn't do the same thing with surface rail.  Plus, they'd have to dig a subway just to get to the spot where Madison becomes wide near DeSales church. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Nashville worried that it's "becoming the next Atlanta":

http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/as-nashville-rapidly-expands-residents-worry-the-metropolis-is-growing-too-fast/ar-AAyNMFr?li=BBnbfcL&ocid=LENDHP

 

Well it has a very long way to go with that...Nashville's current metro population is currently what Atlanta's was in 1965.  It surpassed 2 million around 1970 and is currently around 6 million. 

 

If people want to live in a laid-back southern city, allow me to suggest Knoxville or Chattanooga, although the traffic in Knoxville is horrendous for a metro of well under 1 million.

 

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Nashville will never be Atlanta. It does not have the built in intangibles that Atlanta has plus Atlanta had a 50 year head start.

 

I believe that Atlanta's city fathers understood back in the 60s and 70s that the jet age meant every region needed a domestic and international hub airport and the South had no clear prominent city.  So they went about making it happen while Birmhingham, Nashville, etc., stood still. 

 

No reason why Memphis couldn't have better capitalized on its cultural history and become the trashy tourist destination that Nashville now is.  For example, Aretha Franklin's childhood home is vacant and has no marker in front of it. 

 

Knoxville attempted to become something with the 1982 World's Fair, but when I lived there in the 90s, the world's fair grounds were overgrown and tumbleweed was blowing through downtown.  There was an Arby's and a Subway, and that was it. 

 

 

 

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Nashville just came of age too late. Memphis was the major city in TN for most of the state's history but city fathers really dropped the ball on that one and have fallen behind Nashville lately.

 

Knoxville is a cute little town but does not have the geography to become much more than it already is.

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I believe that Atlanta's city fathers understood back in the 60s and 70s that the jet age meant every region needed a domestic and international hub airport and the South had no clear prominent city.  So they went about making it happen while Birmhingham, Nashville, etc., stood still. 

 

Atlanta's success is no accident, it was planned and executed by the leadership at the time, as was Austin's, while most of the country stood still.

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It's pretty obvious that this NY Times article was motivated by the Nashville city fathers:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/19/climate/koch-brothers-public-transit.html

 

This is a very smart move.  Make it known that the transit tax failed at least in part thanks to outside meddling, and have that messenger be an outsider.  This is of course a crisis for Republican-heavy Tennessee -- they are reaping what they sow.  Every state has the power to fund and manage its cities public transportation, but the list of states that do so is short.   

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42587571295_67921d738f_k.jpg

 

Made this panorama over the weekend. Cranes everywhere!

 

 

very cool. its just incredible. the place was a ghost town when i lived there briefly.

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