smeagolsfree

West End/Mid Town/Music Row/Vandy Projects

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I’d say the writing is on the wall for Music Row.  Eventually, most of the little guys will be forced to vacate the area because of cost and we’ll wake up one day and realize that most of the music industry has dispersed to different areas of town.  Hate to see it happen, but the land is too close to downtown to stop it from happening.

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While I respect the history of Music Row and recognize its importance to Nashville and the music industry as a whole, does the average visitor to Nashville ever say, "I have to visit Music Row as part of this vacation"? I often hear comments from locals that the area should be preserved -- and that's a valid concern -- but I never hear exactly what the end goal should be. Should it stay as it is indefinitely? Should it be designed to attract tourism and serve as more than just a row of small offices?

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1 minute ago, Jamie Hall said:

While I respect the history of Music Row and recognize its importance to Nashville and the music industry as a whole, does the average visitor to Nashville ever say, "I have to visit Music Row as part of this vacation"? I often hear comments from locals that the area should be preserved -- and that's a valid concern -- but I never hear exactly what the end goal should be. Should it stay as it is indefinitely? Should it be designed to attract tourism and serve as more than just a row of small offices?

The real question is whether or not the city would like an area where the music industry (in all of it’s large AND small parts) is located in a small area, working together almost like a college campus.  There has been great energy by having almost all of the labels, publishers, studios, small little songwriter offices and writing rooms in one central location.  Each time a developer comes in and knocks down 3-4 buildings to build a condo tower, hotel or even office building, there are probably 10 small music industry businesses that end up moving to a more reasonably priced part of town.  

I don’t think it’s about tourism at all.  It’s just about the industry and the inevitable death of the “Home” of the industry.   Not saying it will destroy the music or keep people from creating...but it will eventually be where music used to be created...not where it is still created.

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27 minutes ago, Jamie Hall said:

While I respect the history of Music Row and recognize its importance to Nashville and the music industry as a whole, does the average visitor to Nashville ever say, "I have to visit Music Row as part of this vacation"? I often hear comments from locals that the area should be preserved -- and that's a valid concern -- but I never hear exactly what the end goal should be. Should it stay as it is indefinitely? Should it be designed to attract tourism and serve as more than just a row of small offices?

I think as recently as the early 1990s, Music Row and the Opry were the primary draws for tourists to Nashville.  When I was at Vandy, there were blocks and blocks of souvenir shops and tours that ran through that whole area. Heck you could even get Barbara Mandrell to develop your pictures.

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Don't forget, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum was located on Music Row until 2001 when it moved downtown. Not a stretch to link that relocation with the shift in tourist traffic.

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2 hours ago, titanhog said:

I don’t think it’s about tourism at all.  It’s just about the industry and the inevitable death of the “Home” of the industry.   Not saying it will destroy the music or keep people from creating...but it will eventually be where music used to be created...not where it is still created.

Totally agree.   It’s about the displacement of the industry.   

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47 minutes ago, CenterHill said:

Totally agree.   It’s about the displacement of the industry.   

And I don't think most people understand that a lot of these buildings are being built with developers saying stuff like "we'll provide offices for music companies"...but have no clue that music publishers and songwriters are NOT welcome next to normal businesses because of the levels of "noise" they create.  I promise, if you have a business next to a publisher / songwriter, you'll be asking them to turn down their music every day.  People think they'd love to have their business in the middle of the music industry and then find out the hard way that the two are incompatible.  (I've seen it first hand over and over on the Row).

The industry that was created on the Row ended up being block after block of like-minded people / companies working together in a synergy that probably doesn't exist anywhere else in the world.  Disperse this industry (it's probably too late to save it)...and the music will suffer over time.

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This could be an chance for Nashville to take a stand with how we go about allowing creative growth in the city, but also preserving the industry that made us great. With this building and the mass timber building being planned, I would like to think Nashville should undertake a new approach from a zoning standpoint. I think @titanhog and @CenterHill are right in that this is a massive displacement of an industry and even though we have a lot of things going for us it may be ruining what the city is known for. I know the integrity of Music Row has been the center of a few discussions at the meet up too. Nashville should continue to welcome growth to our city, but they should also demand that resident companies have space here (presuming they want to stay here) at a comparable rate. Now, I know that this idea will be thought of as a crazy government overreach, but from a zoning standpoint, if the city was to create an overlay that prioritizes the music industry it may help heed other companies from working next door only to complain.

FWIW, my first two visits prior to moving here, my girlfriend and I made a point to drive down this area because of the history it holds. We know absolutely nothing about the labels and who recorded where, but we know the area holds a certain level of history for the city. I would also not be opposed to a road diet in both directions in an attempt to make this a more friendly urban corridor.

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One of the issues about making the whole area a historical overlay is that many of the companies and residents did not want that to happen because of the restrictions that would take place on their properties.  There have been several attempts made to create a coalition and try to make some ideas stick, but there hasn't been enough cooperation or consensus among those in the neighborhood.  Pity.   Lots of griping...not enough reasonable action.  

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1 hour ago, markhollin said:

One of the issues about making the whole area a historical overlay is that many of the companies and residents did not want that to happen because of the restrictions that would take place on their properties.  There have been several attempts made to create a coalition and try to make some ideas stick, but there hasn't been enough cooperation or consensus among those in the neighborhood.  Pity.   Lots of griping...not enough reasonable action.  

Yes...it's going to be almost impossible to stop what's happening from happening.  The hundreds and hundreds of small music businesses  along 16th, 17th and 18th Ave (and even side streets) are mostly housed in bungalows and small little office buildings.  A developer comes in and offers $$ to the owners of 3-4 buildings side by side that are too good to pass up...and then you have a new building going up that's no different than any building in any city.  Even if the developer offered these music businesses a reduced rate in their building, it probably wouldn't work with these guys being next to another tenant because of the potential noise level.

It's sad to see it happen...but in a society where people have a right to sell their property to the highest bidder...and where nondescript little buildings are not worthy of historical protection...I'm not sure it can be stopped.  I know many music industry people have tried to think of ways to save Music Row...but really, short of raising a Billion Dollars to buy up all of the buildings and preserve them as they are...I think what's happening will continue.

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3 hours ago, Nash_12South said:

Looks like a demolition permit was pulled for the former Chappy's space. (1721 Church)

Wait, what is happening there?    

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3 hours ago, CenterHill said:

Wait, what is happening there?    

My understanding is that someone is consolidating all the properties along there with the intent of a bigger development, at some point. All the tenants, down the block, are gone as soon as their leases expire.

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I'm happy to see this happen....if the Historical Commission will do their job and decide which buildings in Music Row are worth saving and which aren't then developers and planners would have a blueprint whereby they could develop properties not worth saving in order to bring the big music companies back to the Row while at the same time keeping the smaller independents where they are.

Personally I would tear down the apartment complexes that were recently built- Music Row is a business district, not a neighborhood.

Ray Stevens has the right idea.....

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6 minutes ago, bnacincy said:

Personally I would tear down the apartment complexes that were recently built- Music Row is a business district, not a neighborhood.

So you would not find it desirable to offer Music Row workers the opportunity to live near their workplace? That seems quite a brilliant concept to me!

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Just now, donNdonelson2 said:

So you would not find it desirable to offer Music Row workers the opportunity to live near their workplace? That seems quite a brilliant concept to me!

Of course they can....in Midtown/18th ave and Edgehill. 

Also, not everyone who works on Music Row wants to live on Music Row and not everyone who lives on Music Row is going to work there either.

 

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4 hours ago, bnacincy said:

I'm happy to see this happen....if the Historical Commission will do their job and decide which buildings in Music Row are worth saving and which aren't then developers and planners would have a blueprint whereby they could develop properties not worth saving in order to bring the big music companies back to the Row while at the same time keeping the smaller independents where they are.

Personally I would tear down the apartment complexes that were recently built- Music Row is a business district, not a neighborhood.

Ray Stevens has the right idea.....

The problem is that it's not as much about history as it is about keeping the dozens and dozens of mom and pop music businesses on the Row...and by selling and tearing down the small, little nondescript buildings, you force them to another part of town...and more than likely, scatter them (even though Berry Hill has many now).    They're more than likely not going to rent a small space in a brand new tower because it will not be as conducive to creativity as a stand-alone structure that is all music-related.

Bringing the large companies back to Row may help a tiny bit...but this is more about the common every-day music creator and the small publishers that dot the Row and are its lifeblood.  And btw...I'm not sure the labels that have left will come back.  

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20 hours ago, CenterHill said:

Wait, what is happening there?    

Probably a parking lot. The same group owns two full blocks along Church and they have no plans as far as I know.

11 hours ago, bnacincy said:

I'm happy to see this happen....if the Historical Commission will do their job and decide which buildings in Music Row are worth saving and which aren't then developers and planners would have a blueprint whereby they could develop properties not worth saving in order to bring the big music companies back to the Row while at the same time keeping the smaller independents where they are.

Personally I would tear down the apartment complexes that were recently built- Music Row is a business district, not a neighborhood.

Ray Stevens has the right idea.....

That was tried downtown for a couple of decades and was a disaster.

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13 minutes ago, smeagolsfree said:

Probably a parking lot. The same group owns two full blocks along Church and they have no plans as far as I know.

That was tried downtown for a couple of decades and was a disaster.

Dialysis Clinics, Inc does appear to own everything from 16th-18th, Church-Hayes. I've heard that Nashville Office Interiors is leaving their space in the spring. Unless the economy tanks, I'll bet they are planning something sooner rather than later. Valuable property to just let sit. They've been really pressuring the remaining businesses to vacate asap - I hear.

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8 hours ago, titanhog said:

The problem is that it's not as much about history as it is about keeping the dozens and dozens of mom and pop music businesses on the Row...and by selling and tearing down the small, little nondescript buildings, you force them to another part of town...and more than likely, scatter them (even though Berry Hill has many now).    They're more than likely not going to rent a small space in a brand new tower because it will not be as conducive to creativity as a stand-alone structure that is all music-related.

Bringing the large companies back to Row may help a tiny bit...but this is more about the common every-day music creator and the small publishers that dot the Row and are its lifeblood.  And btw...I'm not sure the labels that have left will come back.  

Sometimes, these small companies (example:Big Machine) outgrow the little bungalows-they need more office space which is why I want to see a few more office buildings on Music Row-I drove down both 16th and 17th avenues and there are a few properties on both streets where non music businesses are located. These are the kinds of places I'm talking about. By replacing them with larger structures we can keep companies on the Row (Isn't that what everybody wants?) .

Did anyone get upset when the big companies started leaving and a bunch of structures were torn down to make way for apartments? I certainly was-and yes I did see tour buses on both streets while I was there and I doubt the tourists were there to see a bunch of apartments.

2 hours ago, smeagolsfree said:

Probably a parking lot. The same group owns two full blocks along Church and they have no plans as far as I know.

That was tried downtown for a couple of decades and was a disaster.

What was tried downtown?

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4 hours ago, bnacincy said:

Sometimes, these small companies (example:Big Machine) outgrow the little bungalows-they need more office space which is why I want to see a few more office buildings on Music Row-I drove down both 16th and 17th avenues and there are a few properties on both streets where non music businesses are located. These are the kinds of places I'm talking about. By replacing them with larger structures we can keep companies on the Row (Isn't that what everybody wants?) .

Did anyone get upset when the big companies started leaving and a bunch of structures were torn down to make way for apartments? I certainly was-and yes I did see tour buses on both streets while I was there and I doubt the tourists were there to see a bunch of apartments.

What was tried downtown?

The Metro Historic Zoning Commission staff have already conducted studies to determine which buildings in the Music Row and Midtown areas are historic individually or as part of a district.  A couple of years ago the property owners of those buildings were surveyed about their interest in adding local historic zoning protections to those buildings to prevent them from being demolished (other work and even additions can still proceed).  My understanding is that all or most of those building owners declined or refused to add such local historic zoning protections to their properties.

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