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CBD/SoBro/RutledgeHill/Rolling Mill Hill Projects

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While I do understand the frustration with the mayor seeming to spend so much time on tourism, I think a lot of people do underestimate the impact tourism has...and not all of the impact can be realized in terms of dollar amounts.

Some things to consider:

-the construction of the hotels gives a boost to the construction industry...and many of the specialized construction jobs (crane operators, welders, electricians, etc) pay far more than minimum wage. This is heavy-duty commercial construction, not house construction.

-the impact of having more people downtown makes downtown a more vibrant place. As it has been stated many times, our downtown resident population lags behind almost all of our peer cities. Having more people stay downtown helps the street activity stay beyond office hours. It keeps the bar scene rocking until 2 and 3 in the morning. It supports restaurants that would normally be forced to close after the office workers left for the day.

-speaking of restaurants, the positive press of our restaurant scene (mostly away from downtown) helps fuel Nashville as a budding foodie mecca. While most of these restaurants are generally supported by locals, that kind of positive press helps attract talent that might have never before considered Nashville as a place to open up shop.

-and it's not just restaurateurs that would consider relocating. Visitors and business travelers that are impressed by the type of vibe this city has could consider relocating as well. Most people that have the option to move (i.e. their business is not forcibly relocating them) have actually visited the city they ultimately choose before. Exposing Nashville to a broader range of people changes a lot of perceptions. So when considering that, think about the number of other professions that are impacted by this ripple effect: real estate agents, movers).

The ROI for tourism dollars spent is a lot higher than a lot of people think, simply because of the tremendous ripple effect it has. It is advertising. It helps establish a brand...or in our case, refine a brand for the city. When I read the Tennessean's comment section, I see people say 'why couldn't this money be spent on education/increasing teacher pay'...simply put, because the money spent on tourism will go much farther and impact a lot more people than education funding will.

In summation, while I certainly think that the mayor should have his focus on a broader spectrum of things than just tourism (I think he does, at least to some extent), I think the mayor knows that tourism will likely have a greater overall impact than any other project he could undertake.

ah -- excuse me d. I started typing that before your reply. My apologies.

Edited by UTgrad09

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No worries. Public poll - should this discussion stay here or would you all like to continue it on a different thread? I'll be happy to move the individual posts over for a more streamlined look.

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No worries. Public poll - should this discussion stay here or would you all like to continue it on a different thread? I'll be happy to move the individual posts over for a more streamlined look.

It is a pretty big tangent. It really depends on if the others in this thread have more to say. I got my lengthy response out...if anyone wants to continue, I wouldn't mind a new subject in the coffee house. If not, we can just leave it be.

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Guest 5th & Main Urbanite

John,

All due respect but you have no clue what you are talking about. Detractors of tourism like to limit their jobs conversations to the lower wage jobs that are in tourism (and every industry) while not considering the large amount of mid -level jobs that do exist in every facet. Tourism is no different than any other segment, it has sales associates, service sectors, mid-management, upper management, and janitors just like everything else. There are chefs and wait staff at both high end establishments that pay very well and pubs and taverns that do not. 120 more people in the taxi industry in the last 6 months have jobs where they had none before in direct correlation to the tourism industry. There are management staff and ticket takers at the Country Music Hall of Fame, the Ryman, The Frist, and so on. How many more audio engineers, lighting designers, and stagehands are now working far more than they were 6 months ago? My company had offices in Orlando, Las Vegas, and Dallas until 8 months ago and now they have 3 offices here in Davidson Co. employing over 30 people full time and only 6 of them are hourly. We do hire additional companies that do everything from trucking to office cleaning that are a direct effect of tourism. Since we opened our doors we have become the #1 cargo customer of Southwest Airlines out of Orlando. How many more companies like ours do you think exist? Your statement does not hold water and your "facts" are not even close to the truth...Your time in the industry has not made you an expert but has made you bitter. For that I am sorry.

Curt, you are probably right. My 7 years in the business frankly were the worst 7 years in my career. I spent the majority of it in corporate sales, mainly in the technology sector selling everything from credit card processing, trucking permitting, trucking software, payroll software,  DSL  services, network video,  and the like. My seven years in the business made me never want to go back again. Hostile hotel management, verbally abusive guests, and poor working conditions were the main reason why I left. I could not tell you the abuse employees take in the business, (especially women), and especially from guests. So yes, good riddance!

 

In my humble, and jaded opinion, I see the focus on tourism something that will later bite us in the rear.

 

Okay, enough of that. Back to the built environment.

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You'll want to check out the front-page story in Wednesday's Tennessean: Looks like the big Tony Giarrantana project called SoBro is moving forward.

Edited by jamiehall
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You'll want to check out the front-page story in Wednesday's Tennessean: Looks like the big Tony Giarrantana project called SoBro is moving forward.

Hopefully there will be a new rendering.

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And there you have it, SoBro clocks in at 32 stories and is a step closer to go! Second design is the one being built, but no start date. 5th & Main Urbanite believes that September or October is viable for them to start excavation.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130716/BUSINESS01/307160122/Giarratana-partners-seal-deal-pursue-32-story-SoBro-tower?odyssey=mod{sodEmoji.|}breaking{sodEmoji.|}text{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE&sf15060347=1

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And there you have it, SoBro clocks in at 32 stories and is a step closer to go! Second design is the one being built, but no start date. 5th & Main Urbanite believes that September or October is viable for them to start excavation.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130716/BUSINESS01/307160122/Giarratana-partners-seal-deal-pursue-32-story-SoBro-tower?odyssey=mod{sodEmoji.|}breaking{sodEmoji.|}text{sodEmoji.|}FRONTPAGE&sf15060347=1

 

"SoBro will add to a growing field of apartment projects near downtown with one previous estimate putting units in the development pipeline around Nashville at more than 10,000. Giarratana, however, sees a market still far from over-saturation or being overbuilt. “Urban residential in Nashville is still in its infancy,” he said. “We’re just scratching the surface.”"

 

I agree with Tony here. I think 10,000 in the pipeline is good, but we're still very underbuilt. I'd love to see 5 figures in the pipeline for the next decade. Then we'll be getting somewhere.

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"SoBro will add to a growing field of apartment projects near downtown with one previous estimate putting units in the development pipeline around Nashville at more than 10,000. Giarratana, however, sees a market still far from over-saturation or being overbuilt. “Urban residential in Nashville is still in its infancy,” he said. “We’re just scratching the surface.”"

 

I agree with Tony here. I think 10,000 in the pipeline is good, but we're still very underbuilt. I'd love to see 5 figures in the pipeline for the next decade. Then we'll be getting somewhere.

10,000 is 5 figures :thumbsup:

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"SoBro will add to a growing field of apartment projects near downtown with one previous estimate putting units in the development pipeline around Nashville at more than 10,000. Giarratana, however, sees a market still far from over-saturation or being overbuilt. “Urban residential in Nashville is still in its infancy,” he said. “We’re just scratching the surface.”"

We're still in sort of the infancy of our urban residential renaissance. More will come.

Eerie.

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Article in the TN this morning. Zoning for Hyatt a done deal. Nothing of real note here except it looks as if the facades of the Broadway facing buildings will be renovated and not torn down. I thought that was the case under the original agreement several years ago. They will look better than they look now for sure. I am just not a fan of all of the glass in the proposed building. As I have said I wish it were more traditional.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130721/COLUMNIST0101/307210071/2095/BUSINESS02

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Guest 5th & Main Urbanite

Article in the TN this morning. Zoning for Hyatt a done deal. Nothing of real note here except it looks as if the facades of the Broadway facing buildings will be renovated and not torn down. I thought that was the case under the original agreement several years ago. They will look better than they look now for sure. I am just not a fan of all of the glass in the proposed building. As I have said I wish it were more traditional.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130721/COLUMNIST0101/307210071/2095/BUSINESS02

The more glass the better. I would rather have a more energy efficient modern building. I am tired of these neo-preservationists complaining when it suits them. They were silent years ago when Lower Broadway was full of sex shops, prostitutes, warehouses, and bars full of alcoholics. Now they want to save those dens of iniquity.

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Guest 5th & Main Urbanite

They want to preserve what they never cared about before. Just using a phrase the former pastor of First Baptist CHurch, Bill Sherman used to say about Lower Broadway.

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Yes and there's some dump truck activity as well...looks like they have done some minor digging in the greenspace that fronts Hermitage Ave.

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On Rolling Mill Hill?

There is a new residential building that is going to wrap the smokestack and have views toward the river.  I didn't realize that construction was starting so soon!

Edited by bwithers1

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Article in the TN this morning. Zoning for Hyatt a done deal. Nothing of real note here except it looks as if the facades of the Broadway facing buildings will be renovated and not torn down. I thought that was the case under the original agreement several years ago. They will look better than they look now for sure. I am just not a fan of all of the glass in the proposed building. As I have said I wish it were more traditional.

 

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20130721/COLUMNIST0101/307210071/2095/BUSINESS02

I agree with you, Ron.  Seeing the quote from Tim Walker, Director of Historic, reminded me that the original Westin proposal was what prompted the Broadway Conservation Overlay back when Downtown was part of District 6 and Mike Jameson was the council representative.  This part of Broadway had been part of a National Register district for a long time, but that status does not prevent demolitions et al.  So Councilman Jameson worked with the business community and the Historic Commission to affect a compromise that would allow the Westin hotel development but would preserve the rest of the Broadway buildings.  Unfortunately, the design guidelines that are in place now about window opening sizes, door sizes and spacing, and construction materials, apparently do not apply to the 2nd/Broadway corner because that particular frontage was grandfathered in with the Westin proposal Specific Plan.  As I recall, the Westin proposal itself was going to look more traditional at street level.  Maybe something can still be worked out in a final rendering to include more masonry - especially brick - that would better blend in with the surrounding buildings.

Edited by bwithers1

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I really hope so. I'm not looking forward to the modern glass front on this building. I don't necessarily have a problem with a modern influence in a historic distric. The problem I have is lighting at night. Older masonry buildings don't cast much interior light onto the street. Modern glass buildings (especially a big lobby) typically dump fluorescent lighting out into the neighborhood at night. It's simply visually offensive.

I have a perfect example in my neighborhood. Ill try to post a picture later, but for now ill just describe it. There is a small historic shopping area in Berkeley known as 4th St. Charming old building and tree lined streets. A peaceful evening walk. Last year, they dropped an Apple store right in the middle of it. The lighting at night has completely destroyed the relaxing vibe of the street at night.

Now I know Lower Broadway isn't exactly a "charming evening stroll", but the lighting is calm, not harsh.

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