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How does Downtown Development affect the rest of the city? Opinions?


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After reviewing the proposed, and under construction projects for downtown, I wonder how the rest of the city will fare? For instance, when One City, The Lifeway Project, Capital View, Westin/Turnberry site, East Nashville, Germantown, and Sobro are all finished 5-10 years from now, will there be a need for all that West End, and Midtown offer? What about The Gulch?


Even with growth projects of 2 million by 2025, will we have enough people to support all of these areas?







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West End and Midtown are going to be fine. In fact, I would argue that they are amongst the strongest neighborhoods in Nashville. All of the urban neighborhoods will fare well in the next 10 years because of population growth and the shift to urban housing.  We don't necessarily have to fill all of the new apartments and condos with new residents, although I believe they will play a large role.  Getting a percentage or two of the population to shift their ideal of the perfect neighborhood to include places like Midtown, the Gulch, or dense urban core neighborhoods will more than fill several residential buildings and housing developments.    


For example, the area inside of I-440, I-40, I-65 has somewhere in the range of 40,000 people residing there. There are obviously places in East Nashville and elsewhere that are urban core neighborhoods, but we'll use the I-440 neighborhoods as an example.  That 40,000 people represents around 6% of Nashville's population and 2.5% of the metro population. If we get 1 million new residents by 2030 and they live in the same neighborhoods, by percentage, that the current residents choose to live in, then 25,000 additional people will live in that urban core by 2030. I firmly believe there will also be a shift of people already here from less dense areas to more urban areas which would be in addition to new residents moving in.  


That all fits with what we are seeing as well. In the Music Row area alone there will be somewhere around 3-4000 new residents within three years. That's just announced projects.  Germantown will add similar numbers, if not more. The Gulch, sobro, and CBD will add several thousand residents.  By 2020 the 40,000 people living in that defined area could pretty easily turn into 55-60,000 people if the building continues. 

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So, thoughts on some specific neighborhoods:


East Nashville - I don't see this going down anytime soon. Way too much national press and influx of money and population. It will be going strong for years to come.


SoBro - I think the near-broadway area will continue to boom, however with all the development opening up elsewhere, I don't see the area near the interstate getting crazy any time soon.


CBD - With the new convention center rehab announcement, that section of town will continue to be extremely popular. Broadway/2nd Ave needs no discussion...tourism will keep it going for years. I'm unsure what to think of the Lifeway campus, though. Lots of land opening up all at once for development could have a dampening effect, though I hope not.


North Capital, HBV, Germantown - The baseball stadium and new residential will have a boost here in the short term. Not sure what will happen in the next 10 years, but it could continue to develop in certain pockets, or it could stagnate (not necessarily a bad thing).


Gulch - It'll reach carrying capacity with a few more buildings, but it will continue to be a high dollar, popular neighborhood for a certain segment.


West End/Midtown - I honestly have no idea. The area immediately around Vandy will continue to be popular, however I could easily see the boom of office space in the CBD having a negative impact on the office market further west. Of course, Lake Palmer and the car dealerships will continue to kill that segment of Broadway.


21st S./Hillsboro/Music Row - Going to continue to grow for a pretty good while. Just too much influx of population to kill it.


Green Hills - I honestly have no idea what will happen here.

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There are more sites in the Gulch than you think.


To clarify, when I say carrying capacity, I'm speaking more than just number of empty lots.


With the competition to bring in high-dollar renters and condo buyers, new developers would have to lower prices at some point, which I'm not sure many are willing to do right now, so any new buildings in the gulch may soon be curtailed because of market forces. This is COMPLETE speculation on my part, and I could very well be comically far off from reality.

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