Metro Nashville approves vision plan for Music Row

A water fountain surrounding the u201cMusicau201d sculpture will be built on Music Row.

A water fountain surrounding the u201cMusicau201d sculpture will be built on Music Row.

Image description
Metro Nashville approves plan for Music Row
Image description
Metro Nashville approves plan for Music Row
Image description
Metro Nashville approves plan for Music Row
Image description
Metro Nashville approves plan for Music Row
Image description
Metro Nashville approves plan for Music Row
During the 1970s—the same decade Ed Bruce penned his Grammy-winning country ballad, “Mammas Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Cowboys”—songwriter Trey Bruce recalls spending days with his father inside RCA Studio A on Music Row.

Trey Bruce returned to the studio four decades later, but this time to play a pivotal role in saving the famed building from demolition in 2014.

“I grew up in these studios,” Trey Bruce said. “RCA Studio A was a wake-up call for me and others on Music Row, but imagine the time and resources you would need to save every building at risk in this neighborhood.”

Bruce, who is now a board member for local preservation group Historic Nashville Inc., described the fight to save RCA Studio A as the catalyst for conserving Music Row. In 2015, Metro Nashville planning staff began engaging with community stakeholders to strike a balance between growth and preservation.

Four years later, the Music Row Vision Plan—unanimously adopted June 27 by the Metro Nashville Planning Commission—aims to preserve history and guide future development on Music Row from north of Demonbreun Street to Wedgewood Avenue.

“This whole process has been about how we can protect Music Row’s history while finding creative ways for it to grow,” said John Dotson, a steering committee member and founder of the former Music Row Neighborhood Association. “If there’s one thing [the steering committee] has all been able to agree on, it’s that we all want to see the character of the area preserved.”

The vision


According to Metro Planning Manager Joni Priest, the plan’s final version is meant to be a compromise between preservationists and developers.

Under the guidelines, the type of new developments largely hinges on the location. The plan encourages large-scale projects on the northern tip of Music Row surrounding the roundabout and small-scale developments in the form of retail, restaurants and small live music venues be permitted farther south near Edgehill Avenue. The southern corridor along Wedgewood Avenue will maintain its existing residential footprint.

However, prior to the plan’s approval, preservation groups said the plan lacked the guidelines it needed to fully protect historical properties, while developers argued the plan may lead to new zoning rules that restrict current and future businesses from expanding.

“When I purchased my property with a large plot of land, it was with the understanding that it would be a strong asset if I ever needed to sell,” said Andrew Mendelson, a business owner on Music Row. “Decreasing the number of potential buyers by eliminating residential developers will significantly decrease the property value.”

The National Trust for Historic Preservation—which in May named Music Row one of America’s most endangered landmarks—along with Historic Nashville Inc. urged the planning department to eliminate recommendations for increased building height allowances anywhere in Music Row and to not accept specific plan exemptions, or design standards established for a specific development.

Carolyn Brackett, a senior field officer for the National Trust for Historic Preservation, said she dedicated the last five years to researching development on Music Row. In her findings, Brackett identified 50 demolitions since 2013 that have since become apartments, offices and a hotel. Between 2000-12, 13 buildings were demolished.

Priest said potential zoning changes will come later when the department explores zoning standards for each of the four designated character areas of Music Row.

“This is really just the first step in the overall plan for Music Row,” Priest said. “But first, we have to have a vision that says we’re all on the same page. That’s what the [Music Row Vision Plan] is for.”

Mounting pressures


The most common challenge music-related businesses face is affordability, according to the plan. Between 2010-19, the planning department said property values on Music Row increased by 176%, nearly 2 1/2 times that of Davidson County but less than downtown, which has risen 228%.

Along with rising costs, planning officials said an influx of multifamily developments on Music Row since 2014 has reduced opportunities for music-related businesses within the district by impacting affordability. From 2010-19, 3,274 residential units have been constructed in the area, according to the planning department.

The Music Row Vision Plan recommends that large-scale multifamily residential development be limited to the northern section near where BMI, Warner Music Nashville and other record conglomerates call home.

Next steps


Even with rising property values and other pressures surrounding Music Row, most music-related businesses surveyed during the community engagement process said they want to stay in the neighborhood. According to the results, 92% of music-related businesses said they plan to remain located on Music Row.

“One of the ways we’ll know if [the plan] is working is if the firms that have moved off Music Row decide to move back due to this vision,” Metro Nashville Planning Commissioner Jeff Haynes said.

Now that the Music Row Vision Plan has been adopted, Priest said the Metro Nashville Planning Department will research a form-based zoning code, establish a business association for all Music Row businesses and identity properties that qualify for the National Register of Historic Places. The timeline for that research is about six months to a year, she said.

Rhinestone Wedding Chapel owner Brenda Enderson urged planning commissioners at the June 27 meeting to move fast. She said the wedding chapel, located at 1024 16th Ave. S., Nashville, next to the former home of Bobby’s Idle Hour, is at risk of being torn down.

“I beg you to keep the character of Music Row,” Enderson said. “That way when tour buses come through, they are not saying, ‘This used to be Waylon Jennings’ place, or this used to be Kenny Rogers’ place. Let there be some identity to Music Row.”
By


MOST RECENT

The First Street Foundation's dataset includes a forecast models that anticipate the effects of climate change and sea level rise. (Screenshot via First Street Foundation)
Analysis: FEMA may be undercounting national total flood risk by as much as 70%

The new dataset includes an interactive Flood Factor dashboard that anyone can use to assess the risk of flooding over a 30-year period for any address.

Lee said he is calling on law enforcement agencies across the state to review and update use of force and duty to intervene policies in the next 60 days. (Courtesy Fotolia)
Gov. Bill Lee calls for ban on chokeholds across all police agencies in Tennessee

Law enforcement agencies statewide will have 60 days to review their policies to ban chokeholds and require duty-to-intervene policies for officers.

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments. (Source: Matt Frankel/Community Impact Newspaper)
'Refinancing isn't free:' How to navigate refinancing a mortgage

When interest rates are low, homeowners may look to save money by refinancing, which means getting a new mortgage with a better term or interest rate to lower payments.

Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by more than 1,500 in 24 hours

The number of new cases reported has risen by an average of more than 1,000 per day for the last five days.

Drivers in Tennessee may notice some lane closures in place at long-term construction projects. (Courtesy Fotolia)
TDOT: No lane closures over Fourth of July weekend; I-440 fully reopens in Nashville

While drivers may notice some lane closures in place at long-term construction sites, TDOT announced July 2 that I-440 is now completely open one month ahead of schedule.

In communities across the nation, Walmart Supercenter parking lots will be transformed into contact-free, drive-in movie theaters beginning in August. (Courtesy Walmart)
Walmart to bring drive-in movies to 160 stores nationwide in August, launch virtual summer camp

Families can also enjoy a virtual summer camp experience Walmart is launching July 8 with sessions led by celebrities, including Drew Barrymore, Neil Patrick Harris and LeBron James.

Nashville fireworks
Nashville's Fourth of July fireworks show canceled

In place of the fireworks show, residents can watch a televised special featuring performances by local artists accompanied by clips of previous years’ fireworks displays.

Beginning July 3, Nashville will revert to a modified version of Phase 2 of economic reopening. (Alex Hosey/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nashville reverting to Phase 2 of economic reopening; Mayor John Cooper orders bars to close

As part of the modified reopening phase, bars will close for a minimum of 14 days, which public health officials said is equal to one incubation cycle of COVID-19.

State health officials are urging residents to wear face coverings as case numbers continue to rise. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Tennessee Department of Health: ‘This is not the time to get back to normal’

Tennessee Department of Health Commissioner Dr. Lisa Piercey said more than half of all cases are from an unknown source, meaning residents are now more likely to become infected while out in public.

Tennessee state capitol
Tennessee State Capitol Commission to vote on removal of Nathan Bedford Forrest bust July 9

Additionally, on June 22, Gov. Bill Lee signed House Bill 2266, which removes a requirement that the governor proclaim July 13 as Nathan Bedford Forrest Day.

The new policy goes into effect immediately, according to the DA's office. (Courtesy Adobe Stock)
Davidson County DA's office will no longer prosecute minor marijuana possession

The new policy goes into effect immediately, according to the DA's office.

Here is the latest coronavirus case count information for Tennessee. (Community Impact Staff)
Tennessee coronavirus cases rise by over 1,800 in 24 hours

The daily totals also include 609 cumulative deaths, 2,715 cumulative hospitalizations and an estimated 28,283 recoveries to date.