Share your Voice - Next is Now

Share your Voice - Next is Now

The most asked question I have received has been overwhelming "How do we extend the line from Briley Parkway to Old Hickory Blvd?"  My response is this, "Let's give them a reason to do so."

Nashville Nine 2016

Nashville Nine 2016

 Councilmember Nancy VanReece in front of Star-Day King Studios on Dickerson Pike/ W. Due West Ave. Photo: Chad McClarnon

Councilmember Nancy VanReece in front of Star-Day King Studios on Dickerson Pike/ W. Due West Ave. Photo: Chad McClarnon

I am happy indeed to see the Madison Bowl property and the Star-Day King Studios in District 8's Madison, have been added to the Historic Nashviile, Inc's Nashville Nine list for 2016.  I hope that the energy about their stories will  bring restoration and attention to  their part in the Madtown/Madison renaissance.

Also included in the grouping of bowling ally respect was the Inglewood Bowl, also in District 8 near Hart Lane.  Unfortunately, this property is in no shape to be considered for restoration so I am surprised to see it included. The good news: the owner, March Edgerton has a solid reputation for the respect of neighborhood history and I will work with him to see that a memory of this  vital "sense of place from the past" is realized as an opportunity for him to continue that reputation.

The Madison Bowl

The Madison Bowl property directly on Gallatin near the Old Hickory Blvd intersection is one of the largest properties in D8 that is ideal for commercial/mixed use development of 3.54 acres. I hope that someone will realize the potential of saving this landmark and work with the community in the revisioning of its purpose

Star-Day King Studios

The attention that the Nashville Nine list brings to this property will hopefully help something move forward  rather than cause it to stall.

I've spoken of the history of the Star-Day King Studio before. Although there has been quite a bit of interest from preservationists that range from East Nashville to England to purchase this property, the owner has yet to settle on a reasonable price for a dilapidated building that sits in the flood plain. 

Since 2009, Historic Nashville has published the annual Nashville Nine, a list of the city’s historic properties endangered by demolition, neglect or development.  Every year the Nashville Nine is compiled through a public nomination process revealing historic buildings and places that matter to the people of our city.
Since the program’s inception, Historic Nashville has brought to the public’s attention a wide variety of the city’s endangered landmarks, including historic houses, park buildings, civic landmarks, commercial buildings, neighborhood schools, churches and even neon signs.  These properties represent a range of historic time periods, architectural styles and building types that embody Nashville and Davidson County’s rich cultural history.



The Renaissance

The Renaissance


Momentum is building in Madison.  Can you feel it?  Madtown moves me. With the late JD Elliot's inspirational challenge to "get all together on this" a roundtable of community leaders has been gathering to make sure that all opportunities are explored and all momentum is fanned with respect. The work of Randall Gross is now entering its 6th month and I’m confident that this strategic planning effort will move Madison forward. The Mayor's office of Economic and Community Development is highly engaged as is the Nashville Chamber of Commerce.

Signs of the Renaissance

  • The new ownership of the Memorial Hospital 52 acre site continues to be a vital opportunity for District 8's Madtown. We continue to hold on to the optimism that something definite will be planned there very soon.
  • Coffee houses and new entrepreneurs: A new cafe and coffee house is set to open before the end of October both on Briarville Road and on Old Hickory Blvd. The thriving Be.Vintage and the increased love of Mexican bakeries continue to intrigue the village. 
  • Just this month we welcomed the news of cabinet maker Builder Supply Source  move and investment into to D8. Welcome to Madtown!
  • New homes being planned on Cheron, Due West, Chadwell, and Royal Street clearly indicate that the residential demand is moving up the Northeast corridor of Ellington Pkwy. -- Amazing things are happening on Ben Allen and Broadmoor too.  This is great for all of D8 that will increase the Madtown movement with strong neighbors and a great nearby high school like Maplewood.
  • The extension of Neely's Bend across Gallatin Pike to the West is now being tentatively called Station Blvd. by Public Works at my request.  The new road will lead to Madison Station and Amqui Station and all the way up to Old Hickory Blvd.  The first community meeting about the designs of this complete street will take place before Thanksgiving.  This is an amazing opportunity for FiftyForward to reinvest in capital improvements at Madison Station FiftyForward and I hope that the board of the nonprofit will pay attention to their assets in Madison and realize their part in the renaissance.  The businesses on Madison Street and Douglas Street are going to see rapid change in property values and should be making plans.  Andy Ward at Republic Plumbing is already  seizing the opportunity to plan for his dream, a Scottish Pub right in the heart of it all.
  • A renaissance also has a respect for education and the arts. The interior updates to the Madison Library are funded and a part of the movement. The history books will look back and realize that it was the Nossi College of Art that first realized that renaissance was inevitable.
  • A true renaissance includes the study of antiquities and a respect for history: Councilmember Nancy VanReece requests that the Smith-Carter House property be adopted as a Historic Landmark. Staff suggests the Commission recommend to City Council that the Smith-Carter house be adopted as Historic Landmark District and that the existing Historic Landmark Design Guidelines be used to guide future alterations. The site meets the standards of the Ordinance for a Historic Landmark Overlay and is eligible for listing in the National Register of Historic Places. - As more locations are identified that qualify for the National Register of Historic Places we will continue to do our best to preserve them.
  • A watchful eye remains on the Star-day King Recording Studio on Dickerson Pike and the Madison Bowling Alley sign among other important Madtown D8 landmarks!

"The movement owed a lot to the increasing sophistication of society, characterized by political stability, economic growth and cosmopolitanism. Education blossomed at this time, with libraries and academies allowing more thorough research to be conducted into the culture of the antique world." -  Art Movements


The Community Meeting this Saturday, September 24th 10-11:30am will  add to our progress as we discuss the inclusion of all of District 8 into the Urban Service District.  

As of the publishing of this post the feed back has been overwhelming positive toward a full District 8 inclusion.

Come explore the pros and cons with us this Saturday.

Most of Madison will pay lower property tax rates after the reappraisal

Most of Madison will pay lower property tax rates after the reappraisal

Mayor Asks For Deferral on Proposed Nashville USD Expansion to October 13, 2016 Planning Commission Meeting

Good news, most of our property tax rates are expected to go down in Madison at very much the same rate of any increase that would happen with the USD so we are not expected to pay more. JE McMurty Disposal is amazing, which is why I facilitated a meeting several months ago with them and the Mayor's office so that they can be prepared to bid for this contract should it go through.

I have pledge support to J.E. McMurtry Disposal & Recycling and will do all I can to help them successfully bid for this new work!

If this annexation were to happen, you would no longer have to pay for streetlights (many of you are paying for one) and up to an estimated 150 new lights would go in. Our trash would come with recycling and it may very well be the McMurtry's still collecting it.

Also worth noting, all new development projects in USD are required to build sidewalks so developers will help foot the bill for that public works service. Not so in GSD.  A large warehouse liquor store has reportedly shown interest in some property at Madison Square Shopping Center and that this major retailer has indicated to me that they welcome the opportunity to be in the USD. 

We appreciate you being open and honest with us about this whole process. We plan to keep on keeping on! Thanks!
— Roger McMurtry


Again, Property Tax Rates are anticipated to go DOWN in most of Madison after the 2017 reappraisal as our property values have increased at slower rate than the county's 35% average. And, the new property tax rates are adjusted on the county average. The vast majority of Madison is in the 15-24% property value increase*, which is 11-20% less than average. This means that even with an increased USD rate vs GSD rate, most of us in Madison will pay lower property tax rates after the reappraisal.

Here is a story from WKRN from February 2016 about this.

*As reported in February 2016

I started talking about the possible USD annexation of the north side of our amazing District 8 on doorsteps last year, 2600+ of them. And I continued the discussion at community meetings throughout the year and over many conversations at open office hours.

If we have an opportunity in the north section of District 8 to add street lights for public safety, get sidewalks from any new developments and secure the possibility of increasing small business growth, costing the average homeowner nothing more, if not less, in fees, then this should be done now while our property values are able to absorb it.  

I will be working with the Property Assessor Office, Public Works, Metro Planning, the Mayor's Office and fellow contiguous council Districts to schedule a meeting to go over all the pros and cons of entering into the USD.  I hope that you will attend. 

Link to the Planning Dept.'s searchable map of the proposed USD service expansion area

In a statement, Barry said it became apparent following conversations with public works officials and Metro Council members that some areas of the county are in need of additional public services “in order to sustain and further promote the welfare and safety of the growing urban areas of Metro Nashville.
— The Tennessean
... Madison-area Councilwoman Nancy VanReece, who was elected last fall and plans to co-sponsor the legislation, said her constituents made it overwhelmingly clear during last year’s campaign that they hoped to move into the USD. VanReece’s District 8 currently includes both residents in the USD and GSD.

“It was something that I ran on and it’s something that I know District 8 is excited about,” VanReece said. “The opportunity for Mayor Barry to fulfill her promise of extending prosperity to the county line can be exhibited in this type of activity.

“As the city pushes up over Briley Parkway, it’s clear that all assets that are available to the city need to be afforded in the area,” she said, noting that the area’s current lack of street lights make Madison dark at night.
— The Tennessean

UPDATE: Madison wide Community Meeting To Take Place Saturday, September 24th 10am at the Madison Police Precinct Community Room

The Domino Effect

The Domino Effect

UPDATE May 16, 2016: The Neely's Bend / Amqui Station Blvd six million dollar investment is in the spending plan. Join me in thanking Mayor Barry and encouraging Metro Council's Support

Amqui Station Blvd. at Gallatin Pike

We've all seen them, those videos of teams of people working hours and hours to set up elaborate domino patterns.  The ultimate goal is to set something into motion.  With Mayor Barry's new Capital Improvement Budget (CIB) proposed for Nashville Metro Council's review, the domino pattern is ready for launch.  There is a $6 million dollar Public Works project for Madison that has been well over ten years in the making.

The Neely's Bend Road /Amqui Station Blvd extension from Neely's Bend through to Madison Street and the complete streetscaping for what is known as "downtown Madison" to Old Hickory Blvd. has been something that the communities of both District 7, 8 and 9 have asked for.

The Nashville Next plan placed the area squarely into a Tier One development support. The dedication of the owners of the properties of Madison Square Shopping, the Madison/Rivergate Chamber and tenacity, along with countless hours of domino-setting, is about to result in a beautiful chain reaction of development happening  for us and not just to us.

We'll be working diligently to  keep this in the budget and get the community involved in this project as soon as it is approved and content is prepared for feedback.  I know you want more information, I do too! It's coming soon.  There will be a month for the reviews to take place. Please encourage all the Metro Council members to support this investment.

Oakwood Park

Metro Parks has successfully requested $969k for a major improvement to Oakwood Park. Oakwood is the only park in District 8 and its neglect has finally been recognized.  With more residential development coming to the area, there is even more reason to support this as a destination park with an amazing view of the downtown skyline that sits just off Ellington Parkway between Trinity Lane and Hart Lane. If the budget is approved, the community will have a major say in the direction of the improvements which could include: a road the top of the hill, lighting,  playground, dog park, band shell, dirt bike trails, hiking trails, the resurfacing of the basketball courts and more.  Please encourage all the Metro Council members to support this investment.

Please keep in mind that this is purely conceptual for budgeting purposes only.  No design has occurred.  Should funding be allocated, we would include the community in any planning process.  CLICK HERE TO SEE THE PROPOSAL

I will continue to work hard on the many projects happening around District 8 and rely on your feedback along the way.

 Click here to see the District 8 CIB Projects


Save the Historic Mason Buildings on the campus of TBI

Save the Historic Mason Buildings on the campus of TBI

June 16, 2016 UPDATE: Very grateful for Representative Sherry Jones to take the time to come visit me in my office today to talk about how we all need to work together to save the Masonic Buildings on the TBI Campus.

A dedicated group of Historical Activist, elected officials, and the community need to keep applying pressure on this important matter.

Representative Brenda Gilmore has requested "that no action be taken on either of these buildings until we have an opportunity to fully discuss the issue, come before the commission and present you and the commission members with the hundreds of names that have signed a petition asking that the buildings not be destroyed."
Please sign the petition and SHARE it with your friends.

May 11, 2016 BREAKING NEWS/ TENNESSEAN:  Officials hope to save Inglewood's historic Masonic buildings

May 6, 2015 Update on the Historic Mason Buildings. A letter has been delivered to:

Tennessee Historic Commission
Office of the State Architect (Peter Heimbach)
Dept. of General Services (Bob Oglesby)
Members of the State Building Commission:

Bill Haslam, Ron Ramsey, Beth Harwell, Tre Hargett, Justin Wilson, David Lillard, Larry Martin

To see a copy of the letter click here:

April 29, 2016

Save the Historic Mason Buildings on the campus of TBI

We've needed to save the remaining historic Masonic buildings on the TBI Campus in D8 for a long time. The alarm sounded after Clint Camp noticed that the State of TN had placed $1.5M in the budget to demolish the buildings. With no public discussion. - Tim Walker from the Metro Nashville Historical Commission and I hosted an on-site visit April 29 with State Representative Bill Beck and State Rep. Brenda Gilmore to talk.
Action will be taken to request a reconsideration to take those same funds and move them toward stabilization efforts. Ultimate restoration and use of these amazing historic stone buildings can be realized only if they are saved from pending demolition.

Be watching for ways to have your voice heard on this with help from our friends at Historic Nashville 

Nashville Scene Dec 209: The state controls the fate of some other endangered sites, such as The Home for Aged Masons (R.S. Gass Boulevard off Hart Lane in Inglewood), a three-story Colonial Revival-style building constructed in 1913-1915. It and the nearby Boys' School, built around 1915, are the only surviving buildings from a larger complex dating to the early 20th century. The Tennessee Masons provided the campus as a home for widows, orphans and the aged, according to Historic Nashville, which placed these properties on its list.

Designed by the Nashville architectural firm of Asmus & Norton, who designed the Cathedral of the Incarnation on West End, the columned limestone building is listed n the National Register of Historic Places. It sits now on an office-building campus that houses the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and other state agencies. Purchased by the State of Tennessee in 1941 for use as a tuberculosis hospital, the property was vacated in the 1990s



We know that change is coming to our district.  Development is pushing up the northeast corridor and with it, great potential.

It is important that this development happens FOR us and not just TO us.  I've met with several eager businesses and developers that are interested and curious about this potential.

One summed it up quite easily in one word; Rooftops.

Small businesses want customers that have disposable income. Employers want available and affordable housing for the employees they hope to recruit. Large corporations look not only for space to build a headquarters but the lifestyle infrastructure that is around that development. 

Rooftops.  We need them.  We have them!  The NashvilleNext plan works well for us as it relates to our Tier One status in the Madison core.  Mixed-use development on an extension of Neelys Bend over to the Westside and into District 8 and the revitalization of the back of Madison Square shopping center, much like what we've seen at 100 Oaks Mall, could completely revitalize our community.

The $50M mixed-use project underway in Sylvan Heights is an example of what is possible off of Gallatin to the West as well as Dickerson to the East.

New rooftops.  But what of the homes we have?  Beautiful 1/2 to 2 acre lots of single family homes in rolling hill neighborhoods with 50 foot trees.  "This is similar to Green Hills" said one agent when I took them for a tour.  "This reminds me of where I grew up," said another.

Madison community activist, Sasha Mullins-Lassiter recently pointed  me to post in the Houston Business Journal Forget everything you thought you knew about Millennial homeownership.

Zillow forecasts that by the end of 2015, Millennials ages 23 to 34 years old will overtake Generation X as the largest group of U.S. homebuyers.

It was 1986 when I moved to Nashville. I put my new communications business and all I had into a U-Haul trailer and drove in on I-40.  I had no clue where I was going to live.  I figured I'd find a place when I got here.  Today, the statistics are telling us that 75-85 people a day are moving into Davidson County.  Think of that, today, as you are reading this, all those new neighbors, where are they going to live?  Yes, they will look for apartments and houses to rent at first.  We need those.  It took a couple of years for me to find my spouse and two more to want to buy a house.  We got a HUD house on an FHA loan, lived in it for 10 years and sold it for a enough profit to put a downpayment on our second home. Both opportunities were in Madison.  We've lived here since 1990 and want to see it thrive for all the reasons you do.

Affordable housing is at the crossroads. 

"I think we're at a crossroads,"  James Fraser, an Associate Professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development in Peabody College said in a recent Tennessean article. "The people have spoken. … The next thing to do is to take some bold steps to make a strong statement that we care about the people who live here and that they can participate in the revitalization that's taking place across the city."

Inclusionary zoning policies generally require new housing developments to set aside a predetermined percentage of units for affordable housing.  I support this. I also believe that any policy must consider what the market is willing to accept and the cost of land.  Win-win opportunities are possible and must happen for our city, its businesses and its citizens to thrive with equity.

In the next four to five years, we will see potential realized. Rooftops.  They are coming. They are here.  Let's be smart about this development and make sure that it happens FOR us and not just TO us.