Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

News Flash: New Predators Owner?

Looks like our Preds may have new ownership. The Business Journal reports today that Nashville’s hockey franchise is being sold to Canadian billionaire Jim Balsillie, who is co-CEO of BlackBerry manufacturer Research in Motion. The sale would have to be approved by the NHL before being finalized.

Update: The sale is, in fact, official. The deal was announced this afternoon. Hopefully this will breathe some life into our hometown hockey team, which has struggled financially despite being one of the better teams in the league.

Busy Monday

It’s been a pretty busy couple of days in the Nashville real estate world. First, we found out on Friday that the GEC/Nashville Arena has been renamed the Sommet Center. And the announcements keep coming. Not only did Velocity, Bristol and Marketstreet’s mixed use condo project in the Gulch, sell 85 units in one day, local bank Pinnacle also inked a deal to put their name on Hal Barry’s new building next to the Schermerhorn Center. Exciting stuff – and continued proof that downtown life south of Broadway is getting more and more viable all the time.

Holy high-priced real estate!

You may have seen this already, but this morning’s City Paper has an article about a $15 million real estate deal that took place yesterday. The land involved is just south of the Country Music Hall of Fame, between 5th and 6th and just south of Demonbreun.

The article says the firm couldn’t be reached for comment, so no word yet on what its intended use is.

Anyone want to speculate?

How about a Marriott, too?

It seems that the green light for lower Broad’s proposed Westin is fueling the fire on downtown hotel development. Rex reports today that Marriott Corporation’s CEO, Bill Marriott, Jr., was in town recently checking out plans for the new convention center. No doubt he wants Marriott to have a hand in any convention center-related hotel development, too.

Costco comes to the West Side

Ten pound cereal boxes and cheap big screen TVs have finally arrived in West Nashville. Looks like Sam’s Club on Old Hickory is in for some serious competition!

Next up for the Nashville West development: Dick’s Sporting Goods and Best Buy, among others.

Newsflash! We’re not all a bunch of toothless hicks

A good many luxury brands have set up shop here, as you know, and Bloomberg is paying attention to that as an indicator that brands are reaching out to less affluent customers and those outside of major metropolitan markets.

Is it me, or is the tone of that article something like “who knew they even used cash money down there?”

Tower Records: Bankruptcy’s a Bitch!

So it looks like the two branches of Tower Records in town plan to have a liquidation sale before closing up shop for good here in Nashville. I’ll be sad to see the West End store gone since it’s always fun to drive by and look at the paintings on the side of the building. I was always amazed that Tower commissioned all of those paintings — not sure if they had them at every store, though.

So while I’m sad to see it go, I can’t say that I’ve been in to the store much recently, which is shameful considering all of the time I spent there in the mid-90’s. There are just too many online stores and sites that either sell music cheaper or make it easier to shop. Let’s see, would I rather get up, fight traffic on West End, search through stacks of CDs, and then possibly not find what I want or would I rather sit on my fat ass, type in Amazon or iTunes, and then buy the album or song I’m trying to find? It’s hard for a brick and mortar store to compete with a online site that has no real-estate expense, no store staff expense, and an almost limitless inventory. It’s all about the Long Tail nowadays.

So, farewell Tower. You’ll always have a soft spot in my heart from my high school days.

Steady Growth

The Nashville Business Journal has some numbers concerning Music City’s growth in their economic snapshot. We look healthy, but obviously have some room for growth.

The New Traffic Light Things

As I drive in and out of downtown each day, making my way between Germantown, Music Row, Vandy and Green Hills, I’m really digging the new traffic light holder things – what do you call them – lamp posts?

If you haven’t seen them, check out 8th Avenue from Demonbruen to James Robertson. The sidewalks were re-poured a month or so ago, and the street lights and traffic signals are getting updated with a newer look. It’s pleasing to the eye. However, it looks like none of them have the pedestrian button yet. This is key for a guy like me who jogs downtown. I like to be able to hold up traffic with more than the look of my short shorts.

Here’s to the beatiful days of the concrete jungle we call downtown.

More Smoking Bans in Nashville Hotels

According to today’s Tennessean:

Marriott smoking ban may be followed by other hotels

18 Nashville-area sites affected as chains sour on tobacco-friendly rooms

Marriott International’s move to make all of its 2,300 properties in the United States and Canada smoke-free by Oct. 15 probably will be followed by more hotel chains, those in the industry predict.

About 18 hotels in the Nashville area are affected by the move, because Marriott owns a variety of brands, including Courtyard, SpringHill Suites, The Ritz-Carlton, Renaissance, Residence Inn, Fairfield Inn and TownePlace Suites.

It’s the largest chain in the nation to adopt a smoke-free policy, and it extends to all its rooms, restaurants and bars.

Westin Hotels and Resorts, which is planning a hotel in downtown Nashville, made a similar move for Westin-branded hotels earlier this year.

As a dedicated smoker and traveler on business, I have mixed emotions on this.

Just this week I was traveling in Alabama and requested a smoking room where I was staying. I’ll admit the smell was not exactly ideal, but the convenience of not having to get dressed and walk outside to smoke was worth a little stink in my opinion.

As much as I would like to, I can’t fault a business for not catering to smokers if it isn’t profitable. The social climate for smokers has changed greatly over the last 5 years and I can’t help but wonder how much more it is going to change over the next 5. My guess is smokers are going to get the shaft more and more.

Either way, they will have to pry my Pall Malls from my cold dead hands.

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