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VOL. 42 | NO. 10 | Friday, March 9, 2018

Time is right to address mass transit shortcomings

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For those who are unaware, there will be a referendum on May 1 that allows voters- residents of Davidson County to decide if the city should move forward with a transit plan. As the material being disseminated by the Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce notes, today is the best day you will have in Nashville traffic, plan or no plan.

The future is the issue with perhaps a million more people moving here.

Many have labelled this the Megan Barry plan, but the now-former mayor was quick to explain that it is not a plan she devised or designed, not being an engineer. She spearheaded the campaign for the plan, and she and the Metro Council agreed to spend the money to fund a proposal that would begin the process.

Realtors have weighed in fast and furiously in total support of the plan, at least the leadership of the organization has. The Greater Nashville Realtors are led by Sher Powers who recently stated, “A vote for transit provides us an opportunity to create a revenue source to address transit needs today,” and added, “We must work to preserve the quality of life we love in Nashville by investing in transit solutions.

Powers reinforced the Mayor’s statement by adding the plan in place represents as many as 20,000 suggestions from the community that have been incorporated over a period of several years and “takes into account Nashville Next planning and the overall regional transit plan.”

Is it too little, too late? I’ve been looking back to see if a mayor missed something along the way, perhaps a reason to have done something and I do not see it.

Certainly not Beverly Briley (1963–1975), the mayor who ushered in metropolitan government. He had enough problems with that alone. When Richard Fulton (1975–1987) was mayor, there was a moratorium on downtown residential development that had begun in 1961. Not much need for transit expansion.

Bill Boner (1987–1991) had his own issues, but I-440 was built during his time and cured most of what ailed the city.

Phil Bredesen (1991–1999) was instrumental in bringing in the Predators and the Titans, accelerating the need for better mass transit.

Bill Purcell (1999–2007) began the work that resulted in the Icon, The Viridian, the Encore, the Gulch, Terrazzo, Rhythm and all the condos that changed the skyline. The city had begun its downtown residential boom.

Yet, even after Purcell’s run, there was not the traffic problem there is now.

When Karl Dean (2007–2015) took office, the Predators were threatening to move, the Sounds ownership had reneged on the downtown stadium, the Council was voting on an English-only bill and then there was that pesky Recession.

A failing global economy presented its own set of problems, and then there was the 500-year flood. Yet, Nashville pulled through, but that was not the time to try to fund a $5.4 billion transit plan. The $600 million convention center was tough enough.

With the MCC in place, private investment followed with hotel after hotel. There are still not enough rooms to handle the demand, but more are on the horizon. Who would have ever thought that pedal taverns would be travelling en masse on the city’s streets or that the construction would continue?

The transit problem is new, and it is real. There has been no kicking of any cans down any roads by earlier administrations. What now?

One opponent says autonomous cars will fix everything. More cars will not cure anything. The plan is not perfect, and the finished product may not resemble the plan as technology will allow changes along the way.

Sale of the Week

Archer Street can be less than a half mile south of the Gulch via 12th Avenue. Once the home of modest 1,200- to 1,800-square-foot homes, the lots have sprouted three and four-story condos and large single-family homes over the last two years.

The condos are an Airbnb paradise with partyers jumping from rooftop to rooftop making new acquaintances as they go.

One Realtor/Archer owner/investor decided to book her own unit for her birthday last year. This agent is no stranger to a good time, yet even she was overwhelmed by the talent that had invaded the complex.

These tourists were professional party people, and many in the group had the stamina of a Maury County mule. The parties last until the first rays of dawn broke through the darkness on the decks towering high above Archer, signaling a time for rest.

Located among the condominium, carnival, carnage, there are several single-family homes, although they are tall, reasonably skinny and connected. Horizontal property regimes epitomized.

Last week, the team of Darin and Christina Cunningham with RE/MAX Elite sold the structure, or half of it, anyway, located at 1082 Archer Street for $779,900.

The Cunningham team is one of the most successful teams in Nashville and are often cited by various publications for their accomplishments. Selling the tall skinnies on Archer for $287 per square foot is a tribute to their work and bears witness to the growth of the city and the demand pouring into the area.

Homes in the $700,000 to $799,999 bracket numbered 236 in 2018, while houses in the $800,000s totaled 126, dropping to 97 in the $900,000s. Single-family homes that sold from $1 million to $1.1 million totaled 40.

The other end of the spectrum shows the need for more affordable housing with 1,143 units selling in the $400,000s, 2,252 in the $300,000s and 3,493 buyers finding houses in Davidson County in the $300,000 range.

Chad Wohlers, one of the top agents at PARKS and one of the more interesting fellows in town, delivered the buyer, a feat he replicated more than 40 times last year, all the while traveling internationally, and donating money and time to those less fortunate than he.

Of course, that number would include about 99 percent of the world’s population.

Back to the home at hand, which totals 2,719 square feet and has three fireplaces. I doubt that wood will ever grace any of these, but they are places for fire nonetheless. Those who crave fire will be thrilled to know there is outdoor fire available, as well.

Richard Courtney is a real estate broker with Christianson, Patterson, Courtney, and Associates and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.

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