Ask any downtown Nashville resident to list the advantages of urban living, and you will get many answers.
Downtown living offers easy access to entertainment and sports venues, and more than 150 restaurants are within a short walk or cab ride. In addition, if you live and also work downtown, a five- or 10-minute walk might replace your daily driving commute.
Plus there are excellent skyline views from several venues throughout the city.
“People enjoy being where the action is,” says Thomas Turner, president and CEO of Nashville Downtown Partnership, a nonprofit management organization whose mission is to ultimately make the Nashville district the most compelling urban center in the entire Southeast.
Many Honky Tonks
Downtown Nashville is categorized as a 16-block dining and entertainment area that is home to, for example, the Ryman Auditorium, Nashville Symphony, Tennessee Titans, Nashville Predators and the Country Music Hall of Fame & Museum. And true to its nickname, live music dominates the nightlife scene in downtown Music City, with thriving and famous venues like the Wildhorse Saloon, Hard Rock Café, Robert’s Western World, Fuel, Tootsie’s Orchid Lounge, BB King’s and Coyote Ugly Saloon.
Live It Up
Meanwhile, residential options are also plentiful downtown, with currently more than 50 rentable buildings to choose from. They include 320 Broadway, Capitol Towers, The Cumberland, District Lofts, Hotel 315 Residences, Loft Above Riverfront Studios, Market Street Apartments, The Quarters, Riverfront Condominiums and Terrazzo.
“Young professionals, empty nesters and discriminating buyers appreciate the wide range of housing choices in this dynamic urban neighborhood,” Turner says.
Nashville Downtown Partnership officials say most apartments consistently have occupancy rates of 90-95 percent, and many locations have waiting lists. At the end of the second quarter in 2010, there were 3,700 downtown residential units and almost 400 planned or under construction.
There are currently more than 5,000 residents enjoying all of the perks of downtown living, and that number is expected to surpass 6,000 by the end of 2011. City officials are hoping to eventually increase that number to as high as 10,000-12,000 someday.
Step Up to the Plate
As for dining, Nashville is much more than barbecue and Southern fried chicken, with restaurants that specialize in American, Cajun and creole, Chinese, Mongolian, Greek, Italian, sushi, Mexican, southwestern and seafood dishes. Some of the popular dining destinations include Merchants, Demos’ Steak & Spaghetti House, The Melting Pot, Palm and Whiskey Kitchen.
Back to the Future
Meanwhile, near-future plans for the downtown district include greenspace Riverfront development on both sides of the Cumberland River, and construction is about to start on a future convention center complete with an Omni hotel. The Nashville Downtown Partnership is also focused on projects such as implementing a remote shuttle program, increasing on-street parking, filling any vacant commercial space and increasing the residential base.
But bottom line: Turner says it is the country music industry – and will always be the country music industry – that continues to bring most residents and tourists to downtown Nashville.
“We have a brand and we reinforce it every day, because there’s music every day in Nashville,” he says.
Read more on fun things to do in Nashville, TN.