Subway board members took action Tuesday to stabilize and preserve some of Nashville’s most iconic independent music venues.
The board voted to approve:
Tuesday’s approvals come after several well-known sites announced they would be forced out of their highly rated locations as their leases end and Nashville property values soar.
Metro is studying tools to preserve the sites
The Metro Council has approved $260,000 in American Rescue Plan Act funds for a study to identify strategies to preserve independent music venues. External consultants will study the methods used in other cities to help concert halls in the face of increasing development pressure.
The Nashville Area Chamber of Commerce will contribute $30,000 to the study, and the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation will contribute $10,000.
The allocation builds on a 2021 resolution to catalog independent music venues in Nashville with the goal of learning how to best preserve and support them.
Exit/In, a 51-year-old music venue on Elliston Place, is among those at risk.
Development firm AJ Capital Partners bought the property containing the Exit/In site and adjoining Hurry Back Tavern for $6.45 million last year after Exit/In operator Chris Cobb and his wife Telisha Cobb allegedly attempted to purchase the Rock Block staple themselves.
AJ Capital Partners has applied for historic landmark designation for the site, pending Subway Board approval, but Cobb said that will not guarantee the preservation of the site beyond ensuring the building will not be not demolished. Cobb’s lease expires at the end of the year and will not be renewed, he said.
Mercy Lounge will leave its two-decade-old Cannery Row site in May due to the end of its lease. The owners of the beloved concert hall trio plan to move to an unannounced location. Venue 3rd & Lindsley is also looking for a new building due to the end of its lease.
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Council members support relaunch of Music City Music Council
The Music City Music Council came together in 2009 under then-Mayor Karl Dean’s administration to support Nashville’s music and creative community, but shrunk in 2011 and ultimately failed after the administration of former mayor Megan Barry.
Council member JSyracuse sponsored the resolution to revive the Music City Music Council to help preserve Nashville’s creative ecosystem in addition to its historic places from one city government to the next.
Syracuse said Huntsville, Alabama recently hired a music manager in its mayor’s office, and Nashville shouldn’t take its Music City fame for granted.
Grant to help restore the old Club Baron
Club Baron, now Elks Lodge, was a staple of Jefferson Street’s live music scene in the 1950s and 1960s, hosting artists such as Jimi Hendrix, BB King, Etta James and Ray Charles and many more.
The construction of Interstate 40 through the once thriving Jefferson Street music scene hampered the success of the black-owned concert hall.
The North Nashville structure was declared a historic landmark in 2016, but was damaged in the March 2020 tornado. Last year, the nonprofit Historic Nashville named Elks Lodge to its “Nashville Nine” list of properties. risky history.
A $50,000 grant will go to Music City, Inc., a nonprofit created by the Nashville Convention and Visitors Corporation specifically to restore Elks Lodge.
Contact reporter Cassandra Stephenson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (731) 694-7261. Follow Cassandra on Twitter at @CStephenson731.