Growing Pains in Nashville

The effects of Growth and Development Present a double-edged sword.

Both of our daughters are growing like weeds.

They eat a LOT . . . Sleep a LOT . . . and can be very moody as their bodies adjust to the fast growth they experience in their pre and early teens.

We also hear about aches and pains which can ONLY be attributed to “Growing pains”

Then . . . There’s that clumsyness that comes with learning how to coordinate a quickly growing body . . . Failure to realize how BIG they’ve become results in random occurrences of walking into walls or sign posts, tumbling down stairs, tripping over their own feet (with no obstacles in sight), and jumping into the laps of people who are now smaller than they 🙂

All of this also appears to go with City Growth & Development.

It’s EXCITING to see it happening.

Everywhere you look, there are huge construction cranes.

Daily, it seems that we hear of new developments and initiatives:

  • Recently completed Nashville Convention Center
  • Announcement of a Magnanimous new mixed use building on the spot of the old Convention Center
  • New Proposed Baseball Park
  • Several new apartment complexes under way
  • New Office buildings popping out of the ground
  • “In fill” residential construction happening anywhere builders can find the dirt
  • Increased attention on development of improved, more efficient Mass Transit solutions
  • Seems like a new restaurant shows up daily
  • There’s LOTS more in “Planning Phases” about which the general public does not know . . . yet

Exciting growth begets more exciting growth as people and companies around the country and the world catch wind that Nashville’s a cool place to live and work.

I don’t think it’s too far a stretch to say:

Nashville has gone VIRAL!

and articles like this seem to be showing up in my news feed at least every couple days:

Nashville leads peer cities in ‘markets to watch’

The other side of the sword is “The Dark Side” which most forward thinking developers would like to deny and sweep under the carpet.

These are “Community Issues” which inconveniently surface and are often billed as being restrictive of growth and development.

Community issues are primarily about ‘Quality of Life” for the residents of the City. We love growth and Development but not at the cost of compromising the REAL value of Nashville as a warm and inviting city.

I’ve lived most of my 51 years in this city and I LOVE that I seldom go ANYWHERE without running into someone I know and A Traffic Jam might mean a 10-15 minute delay.

We are seeing some growing pains:

The cost of living is increasing exponentially just as many people are flocking here from other cities and rural areas to seize their share of this “Land of Opportunities” that is Nashville.

It’s almost as if Nashville is the “New World” for these folks . . . a promised land – just as the Americas were the New World for the outcast of Europe.

They’re finding that things might not be as golden as they thought . . . because with growth and development also comes increased COST OF LIVING.

The incomes are not increasing commensurately with this cost of living increase . . . and so, we’re starting to see stories like this:

Family homelessness up 25 percent in Nashville

Other growing pains show up in the form of pockets of resistance around announcements of new development/

  • The AMP (A Bus Rapid Transit System) has HEAVY resistance because it is very expensive and is proposed to pass through one of the most congested traffic corridors in the city
  • A high-rise Mixed use building proposal in Green Hills sparked intense resistance because of fear of what it would do to that already clogged Mall mecca . . . plus, it’s “Too Tall” and would not look right
  • Our Mayor continues to march along with a seemingly endless array of new initiatives  for development . . . all of which cost money . . . and many citizens have valid concern that he may be over-leveraging Nashville financially . . . Taking on too much debt will lead to increased TAXES and/or default

These are just a few of the issues.

There will be more.

The bottom line for me is that I’m a lover of growth and development . . . but NOT without being VERY intentional.

Consideration of “Collateral Damage” by the Movers and Shakers is imperative and in my opinion no less important than factors we in the military always needed to consider when planning an operation.

Don’t fail to think through the ramifications before launching the operation.

Building a big fancy shiny city isn’t worth the demise of culture and community . . . or setting us all up for a big financial fall in the future.

There now . . . I said my 2 cents 🙂


Published by Barry Owen

Strategist-CEO of Pareto Realty Real estate sales Professional Inviter-Facilitator-Practicer of Open Space Technology Opening safe space for people & organizations to self-organize around issues & opportunities BarryOwen.US Invite-Listen-Love

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *