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Nashville embraces skyscrapers, eyes more in pursuit of ‘healthy’ downtown


It’s a future for downtown Nashville soaring to new heights, with more than a dozen high-rise buildings built in just the last few years. But even with cranes
Published: Mar. 17, 2022 at 5:10 PM CDT|Updated: Mar. 17, 2022 at 6:30 PM CDT
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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WSMV) - It’s a future for downtown Nashville soaring to new heights, with more than a dozen high-rise buildings built in just the last few years. But even with cranes at seemingly every turn downtown, urban planners say downtown Nashville is behind in its number of skyscrapers.

For what they consider a ‘healthy’ downtown, 40,000 people should be living there. Right now, just 14,000 are, according to data from the Nashville Planning Department. That data also shows 110,000 people should be working downtown, but only 80,000 are now.

“Nashville has it in it to embrace that future,” Joni Williams, with the Nashville Planning Department, said. “One of Nashville’s assets is we have room to grow. There are other places that have different kinds of constraints.”

Massive new projects are coming soon: sky-high residential towers and office buildings, some of which people like Jared Koerner have seen go up story by story.

“The growth is pretty nuts,” Koerner said. “I think it’s just really important that people who do move here get to enjoy the things we like.’

One of Koerner’s favorite things to do in Nashville is eating out. He’s concerned the population boom will lead to long lines and long waits at restaurants and bars.

“I think it could get a little too crowded,” Koerner said.

While the city’s planning department can’t put a firm number on new high-rises in a constantly changing urban universe, they’ll tell you skyscrapers can have significant benefits.

“It’s really a question of design,” Williams said. “Are the ground floors active? Do you have people moving and biking and walking around in your city?”

While Nashville touts one of the most iconic towers in the Southeast, we can plan to see the skyline of Nashville change over the next decade. However, Eric Hammer with the Nashville Planning Department said it won’t happen overnight.

Over time, Williams said research shows that Nashville would benefit from high-rises replacing vacant lots and one-story buildings built in the 1950′s. So buckle up, Nashville. To handle a rapid population boom in Nashville, Williams said we could plan to see more skyscrapers being built in the city’s center.

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