NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - One of Nashville’s newest downtown development is set to open next week.
Fifth + Broadway will be Music City’s first-ever dining and retail district on Broadway more than four years in the making.
One of Fifth + Broadway’s newest tenants didn’t plan on being there. That’s because her home art studio was already successful downtown until the Christmas Day bombing blew it away.
Ashley Bergeron is a local photographer and art dealer who has lived in Nashville for 20 years. She had already been working closely with the Fifth + Broadway development commissioning artists for the project since 2019.
Bergeron spent Christmas 202 in Hawaii, four hours behind Nashville’s central time, when the bombing took place. She woke up Christmas morning to dozens of text messages that informed her of the worst.
“My body temperature rose, I cried hysterically, I fell on the floor and I just sat there and I thought, ‘I’ve lost everything.’ I was overwhelmed,” said Bergeron.
Luckily most of her art and personal belongings were able to be salvaged.
“It could have been a lot worse,” said Bergeron. “I have neighbors of mine who have lost literally everything. They have nothing left, not even clothes.”
However, now she was essentially homeless but still had a job to do.
Bergeron met with the team at Fifth + Broadway in early January, not knowing they had a big surprise for her.
“A couple days later, they asked me into the office and they had a map on the table with a circle,” said Bergeron. “And they said, ‘We want you to come and bring your art here and we want you to rebuild with us,’ and I literally started crying. The whole room started crying, and I haven’t looked back since. It was such a blessing.”
Bergeron said she still plans on keeping her space off Third Avenue, which she calls Studio 208, but will turn it into a non-profit to help local artists around Nashville.
As for her new space, it’s a fresh start in one of Nashville’s most anticipated newest developments that will give her more foot traffic than ever before.
She said she’s grateful that she gets to live in The Place at Fifth + Broadway. She’s also still working there, commissioning the local artists who will create the murals that will be spread around between the retail and office space and the food hall.
Fifth + Broadway opens to the public on Thursday, March 4.