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VOL. 43 | NO. 15 | Friday, April 12, 2019

Transportation study targets south corridor

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The Greater Nashville Regional Council, WeGo Public Transit and Tennessee Department of Transportation have kicked-off the South Corridor Study to find public transportation options for the corridor stretching through Davidson, Williamson and Maury counties.

GNRC has contracted a team of consultants led by WSP USA Inc. to assist with the study. GNRC serves as the federally-designated regional transportation planning organization and is responsible for convening local elected officials with TDOT and area transit agencies for the purposes of developing and adopting transportation plans.

The current comprehensive regional transportation plan, adopted by area mayors and state officials in 2016, allocates more than $8 billion in anticipated federal, state and local revenue to a variety of transportation projects between now and 2040, including highway expansions, public transit projects, walking and bicycling facilities, and technology upgrades for better traveler information and traffic management.

As part of the ongoing regional planning efforts, WeGo Public Transit (formerly Regional Transit Authority of Middle Tennessee) worked closely with residents, businesses and community leaders to adopt a more detailed transit master plan, called “nMotion,” in 2016. The South Corridor was identified as a top priority in both the multimodal regional transportation plan and the more detailed transit master plan.

The study will engage residents and business owners along the fast-growing corridor to refine the recommendations from regional planning efforts and to identify projects that can compete for funding. It will evaluate a variety of options along Interstate 65, US Highway 31/State Route 6 and the CSX railway. The South Corridor Transportation Study will be introduced at a series of public workshops, held in Maury, Williamson and Davidson counties.

The public is encouraged to stop by these locations any time between 5:30 p.m. and 8 p.m.

• Maury County: Monday, April 29, Memorial Building, 308 W Seventh Street, Columbia

• Williamson County: Tuesday, April 30, Williamson Library, 1314 Columbia Avenue, Franklin

• Williamson County: Thursday, May 2, Brentwood Library, 8109 Concord Road, Brentwood

• Davidson County: Monday, May 6, Adventure Science Center, 800 Fort Negley Blvd, Nashville

Additional details are available at www.SouthCorridor.org.

“Public input is critical to the success of this study and vital to finding solutions to area traffic woes. I encourage all residents, those who use transit or not, to attend these meetings or reach out to the study team to learn more,” said City of Brentwood Mayor Jill Burgin.

Hall of Fame to honor Keith Whitley

An exhibition telling the story and celebrating the music of Keith Whitley will open May 3 at The Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum.

Still Rings True: The Enduring Voice of Keith Whitley will run through April 5, 2020.

Whitley completed only four solo studio albums before his death in 1989, at age 33. But despite the brevity of his career, he produced many significant country hits, and his music continues to exert tremendous influence on subsequent generations of country singers.

Many of the groundbreaking artists who expanded country music’s audience in the 1990s – including Garth Brooks, Alan Jackson, Alison Krauss and Tim McGraw – cite Whitley as a primary influence. His impact continues into the new century, through the work of acolytes Dierks Bentley, Blake Shelton, Chris Young and others.

Hotel towers to add 721 rooms downtown

Two real estate investment firms have announced plans to build two hotel towers across from Nashville’s Music City Center.

The 721 hotel rooms will be located on a 1.3-acre parcel of land directly across from the $625 million convention center.

The hotel design includes a common podium with the towers joined by a four-story lobby, conference area and public restaurant/retail space, including outdoor street-level dining and a rooftop bar.

An affiliate of Starwood Capital Group, Crescent Real Estate LLC and High Street Real Estate Partners are the developers.

Formal groundbreaking for the two new hotels is expected during the second quarter of 2019.

The dual-branded development consists of 1 Hotel, Starwood Capital Group’s award-winning luxury, eco-conscious and lifestyle brand hotel, and Embassy Suites.

The 30-story Embassy Suites by Hilton hotel tower will feature 506 rooms and rooftop swimming pool, bar and fitness center. The adjoining 18-story 1 Hotel tower will feature 215 rooms with a holistic spa, as well as a rooftop bar and event deck area.

Located on a half-block location on the north side of Demonbreun Street between Seventh and Eighth Avenues, an area known locally as SoBro, commercial real estate experts consider the property one of the most desirable blocks in the “cool and hip” downtown Nashville landscape.

FirstBank’s mortgage operations sold

Renasant Corporation has announced that its subsidiary, Renasant Bank, has entered into an agreement with FirstBank of Nashville, to acquire FirstBank’s wholesale mortgage operations.

“We’re excited about the opportunity to add a new wholesale mortgage unit to our mortgage operations, which will double the size of our current wholesale operation,” says Renasant’s Mortgage Division President David Mays.

Upon completion of the transaction, Renasant Bank will acquire all of the tangible assets and hire the personnel related to FirstBank’s wholesale operations. The transaction is subject to receipt of all necessary regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions, and it is expected to be completed in the second quarter of 2019.

NSM purchases Canadian company

Franklin-based National Seating & Mobility, provider of rehabilitation, mobility and accessibility solutions in the U.S., has acquired Advanced Mobility Products in Vancouver.

Headquartered in Burnaby, British Columbia, Canada, Advanced Mobility also operates in the Okanagan Valley with locations in Kelowna and Kamloops, and on Vancouver Island in Nanaimo.

“NSM’s growth both inside the U.S. and internationally propels us to reach more clients while driving progress for the complex rehabilitation industry worldwide,” says Bill Mixon, NSM CEO.

“We are proud to welcome Advanced Mobility to NSM, and look forward to collaborating with this experienced team to provide innovative mobility and accessibility solutions to clients throughout British Columbia and surrounding areas.”

Advanced Mobility has provided high quality mobility and related adaptive equipment for more than 31 years. The acquisition increases NSM’s presence to eight locations in three regions of British Columbia, with a ninth location to also open this year.

Hilton Airport sold, will be upgraded

The 138-suite DoubleTree Suites by Hilton Hotel Nashville Airport has been acquired by Wexford Lodging Advisors and Trinity Private Equity Group.

The joint venture will invest approximately $2.5 million to upgrade the property with a targeted completion date of year’s end 2019. HVMG will continue to operate the hotel.

Located at 2424 Atrium Way, the three-story, all-suite hotel is 2 miles from Nashville International Airport and convenient to such local attractions as the Grand Ole Opry and the Country Music Hall of Fame. Hotel amenities include a 24-hour business center, fitness room, swimming pool and 2,600 square feet of existing meeting space. The hotel also offers around-the-clock, complimentary shuttle service to and from the airport.

MTSU in line for 3 new master’s programs

Middle Tennessee State University’s Board of Trustees has recommended the addition of master’s degree programs in speech-language pathology, biomedical sciences and public health.

The degrees, which will ultimately go to the Tennessee Higher Education Committee for consideration, were requested by Provost Mark Byrnes and recommended by the board’s Academic Affairs, Student Life and Athletics Committee.

MTSU has offered an undergraduate degree in speech-language pathology and audiology for 50 years and is one of only a few universities that offers an undergraduate clinical practicum. With 144 students and a retention rate above 90 percent, it is one of the university’s signature programs, Byrnes told the committee.

Rio Grande named top fence contractor

Rio Grande Fence Co. of Nashville was named 2018 National Fence Contractor of the Year by the American Fence Association.

The award recognizes a company’s outstanding service to AFA that advances the name, reputation, and ideals of the association on both local and national levels, as well as the company’s integrity and character.

Rio Grande has won the award four of the past six years.

Dispensary of Hope gets accreditation

The Dispensary of Hope, a Nashville-based national charitable pharmaceutical distributor, has received Verified Accredited Wholesale Distributor accreditation status with the National Board of Pharmacies.

In addition, the distributor has secured approval to distribute donated medication to all 50 states.

“Completing VAWD accreditation is a powerful step for this organization’s future. The addition of South Dakota, our 50th and final state distribution approval, now allows Dispensary of Hope to supply providers of care to the nation’s low income, uninsured, with consistent supplies of many of the most needed primary care medicines,” says Christopher Palombo, CEO of the Dispensary of Hope.

E3 Chophouse to open in Hillsboro Village

Hillsboro Village is getting another restaurant, E3 Chophouse, expected to open in 2019.

The ranch-to-restaurant steakhouse is owned by the families of Adam LaRoche, Jason Aldean and Luke Bryan. Jeff LaRoche is the acting CEO.

The original E3 Chophouse in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, was founded in 2013 and is owned by brothers Adam, Andy and Jeff LaRoche. E3 Chophouse is an extension of the family-owned E3 Ranch, headquartered in Fort Scott, Kansas.

Located at 1628 21st Avenue South at the corner of Wedgewood Avenue and 21st Avenue, the restaurant will serve all-natural, no antibiotics or steroids ever and no added hormone beef directly from E3 certified ranches. The 13,000-square-foot restaurant spans three stories, and upon completion will feature expansive space for dinner, private events and a rooftop bar.

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