Is This Southern City Growing Too Fast?
If it seems like every week you're reading about a new restaurant or new hotel in Nashville, or hearing of a friend who just relocated to Music City, you're not imagining things. Tennessee's capital city is having a veritable boom, but it's not without its downsides, as a new article in the Wall Street Journal explores. According to data referenced in the article, Nashville's metro area population has nearly quadrupled since 1930. But the rising population — which has grown 45% from 2000 to 2017, up to about 1.9 million, as the story also mentions — has also led to a variety of other rippling effects throughout town.
Anecdotally, the article points to one woman's commute in the Glendale neighborhood: Kathleen Ervin's 12-mile trip to work has tripled on some days to up to 45 minutes since she first moved to Nashville 12 years ago. Of course, this reflects Nashville's growing traffic problem as the population grows. The price of purchasing a house and rent, too, is on the rise — dramatically. "From 2008 to 2018, housing values, based on a weighted measure of all transactions in the housing market, rose 75% in Nashville, compared with 33% in Charlotte and 26% in Atlanta, according to the Brookings Institution," writes the story's author Cameron McWhirter. The piece also discusses 34-year-old Brandon Walker who paid $875 for monthly rent for a three-bedroom house in the city, and now pays $1,300 a month for a home in Smyrna, Tennessee, with a "horrible" commute.
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As Nashville continues to attract more and more real estate developers, businesses, and people establishing their roots in the area, the city will need to grapple with everything from more efficient public transportation systems to how to make more affordable housing available. Though they will certainly face some hardships, we know Nashvillians are up for the challenge.
To read the full article, click here.