A Boom in Nashville, but Fast Growth Could Bring Problems

Nashville has a great deal going for it, but rising housing costs and gentrification could take it down a darker path.
April 22, 2019, 8am PDT | Camille Fink
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Nashville is growing quickly, but its bright future is being challenged by issues that have affected other cities, writes Khushbu Shah. The city is already a hub for the healthcare industry, Christian publishing, and country music. Adding to this are Amazon’s plans for a new operations center that will bring 5,000 new jobs and a flourishing tourism market.

The influx of visitors and new residents will be an economic boost for Nashville, but community activists are concerned about the displacement of residents as new buildings go up and housing prices increase. "[Anne] Barnett recently visited Amazon’s hometown, Seattle, where she says she saw an extreme housing and homeless crisis. With those issues already plaguing Nashville, she worries about how much worse it might get when Jeff Bezos’s tech behemoth arrives in the city," notes Shah.

The city defends the Amazon deal saying it can manage the new growth and development, and proponents say Nashville offers a wealth of opportunities, particularly in the music industry, that are not available in other cities. "A proportion of Nashville’s economic rising star can be attributed to the grassroots investment the city has made into its new and existing residents with incentives like the nonprofit Entrepreneur Center, which took shape in 2010," adds Shah.

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Published on Tuesday, April 16, 2019 in The Guardian
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