Metro Council passes bill aimed to ease certain restrictions on 2nd Avenue businesses

UPDATE: Kupin’s bill passed Tuesday, May 7 on third reading.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — While Nashville residents are no strangers to jackhammers and bulldozer noises, these sights and sounds don’t attract tourists like a Broadway band might.

Since the 2020 Christmas Day bombing, businesses on 2nd Ave in Downtown Nashville have been trying to bring patrons to their bars and stores despite the constant construction outside.

According to the Downtown Nashville Partnership, 25 of the 46 street-facing businesses on 2nd Ave in 2020 have since closed.

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In order to attract more people to the area, Councilmember Jacob Kupin, who represents Downtown Nashville, has spearheaded an effort to ease restrictions on 2nd Ave businesses.

“It’s been challenging…pedestrians not realizing that this area’s even open, not knowing how to navigate or get across it,” said Kupin. “[Businesses’] sales are down 70, 80, 90 percent at times. They’re really struggling to make it through this.”

Kupin’s bill, which is up for third and final reading Tuesday night, would establish a “Tourism Improvement Zone” on 2nd Ave. This new designation would allow businesses on the construction-filled street to have “outside amplified noise”, to put more signs and banners and allow for outdoor vending.

“I think it’s gonna be a lot of little things that we’re pulling together to make one big impact,” he said.

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Kupin explained that given the size and scope of the destruction from the 2020 bombing, it’s been a long process to rebuild 2nd Ave. “It’s an unprecedented amount of damage that we’ve seen. There’s a lot of historic buildings that need to be taken care of a certain way.”

Kupin said construction on the north section of 2nd Ave is expected to finish by the summer.

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