Ordinance Would Require New Businesses To Cater To Tourists

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Ordinance Would Require New Businesses To Cater To Tourists

CREATED May 18, 2014
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – A new ordinance considered by members of the Metro City Council would require new downtown businesses to cater to tourists.

The ordinance, called a “Historic Cultural Overlay," would require new businesses on the tourist-filled streets of downtown to either have a music venue or sell mostly products that cater to the music and entertainment industry.

The “Historic Overlay” included parts of Broadway, Second Avenue, and Printers Alley. 

"It's about preserving the character of that part of the city. It's something that's unique to Nashville and it's what people think about when they think about Nashville around the country - around the world - and we want to make sure it doesn't get diluted,” said Craig Owensby with the Metro Planning Department. 

Many have speculated the proposed ordinance was the result of Walgreens wanting to build in the old Trail West store at the corner of 3rd Avenue and Broadway. City leaders stressed the requirement was not an "anti-Walgreens" ordinance.

The chain could move to the location but officials said they have to operate under a certain set of rules.

Walgreens has still planned to move into the building along lower Broadway. Tourists have mixed opinions on the new store.

"If we are tourists, we want something else. We have option to do that [and] not just focus on just music,” said Kiki Phu, a tourist from Los Angeles.

City leaders said downtown tourism has never been better. They hoped an overlay with a few rules for new businesses will keep the tourism numbers climbing even higher.

The ordinance has been scheduled for a second reading at Metro Council next week.