In 2015, the city’s booming real estate market reached new heights as it transformed longstanding retail corners and created new ones. During this time some of the state’s health-care challenges were on center stage, as Insure Tennessee was shunned by lawmakers and the state stayed near the bottom of health rankings. New fiber Internet service was announced for Nashville as others in Tennessee struggled with basic Internet needs. The music industry recognized talent that it might have overlooked in years past, while making it tougher for everyday musicians.
Here is a list of the biggest business stories in Nashville and Tennessee this year, as determined by The Tennessean’s business team and ranked by readers on Tennessean.com.
Nashville’s population has taken off in recent years thanks to the city’s rising profile and thriving business landscape. Should the population growth slow, it could pose challenges to the city’s job growth momentum.
The local real estate market has been good to sellers but has made buying a home an expensive game of strategy. As the city’s growth continues, the momentum shows few signs of slowing.
Google Fiber’s service has yet to be offered, but its presence in Nashville has put pressure on local providers AT&T and Comcast to expand their own fiber networks in Middle Tennessee, boost existing speeds and adjust pricing. The new fiber service also has expanded Google’s local footprint, which could help develop the city’s tech community.
The $125 million LifeWay campus deal marked one of the largest real estate transactions in Nashville’s history. The new owner plans a mixed-use development that could further reshape downtown’s landscape.
The political rhetoric around Insure Tennessee, Gov. Bill Haslam’s proposal to expand health insurance coverage, worried health-care leaders around the state as they try to navigate a quickly changing industry and payment methods.
A flurry of changes in Hillsboro Village — including the loss of longtime businesses while a half-dozen new tenants opened at a mixed-use development — are reflective of Music City’s hot real estate market. High demand for retail and restaurant space coupled with low vacancy gives landlords an upper hand in tenant selection. Those conditions have pushed out some small-business owners across the city, bringing in regional and national chains.
Despite Nashville’s growing stature as a music destination, songwriters, studio musicians, producers and bands are struggling more than ever to make a living in Music City.
Chris Stapleton, the new darling of the music industry, demonstrated that an artist and songwriter can carve his own path to musical stardom and that the music power brokers are open to artists who break the mold.
Former Sen. Bill Frist’s new project is an unprecedented initiative, NashvilleHealth, to improve the overall health of an entire city by putting healthy living in the public consciousness and helping Nashville’s sickest and most disadvantaged residents. The city lags behind peers in health outcomes, threatening its future economic viability.
The drumbeat for basic Internet in rural areas has grown louder and will be an issue to watch in 2016. Residents are demanding access to nearby municipal broadband if the area’s providers will not connect them.
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