Nashville New Homes: April showers better bring May flowers!

After the cold winter, we just could not wait for Spring to arrive.  It has.  And it has brought some pretty ugly weather conditions with it.  Although many in Middle Tennessee suffered damage from the most recent wave of storms, we really did dodge a bullet… what happened in Tuscaloosa could have happened here.  Check out this amazing footage of the storm developing:

If you would like to donate to relief efforts in this devastated area, the Red Cross (www.RedCross.org) is always there to help.  Also, the Alabama Governor’s Office is accepting donations through its Emergency Relief program.   Click here for details:

http://blog.al.com/breaking/2011/04/alabama_governor_gives_number.html

At the same time tornados ravaged Alabama, many residents in nearby Clarksville were evacuating their homes due to rising flood waters.  Clarksville has also been no stranger to severe weather.

http://www.theleafchronicle.com/

Franklin County, Tennessee also suffered extensive damage, with the entire county powerless after the storm.  Rutherford County, Tennessee  has also seen its share of severe weather this year.

http://www.wgnsradio.com/severe-weather-leaves-its-mark-on-rutherford-county/26480/

Whenever a storm siren is heard, events from the past flashback as if they were yesterday.  Everyone remembers the tornado that struck Murfreesboro in April 2009:

Although it has been 13 years since the famous April tornado in Nashville, I remember it as if it just happened.   At that time, I was organist at the Tulip Street United Methodist Church in Historic Edgefield.   As the storm subsided, I heard the church had been hit and went by to see the damage.  The sheet music I had left on the 100+ yr. old organ was still on the rack, opened to the page I left it.   The organ was untouched, but just a few feet away, an entire wall of the sanctuary had vanished.  Here is a link to that story:

http://www.disasternews.net/news/article.php?articleid=792&printthis=1

I really would like to say my playing “Amazing Grace” on the bells was divine intervention.  Actually, “Amazing Grace” was the only selection I could play in the dark!  Regardless, it was humbling to know that such a simple act had brought calmness to many.  Maybe it was “divine intervention.”

All around us are people needing a helping hand and even the smallest efforts can make the biggest differences.   You can never realize the impact of a gift, whether time, money, or items, until it is given.

That said, April is almost behind us.  The sky is clear, and beautiful weather is on the immediate horizon.  Let’s keep our fingers crossed that May brings those promised flowers and not what May brought Nashville in 2010!

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new homes in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, Clarksville, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: An active riverfront adds to quality of life.

Nashville is very fortunate to have a navigable waterway running right through the middle of downtown.  For many years, the civic importance of this feature was overlooked to concentrate only on its commercial benefits.  In the early 1980’s former Mayor Richard Fulton realized this waterway was a jewel to compliment our quality-of-life.  In January of 1983 he dedicated Riverfront Park, much as we see it today.

Since that time, the cityscape surrounding Nashville’s Riverfront Park has changed considerably.  Downtown Nashville is vibrant, the east bank of the river now houses LP Field, home of the Tennessee Titans, and areas that once were industrial now lie dormant for the most part, waiting for their next purpose.

In the mid-2000’s, a commission was formed to explore re-development of Nashville’s riverfront.  Many feasible ideas came from this “open-to-the-public” forum, and also a few ideas that will probably never see the light of day.  But so what…. aim for the moon and hit a few stars!

Under the leadership of Mayor Karl Dean, progress is underway for the first phase of Nashville’s riverfront redevelopment.  Read the full story on the groundbreaking this past October:

http://www.nashville.gov/mayor/news/2010/1005.asp

This is exciting news for Nashville, especially during lackluster economic times.  Take a look at what we can expect this summer on the east bank of the Cumberland River:

And there is even proposed docking for boats along the east bank as well, making Titans games all the better!  (Hopefully they will have electrical service for overnight docking)

The re-development of our Riverfront Park even has its own website.  View first hand the great improvements that are coming in the future!    

http://www.nashvilleriverfront.org/    While checking out that website, don’t miss taking a look at what other future improvements will look like:

http://www.nashvilleriverfront.org/downloads.html

Even without the future improvements, Nashville’s Riverfront Park still has a lot to offer.  There is docking for boats on each side of the river.  Boaters can dock on the east side and enjoy a Titans home game, or dock on the west side and enjoy the sights and sounds that downtown has to offer.  Electricity (30 & 50 amp) and water services are only available on the west (downtown) side.  Docking reservations can be made by calling 615.862.8472.

I do have one major beef with Metro Parks & Recreation, who oversees Riverfront Park.  For years, boaters were allowed to make reservations for dockage during holiday festivities.  These reservations were extremely hard to get.  The first year we secured a reservation to enjoy July 4th fireworks,  we were elated! 

Then Mayor Bill Purcell, through Metro Parks, cancelled all docking priviledges at Riverfront Park during holidays due to “homeland security concerns.”  The docks remain closed to boaters on most holidays and special events to this day.  “Homeland security concerns” my ass. 

But all is not lost.  We do live in America and can still throw out our anchors above the Korean Veterans Bridge, or the Woodland Street Bridge…which is exactly what we do.   Hopefully, new re-development plans will be more boater-friendly, like they are now in Knoxville and Chattanooga!  Take a look at what those cities have done:

Knoxville’s Riverfront Park is pictured above.  Chattanooga’s Riverfront Park aerial view below:

Speaking of July 4th, Nashville’s fireworks displays are among the highest rated in the nation.  Here is what we have in store for July 4, 2011:

http://nashville.about.com/b/2010/06/15/2010-music-city-july-4th-fireworks-spectacular-let-freedom-sing.htm

Our riverfront is there for your enjoyment!    This redevelopment project deserves participation from all Nashvillians, so please communicate support to Metro Council members every chance you get!   

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: There’s still a future for a lucky old home.

Nashville and Middle Tennessee certainly has its share of historic homes.  Many are open to the public, while others quietly go about maintaining their place in history.   At 4000 Franklin Road in Nashville, huge magnolia trees surround the entrance to one of Nashville’s lesser-known treasures, the Glen Leven Estate.

On the morning of January 23rd, members of neighboring Glen Leven Presbyterian Church heard strange sounds coming from the vicinity of the old home.  Those sounds were smoke detectors, set off from a fire burning inside.

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Here is the initial story:  http://www.newschannel5.com/story/13892819/historic-glen-leven-home-goes-up-in-flames

Although the structure did receive significant damage, all is not lost.  Thank goodness those initial accounts turned out to be exaggerated.  Here is the official statement from the owners, The Tennessee Land Trust:

“The fire was contained to a hallway in the caretaker’s residence at the back of the structure, and the vast majority of the 1857 National Register of Historic Places home was not damaged by fire.”  Read the full story here:

http://www.landtrusttn.org/

Glen Leven was built in 1857 by Thomas & Mary Thompson, whom Thompson Lane is named for.  The home was used as a Federal hospital during the Battle of Nashville and has remained in the family until 2006, when Susan McConnell West passed and left the estate to the Land Trust of Tennessee.  Surrounding this stately home is 65 acres of undisturbed, unexcavated Civil War battlefield.  You can read the full history of Glen Leven here:

http://www.landtrusttn.org/glenleven.html

The next time you are riding down Franklin Road in Oak Hill, slow down for a glimpse of this historical landmark.  In the meantime, you may like to check out these other links of interest on Glen Leven:

http://www.wkrn.com/Global/story.asp?S=13892301

http://www.nashvillescene.com/bites/archives/2010/06/23/capitol-grille-stakes-out-its-own-produce-farm-at-historic-glen-leven-estate

http://oakhillgazette.blogspot.com/2008/01/blog-post.html

http://www.landtrusttn.org/glenleven.html

http://www.bonps.org/glen_leven.htm

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, www.OleSouth.com, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: The lights are on & somebody’s home!

Something is different about 882 South Curtiswood Lane.  Very different.   For the past nine years, no one has lived there.  It has been fun driving on Curtiswood without having to watch my speed, because no one was there to care.  There is now! 

The home that has served as the “Executive Residence” for all of Tennessee’s Governors, from 1949 -2002, was all lit up again!  There was even a State Trooper at the main gate flashing his lights for me to slow down!  Welcome to Nashville, Governor Bill Haslam and family!

Tennesseans, especially the family of our new Governor, are greatly indebted to the efforts of former Governor Phil Bredesen and his wife Andrea Conte.  They unselfishly took on the challenge of organizing and executing the first major renovation/restoration of this historic 80-year old home since the state purchased it in 1949.   Of the 18 million dollar project cost, 9 million was raised from private donations. **

(**Politicos – I have not fact-checked the accuracy of these exact figures and am only using those ascertained from media articles on the subject.  Go jump on someone else.)

Also added was an underground facility that will seat 160.  That addition was very controversial, but will prove to be an asset to the state.  As a child, I always knew when the Governor was having a party because there was a huge circus tent on the front lawn, connected to the residence.  Sometimes there were porta-johns too, if my memory serves correctly.   

If you do the math and compile the entire cost of the whole addition and restoration project, the taxpayers are not affected.  The cost of the underground “Conservation Hall” was fully funded by private sources, and the restoration funded by the state, which honestly had let the facility go far too long without performing desparately needed repairs and alterations.   Try letting your home go for 53 years and see how you come out!

Thank you Governor Bredesen and First Lady Andrea Conte for sacrificing your residency at such a cool place to live for the benefit of future leaders!

Enjoy this overview with former First Lady, Andrea Conte:

Since 1949, there have been a few changes to the Executive Residence over the years.   Perimeter fencing and entrance gates were added in the early 70’s, Lamar Alexander added a swimming pool during his term, at no cost to taxpayers.  (I cannot imagine an estate of that caliber not having a pool in the first place.) 

One Halloween many years ago, after a successful visit to Minnie Pearl’s house, a group of us decided we would head next-door to “Trick-or-Treat” at the Governor’s Mansion too.  As we approached the gates, they suddenly opened…without us saying a word.   A voice came over the intercom…. “BOO!  Come on up!”   And we did.

We arrived at the back door of the mansion to be greeted by First Lady Betty Dunn.  She invited us in, the whole time apologizing for not having any halloween candy on hand.  No one had ever “trick-or-treated” at the Governor’s Mansion before. 

She served us cookies and refreshments and then took time to show us around the place.  What a gracious and charming lady!   Then, and now.    And for those that may be asking….. No, we did not roll the yard when we left.  (Not that one anyway!)  

Here are some interesting links regarding this historic Tennessee home:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tennessee_Governor’s_Mansion

Here is an aerial view of the property.  http://wikimapia.org/4168812/Tennessee-Governor-039-s-Mansion

And here are a few scenes of the residence that all Tennesseans can now be very proud of:

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Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, www.OleSouth.com, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee

Nashville New Homes: A neat Christmas Gift!

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Very few cities around the country have such great architectural examples as Nashville, Tennessee.  One particular architectural firm is celebrating 100 years of design and has published a wonderful book detailing the many contributions they have made to our city’s landscape.  Here is the link for more information on this great Christmas gift:

http://www.tennessean.com/article/20101014/DAVIDSON/101014071/New-picture-book-portrays-Nashville-s-unique-buildings-?GID=CUwLbLWjEcza8zrl41A2b3u4mHej0xs83K0D1SSsp4I%3D

There is nothing like the contrast between the old and the new.  You will enjoy the link below, which will take you back in time for views of what Nashville’s landscape was like long ago.  Click it and see for yourself!

http://nashville.about.com/cs/nashvillephotos/l/bloldpics1.htm

Isn’t it cool to reminisce?   Now that you have done that, why not take a look at what the future has in store for you by visiting the new homes and communities offered by Ole South Properties?  We have a home for every lifestyle.  See for yourself at www.OleSouth.com.

Trey Lewis is a licensed Real Estate Broker in the State of Tennessee with Ole South Realty, 615.896.0019  direct 615.593.6340.  Specializing in new home sales in the Greater Nashville area to include Nashville, Murfreesboro, Smyrna, and Spring Hill, Tennessee.