Thursday, March 23Welcome

Small business owners unsure whether to be included in new Belle Meade Plaza development

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (WSMV) – There was a neighborhood meeting Thursday night about whether the Belle Meade Plaza should be demolished.

This shopping center has been around for more than 60 years and may soon be replaced by high-rise condominiums.

Belle Meade Jewelry and Repair is one of the local businesses currently located in the shopping center. Owner Scott Isaacs opened the shop in Belle Meade Plaza in 2006.

“This is my dream,” said Isaacs. “It was basically the goal to open my own store. Seventeen years ago, it really paid off.”

His neighbors on the square include Kroger, Starbucks, and several other locally owned businesses.

Now there are plans to tear it all down.

“People are scared,” said Isaacs.

Developer AJ Capital wants to replace the plaza with new retail stores and high-rise condominiums.

Metro Council member Kathleen Murphy said there are more than 300 units and 600 parking spaces. She said half of the development will be green space to protect a nearby stream.

A big concern for some is the increased traffic on Harding Pike.

Murphy said developers should study traffic impacts and make changes along the corridor.

WSMV4 asked Murphy if there was room for new development of an existing business.

Murphy said, “It’s a requirement for the development team that I create, what kind of business, what size business, and whether there are requirements to protect locally owned businesses. To make it clearer,” he said.

Site plans have been submitted to change zoning and build a residential and retail development...
A site plan has been submitted to rezoning the current site of Belle Mead Plaza on Harding Pike for the construction of residential and commercial facilities.(Tokyo Metropolitan Planning Commission)

Isaacs hopes his jewelry shop will be included in the new concept, but he’s sure it will cost him more rent.

“Small businesses don’t have a lot of opportunities in this new Nashville, and that’s a shame,” says Isaacs.

If he misses Thursday’s neighborhood rally, Murphy said there will be another rally in about two weeks.

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