East End United Methodist Church slated for early 2022 demolition. Photo by Jack Evan Johnson.

East Side Buzz, November 12

The November/December edition of The East Nashvillian will hit the streets next week but, in the meantime, there are still a few copies of the current issue featuring a cover story on comedian Joshua Black, who opens for Mike Floss tonight at the Exit/In. (Read on for this week’s “Love Buzz” coverage of Floss.) The holiday edition features a cover story on Lilly Hiatt written by Megan Seling, as well as our “Bad Influencers Guide to the Holidays.”

Before getting to the news, we’d like to offer a friendly reminder that ad space is available for both the January/February edition and also the Winter Issue of The Madisonian. Contact sales@theeastnashvillian for more information.

Matters of Development

Austin-based developer Artesia Real Estate has paid $11.5 million for Due West Plaza in Madison, according to the Nashville Post. Matt Taylor, Artesia vice president of investments, told the Post the company plans to operate the property as a shopping center for “the foreseeable future.” Earlier this year, Artesia purchased the nearby Madison Town Center, where it plans to build the large Madison Station mixed-use development.

A South Carolina developer seeks a five-story, 240-unit apartment building, located at 2600 Dickerson Pike, according to the Nashville Post

A 12.9-acre property with the main address at 2820 Dickerson Pike has sold for $8.5 million, according to the Nashville Post.

A new Mexican food truck, Taqueria La Bonita, is now open in the Shell gas station parking lot at 4800 Gallatin Pike. The truck offers tacos, crunchwraps, burritos, tortas, quesadillas, and more. Check it out on Instagram at @TaqueriaLaBonita. You can even call in your orders at 615-782-9702. 

U-Haul will open a 200-room self-storage facility in East Nashville, according to the Nashville Post.

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East Nashville Roofing Business Helps Local Veteran

Disabled U.S. Army veteran Gerald Bright, who served for 11 years during the Vietnam era, purchased a house in Greenbrier, Tennessee, last year, only to discover the roof had dangerous structural defects. 

Unable to work, unable to access VA benefits, and no nest egg to fall back on, Bright and his wife Sarah were desperate to find a way to make repairs to their new home. 

Fortunately for the Brights, their story caught the ear of retired Army Command Sgt. Maj. Lyle Whitted, Military Liaison and Educator the the Aligned Education Foundation, while Whitted was speaking at a symposium about VA home loans. 

Whitted reached out to fellow Army veteran Toby Kammer, general manager of East Nashville-based E2 Roofing, who decided to help. 

And on Monday, the Brights got their new roof, thanks to charitable contributions from E2 Roofing, Owens Corning, and the employee charitable fund of American Pacific Mortgage, a referral partner of Aligned Mortgage. 

“It took a few months to put all the pieces together, but we were thrilled to be able to do this for Gerald and Sarah,” Kammer said. “They are wonderful people and it’s been our honor to help them.” 

As their friendship with the Brights grew, Kammer and Whitted learned that Gerald Bright, despite his health issues, had been unable to access VA benefits. The duo leveraged their significant contacts to help the couple navigate the complicated VA system.  

“We are so thankful for Lyle and Toby. They helped educate us, pointed us in the right direction, and blessed us with a new roof. Now we can rest easy when it rains or snows without worrying the ceiling may collapse, and Gerald is on his way to getting the care he needs. We are so grateful,” said Sarah Bright.

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Revised Council Redistricting Draft Maps Released

The second draft of Metro Council redistricting maps was released by the Metro Planning Commission Nov. 5. 

The draft maps are available for side-by-side review and public comment on the city’s redistricting website. redistrict.nashville.gov 

Referred to as Proposal B, the new drafts incorporate suggestions based on community feedback on the initial draft maps, which were released by the Planning Commission in October. 

There are considerable changes to East Nashville Council districts from Proposal A to Proposal B. For one, Proposal B no longer splits the McFerrin Park neighborhood into two districts — one of the most contested aspects of Proposal A. 

“My wife and I are completely against your plans to divide McFerrin Park into two districts and the attempt to take huge business growth from District 5. We have lived here for eight years and McFerrin Park is a community…” Brad and Harmony Lopez wrote in an email to the Planning Department, shared in a 98-page report available on the redistricting website. 

Another revision in Proposal B finds the western boundary of District 7 (Inglewood and South Madison) shifted west from Gallatin Pike, where it currently is, to the railroad tracks.

“That area between the railroad and Gallatin Pike feels like Inglewood,” said District 7 Council Member Emily Benedict. 

District 7 also gains downtown Madison in Proposal B. 

“I love the idea of having downtown Madison as a part of our district, because I think it is natural… that growth that is coming, we’re already experiencing that here in the south,” Benedict said, adding, “I’d love to be a part of the cool things that are happening in Madison.” 

In Proposal B, District 7 no longer gains Shelby Bottoms Park, as it does with Proposal A. 

The goal of the redistricting process is to have roughly the same amount of residents in each district, said Benedict, so every adjustment requires an adjustment elsewhere. She likened the process to squeezing the air in a balloon. “When you squeeze tight on one part, the air goes to the other part,” she said. 

The biggest change to East Nashville’s Council redistricting, proposed by both drafts, is District 8 being removed completely from Madison, and relocated to Southeast Nashville. 

District 8 Council Member Nancy VanReece, whose term is up in August 2023, tweeted about the proposed moving of her district Nov. 6, saying, “We are still all in together until Aug. 2023. These 20 months are very important to me and I look forward to completing my service!” 

VanReece also tweeted a request that the northernmost boundary of District 7, ending at Woodruff Street in Madison in Proposal B, be extended to Old Hickory Boulevard, “so Madison Station Boulevard isn’t split.”

Proposal B shows Districts 3, 5, 7, and 9 expanding into what’s currently District 8. District 5 appears to nearly double in size, extending north all the way to W. Due West Avenue in Madison.

As it does in Proposal A, the new draft also shows downtown’s District 19 expanding across the Cumberland River into the East Bank and River North areas, currently part of East Nashville Districts 5 and 6. 

“I’m not sure on the reason for moving the East Bank and River North sites into the downtown district,” District 5 Council Member Sean Parker said last month. “They don’t have a lot of population. It seems odd to have a district cross the river … things I’ve heard (such as planning being a factor) are not really related to the redistricting process.” 

The redistricting is part of a regular redrawing of Metro Council and School Board district lines, which happens every 10 years. 

Depending on feedback on Proposal B, the Planning Department could present redistricting maps to the Planning Commission on November 18. Metro Council could adopt new district lines in December or January. New boundaries take effect after the 2023 Council election. 

An updated redistricting draft map for the Metro School Board is not yet available. 

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East End United Methodist Church Raises Millions for Rebuilding

The East End United Methodist Church, 1212 Holly St., has raised millions of dollars needed to rebuild its 114-year-old building, which was damaged by the March 2020 tornado and must be demolished. 

After receiving nearly $5 million from insurance, and $4.5 million from FEMA, the church still faced a funding gap of $1.75 million, said Pastor Rev. Schott Marshall-Kimball. 

“We were pretty well underinsured, as a lot of buildings around here are,” Marshall-Kimball said. 

The gap was closed by the church’s “Hope on Holly” campaign, which raised over $2 million (eastendumc.org/hopeonholly). $1.1 million came from the church’s own congregation. 

“It really was a pretty substantial congregational effort, across the board,” Marshall-Kimball said. 

An additional $1 million came in the form of a grant from the United Methodist Church’s Tennessee Annual Conference. 

The tornado severely damaged the structure, completely twisting the tower off the building, making the structure unstable and unsafe. 

“If we were to try to rehabilitate the building, we would have had to take down three stories of the building all the way down to the foundation to do foundation work… so it wouldn’t have been a historic structure in the end,” Marshall-Kimball said. “It was very sad.” 

The church received a demolition permit from the Metro Historic Zoning Commission in September, and aims to raze the building around the new year, said Marshall-Kimball. 

Construction of a new church at the same location, similar to the old church but with modern updates, is planned for early summer 2022, with an early summer 2023 completion. 

“We’re hoping to have something that honors the tradition of the church, and the front facade of the church will look very similar, but it will also be a lot easier to get around in, and a lot more comfortable space to operate in,” Marshall-Kimball said. 

Sunday, Nov. 7, a deconsecration service was held outdoors in the church park. 

“It really is almost like a funeral for a building, or a memorial for a building,” Marshall-Kimball said. 

East End United Methodist Church currently holds service at Dalewood United Methodist Church, 2300 Ridgecrest Drive, on Sundays at 9:15 a.m.

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Quick Bits

  • A GoFundMe online fundraiser has been set up for the family of a 13-year-old girl struck by a vehicle near Sip Cafe.
  • Nashville schools report a slight increase in COVID-19 cases among students, according to The Tennessean.
  • East End United Methodist Church will be observing All Saints Sunday Nov. 21. If you have lost a loved one in the last year and would like to have their name read during the service please submit their name here.
  • Local non-profit Neighbor 2 Neighbor is offering free, online networking sessions on the topic of neighborhood safety. The sessions are 45 minutes long, Thursdays at 6:15 p.m. Register here in advance.
  • Last weekend’s “Clothes for a Cause” thrifting event saw East Nashville shoppers at Trinity Community Commons raise money for organizations at work in the 37207 neighborhood, such as Harriet Tubman House, Neighbors Helping Neighbors, the Nashville Free Store and Pink Glitter Thrift Boutique, according to NewsChannel5.

Love Buzz

Mike Floss

Tonight Mike Floss is headlining Exit/In and — surprise! — the show is a release party for his new EP Griselda South, which is also out today. The rapper dropped the news about the new music just a few days ago, teasing a video on Instagram and leaving fans to wait another 72 hours before getting the goods. 

I suppose it’s not entirely surprising Floss has a new release. In October he gave us a new single, “Libation,” which is about the traditional African libation ceremonies. 

On Instagram, he wrote, “I think it’s really beautiful that as a people there’s African traditions we’ve retained over the course of history. One of those being Libation. The way we pour out liquor for the homies comes from this ancient practice.”

Current East Nashvillian cover star Josh Black will open the show, along with $avvy and DJ TrueStarr. Here’s hoping $avvy and Floss reunite on the stage to perform 2020’s chill “bag/purse,” $avvy’s single about looking fly with a bag despite haters knocking his fashion choices.

I love the way he states plainly, “I know that you’re mad and it hurts / Mad at me ‘cause I’m speakin’ facts and it works.” He’s right though, the bag looks good and the video – directed by SECK and also featuring Floss – is worth a watch: 

“Love Buzz” is curated by regular contributor Megan Seling