5 nashville water cooler conversations for february

2016 was a big year for nashville. 2017 is being set-up for even better.  here are a few take-aways:

fullsizerender1 •the housing market continued on its record setting pace in 2016. median price of a home was $266,408, up from $242,945 in 2015. we saw 38,954 closings, up 5.6% from 2015. also, bucking the trend that it typically slows down near the holidays and in the winter, nashville had the strongest fourth quarter in home sales we have seen in a decade.  continuing the trend, zillow.com named nashville the #1 real estate market in the country to invest in 2017.  emerging trends in real estate puts the city at #6.

2 • the nashville zoo set new attendance records with almost 900,000 visitors in 2016, up 10% from 2015. the zoo is celebrating 20 years at grassmere this year. they have plans to open a white rhinoceros exhibit (march), an andean bear exhibit (may), an expanded tiger exhibit (july) and a new spider monkey exhibit which will feature an elevated boardwalk for guests to enter a treetop viewing platform.nashvillezootiger_exteriorviewing_sm-web

3 • our auto industry is killing it. nissan, who’s north american headquarters is in nashville, had sales of more than 1.5 million in 2016, a company record, up 5% from 2015. also, GM announced plans today to invest $27 million in their spring hill plant to assembly a right-hand version of the acadia to export to australia. the spring hill plant employs almost 4,100 workers. in 2015, 6.3% of all US-made cars, light trucks & SUVs were produced in tennessee.The_Mockingbird.0.0

4 • USA today named nashville’s local foodie scene #3 in the country and zagat has us at #6 on their list for america’s next hot food cities. from adele & justin bieber 2016 middle of the night sightings at east side’s dino’s to a flurry of new much-anticipated openings in 2017 like our third james beard award-winning chef rj cooper’s henley in midtown or top chef maneet chauhan’s mockingbird (both spring 2017), our options for good eats show no sign of slowing down.

fullsizerender5 • the nashville convention & tourism announced last week an estimated 13.9 million tourists visited music city in 2016, up 400,000 from 2015.  that number is up 45% in the last decade. we continue to receive accolades from being one of conde nast’s top five friendliest destinations to being one of travel+leisure’s top places to travel in 2017.




nashville film fest in april

Ross McDonnell
love & friendship, a jane austen film adaptation starring kate beckinsale and chloe sevigny

the 10-day nashville film fest kicks off april 14th at the regal green hills cinema 16.  founded in 1969, we take great pride in our city’s celebration of cinema.  it’s one of the country’s oldest film festivals as well as an academy award® qualifying event.

last year saw over 43,000 in attendance, a new record for the festival.  43 sold-out shows and a record-breaking 3,500 film entries were submitted in 2015 as well.

the festival is presented by nissan. this year’s line-up can be found here and tickets are available to the public april 6th.

five nights in maine starring david oyelowo, dianne wiest & rosie perez

nissan commits to make self driving cars by 2020

1980s tv show, knight rider starring david hasselhoff

nissan announced tuesday it pledges to be making self-driving cars by 2020.  CEO carlos ghosn has said repeatedly he wants to be the first one to sell them.

the company already sells some aspect of autonomous technology including  motion-detecting cameras but they want to raise the bar and have a commercially-viable independent driving system in multiple vehicles at a reasonable price by 2020.

nissan is also building the first dedicated autonomous car training site near its japan headquarters.

nissan’s smyrna plant is having a stellar year, announcing last month that it was adding more than 900 manufacturing jobs to support future production of its crossover SUV, the nissan rogue.  this brings the grand total to more than 7,000 employees there.  production in nissan’s smyrna & canton, mississippi plants increased by 14% in 2012.

nissan continues to grow in middle tennessee

the smyrna plant's first luxury vehicle rolled off the assembly line on monday, the infiniti jx crossover, which starts just under $41,000

nissan has big aspirations for growth for the smyrna plant this year.  by this time next year, the smyrna locale could see upwards of 6,000 employees, almost double the numbers working there now.   nissan announced this week they plan to hire 1,000 employees for a second shift to assemble the new infiniti jx crossover.  the first ones rolled off the assembly line on monday.  it is the first luxury vehicle to be in production at the plant since the plant’s inception 29 years ago.

they also intend to add 1,300 new jobs to make the lithium-ion batteries for the nissan leaf electric car as well as even adding production of the leaf in early 2013.

last year, nissan’s north america companies manufactured 70% of the the vehicle supply for this continent but in the next two years, they plan to provide at least 85%.