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Downtown Nashville could swell to 95,000 employees, increasing demand for space

Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. PHOTO: FOX 17 News Nashville
Downtown Nashville, Tennessee. PHOTO: FOX 17 News Nashville
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NASHVILLE, Tenn.--As Nashville continues to grow, so does the cost and demand of renting in 'IT' city.

A new report from Zillow on Monday shows median rent is up 3.1% from a year ago, the median rent now $1,536 per month. According to a private nonprofit corporation made represented by some of the city's largest companies, the high demand for apartments and leasing space will only continue to grow for years to come.

The Nashville Downtown Partnership (NDP) is comprised of board members representing First Tennessee Bank, the Nashville Predators & Bridgestone Arena, the Tennessee Titans, Pinacle Finanacial, Bridgestone Americas, Warner Music Group, Ingram Industries, and many others.

The NDP's purpose is to focus on recruiting businesses, development of retail and residential spaces, transportation, communications, and marketing.

According to the 2018 Downtown Nashville Business Census, conducted every three years, the census provides a glimpse into why demand is so high. In 2015, there were 57,230 employees in downtown Nashville. Last year, that number swelled to 72,000 employees. By 2022/2023, there could be as many as 95,000 employees downtown. While renters will see rising rates, so will companies looking to lease office space. The continued growth is leading to more demand, raising lease rates and the need for more offices. Through 2026, an in-depth market study shows new office space will drive the absorption of over 4 million square feet of space.

More employees also means more cars on the streets and more demand for housing. During a November NDP board meeting last year, NDP President and CEO said in 2015, there were 1,500 cars on downtown street. In 2018, that number jumped to 4,000 cars. Much of the growth can be attributed to new businesses downtown which are also expanding at a rapid pace. The NDP previously reported during that meeting the demand for apartments downtown is estimated to be around another 7,295 units from 2018 through 2026.

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While that demand is considered moderate, high rents are expected to drive demand to other submarkets near downtown.

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