Community rallies to 'Save the Rock Block'

Councilman withdraws resolution
Posted at 3:38 PM, Aug 20, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-20 21:56:46-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Elliston Place, or "The Rock Block," is home to many historic Nashville businesses. But legislation in Metro Council could change the area by allowing a large hotel to come in, which many in the community are against.

"This is an authentic stretch, truly authentic to Nashville, Tennessee. There's nowhere else like it in the world," Chris Cobb, owner of the Exit/In on Elliston Place, said. "Exit/In has been in it's original location on the Rock Block since 1971."

Cobb's wife Telisha started a petition to "Save the Rock Block." The legislation in Metro Council would allow zoning changes on the corner of Elliston Place and Louise Avenue, across the street from Exit/In, allowing a large hotel to be built where there are currently apartments.

"The zoning would allow for a 15-story big boxed chain hotel to go in that location," Cobb said.

The property is currently zoned so a hotel could be built there, but it would be a much smaller hotel. Cobb said he believes that no hotel should go in there, as it would push out the residents of those apartments, which are more affordable than most other apartments in the area.

"Nashvillians are tired of being displaced, tired of losing their apartments, tired of losing their homes, tired of losing their favorite businesses, their favorite restaurants for another hotel, another condo, another chain, another big chunk of development money coming from outside of this city that doesn't make life better here," Cobb said.

Cobb, as well as other business owners in the area and musicians, encouraged people to show up to the Metro Council meeting to show their opposition to the zoning change. The zoning change was already disapproved by the planning department in a unanimous vote, and it would require 27 yes votes to pass Metro Council.

“We need to preserve our history, we need to preserve the institutions that make this town what it is, and we have an opportunity to do that now," Cobb said.

During the meeting, Councilman Ed Kindall announced he was withdrawing the bill before a vote was made, killing the bill.