HENDERSONVILLE, Tenn. - In the past seven years, Hendersonville has grown by about 10,000 people, according to mayor Jamie Clary.
Unemployment rates in the city are low as businesses continue to make investments in the town of about 60,000. Mayor Clary said residential home permits have been approved at the rate of about one per day. So, how did Hendersonville get here?
"We're certainly seeing unemployment go down," said Clary. "It's not something we can put our finger on, but we have more people that are living in Hendersonville, that are working in Hendersonville. So, that's encouraging the growth rate. When you work closer to home and you don't have to deal with the commute, then you have more people interested in moving here."
Location could be one reason. In 2016, a new neonatal intensive care unit opened at TriStar Hendersonville Medical Center, allowing parents to stay near their sick kids. In 2017, 131 infants were treated at the new center, a 19 percent increase of the previous year.
"Families are now able to stay with their infant should that child need that high level of care," said Chief Nursing Officer Lisa Gann.
Other companies report moving to Hendersonville to eliminate commutes in heavy traffic, such as Netco, an IT company.
"In general, there's a lot of growth in Nashville. When they're moving in, they're looking at those suburbs. They're looking at the Franklin, Murfreesboro, Hendersonville areas, and Hendersonville is one of those draws. The lake is beautiful, the area is beautiful," said Donnie Evans, chief operating officer. Evans said most of their employees work north of Nashville.
The company's building sits adjacent to an under construction business center and condo complex. Mayor Clary said the city has seen $7 million in investment from companies in the past six months. Something he partially attributes to getting new AT&T fiber lines in 98 percent of the business districts.
"The importance really comes down to high resolution images, especially if you're talking about medical, if you're talking about healthcare, then you can transmit just loads of images in a few seconds instead of doing it overnight," said Clary.