NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — The owner of the Exit/In on Elliston Place in Nashville says the property is now under contract to be sold to Chicago Real Estate Development company AJ Capital Partners.
Chris Cobb and many other musicians and artists say they're concerned about what that means for the future of the historic site. Artists from Billy Joel to R.E.M have performed on the stage.
"This is its 50th anniversary this year, it shouldn’t be for sale," said Cobb.
The EXIT/IN has been a pillar for Music City's rock scene, many calling this Midtown corner of Nashville -- "Rock Block."
The venue has been closed since March of 2020 due to the pandemic -- with hopes of re-opening by June.
But in February the property went up for sale ---- Owner, Chris Cobb says EXIT/IN made an offer to purchase the site but it wasn't accepted.
"If decisions are continued to be made by corporations, out of towners, and luxury developers are city cannot make progress, " said Cobb, "Nashville will head no where; driven by decisions that maximizes profits but minimize people. And this must stop."
"If the past couple of days are any gauge of the passion and the persistence and the creativity and the love people have shown our family and this institution, then we are in this fight not today not tomorrow but however long it takes to secure this place for another 50 years," said Telisha Cobb, Exit/In Owner.
Cobb recently created a fundraiser with the goal of raising enough money to offer AJ Capital Partners more than it paid for the property, and buy the building. It's raised close to $162,000 so far. However, there's no guarantee the company will accept the money.
Metro Council members Brandon Taylor, Brett Withers, Jeff Syracuse, Joy Styles, and Tom Cash were also at this event. They spoke to the crowd, saying they're fighting for more than a business, they're fighting for "Nashville's soul."
Some council members said if the real estate firm, AJ Capital Partners, wants to get a zone change to demolish the property, they'll push back. They also encouraged feedback at any future public hearings on the property.
"I played at the In and I played at the Exit/In. And so I just want to encourage everyone who’s watching this who’s listening to understand that in any way that you can contribute to stop this from moving into in everyday regular piece of architecture that we don’t really need," said Councilmember Styles.
NewsChannel 5 reached out to AJ Capitol about their plans when we first brought you this story. We've contacted them again and still have not heard back.