Small businesses impacted by bombing hope to rebuild and remain on 2nd Avenue

2nd avenue
Posted at 3:30 PM, Jan 01, 2021
and last updated 2021-01-01 19:23:50-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn (WTVF) — As small businesses impacted by the bombing think about their future, many are hoping to rebuild and remain along 2nd avenue in downtown Nashville. But some also fear they could get pushed out.

Video from the bombing site shows what was once Nashville Ink. It was one of 45 downtown businesses impacted by the Christmas Day bombing.

The explosion left 400 people without homes and 1,200 without jobs.

"It’s a horrible feeling to know that you lost everything that you worked for over 11 years," said owner Lior Rose. "It’s rough, in the beginning, you don’t believe it and then when you see the videos you can’t help but face the reality."

Lior Rose says his fear is he alongside his neighbors will be pushed out when the city and leaseholders decide on what to do next with the damaged buildings.

"It’s really, really important to preserve downtown here how it is," Lior said, "We want to be bars there and restaurants and small businesses and shopping; you know things for people to do because once you take that away there is nothing."

Council member Freddie O’Connell who represents the district says there are a lot of questions.

"If some of these buildings do come down, what goes up in their place.? How do you keep these from being parking lots for a period of time?"

O’Connell says he’s been in contact with non-profit and downtown small business advocates like the District.

"My focus is on making sure that as many of those small business operators that were already there and were having some success get to push that forward into the future."

Until there are answers small business owners impacted by this bombing say, they will rebuild and hopefully remain on 2nd Avenue.

"This is what makes Nashville so special and so unique and if you take that away there won’t be nothing left," said Rose.

Council Member O'Connell says metro codes says that seven buildings in the impact site are unsafe for occupancy. At least 2 according to police are structurally unsound enough to likely collapse.

He says about 10 will need significant renovation work or will need to be demolished.