Virgin Hotel Construction Begins; Some Wary Of Music Row's Future

Posted at 7:28 PM, Sep 20, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-20 20:29:31-04

City officials, Virgin Group owner, Sir Richard Branson, broke ground on the new Virgin Hotel to be built on Music Row.

Both the mayor and Branson said they were excited for the opportunity to open a new 240 guest room hotel on the square between Division Street and 17th Avenue South. 

The new hotel will be 200,000 square feet with restaurants, bars and a rooftop pool. 

The road leading to the point where metal pierced dirt was not without some protest. In 2014, a mansion from the 1870s was torn down, seemingly overnight to people who are from the area. The home on 1 Music Square West was no longer considered historic by the city after it was gutted 50 years earlier.

Now, some locals are also weighing in on the hotel, still with mixed reviews.

"I'm not happy. There's too much going up in this town already," said Ray Schipani from Bobby's Idle Hour. "Music Row is Music Row it is what it is. And it's getting destroyed. It's all about the mighty dollar."

Schipani is a musician who often plays at the Music Row bar. He says traffic is one of his concerns.

Another musician, Sam Cooper, said it's likely the Virgin Hotel will add to the area's success.

"The plus side to me is, I'm really am a fan of the head of Virgin Records, Richard Branson. He's a music guy and he's a risk taker. He's done a lot of really unconventional things that have set him apart from most of the billionaires," Cooper said. "It's nice to see that somebody like that has their eye on Nashville and Music Row. I'm a hoping that it will be a good marriage."

Construction on the hotel will take two years.