NASHVILLE, Tenn (WKRN) — The 2020 Christmas Day bombing in downtown Nashville shattered several windows at French’s Shoes and Boots on 2nd Avenue. Nearly one year later, they are still waiting to have new glass installed.
Property manager, JC Gomez, showed News 2 the damage on the second floor of the store and said some customers think they’re closed since the windows are still boarded up.
“You can feel how cold it is right now. It definitely has increased our electricity bill,” Gomez said. “They were supposed to be installed by Thanksgiving and here we are almost a year later and still no windows.”
Gomez says Pella Windows and Doors keeps pushing the installation date of the windows back. But Pella of Tennessee Trade Manager, Darren Geuss, said it’s not by choice.
Geuss said his company is working on a half dozen projects downtown. They’re restoring doors and windows to historic buildings on 2nd Avenue, but that presents them with a unique challenge.
“The architecture is amazing and it’s beautiful and it’s so fun to work on. But it’s so challenging in a sense that you’re working with 100 plus-year-old buildings. A new construction job is easy. You have a plan. You know that okay every window is this size,” Geuss said. “When you have a replacement job like this, especially one where there’s been structural damage and issues from the blast, you need to be very careful when you take windows out and look at existing openings.”
But the old architecture isn’t the only reason for the lag in installations.
“There’s been so much change and moving because of this global supply chain that it’s just made it difficult for all of us to get things in when we need them and in a timely fashion,” Geuss said.
Between glass, lumber, sealant and the dozens of other materials it takes for them to do their job, Geuss says Pella and most other construction companies are battling supply shortages and high transportation costs.
But Pella says they’re committed to restoring the historic street as soon as possible and getting businesses like French’s back to normal.
“I feel like once we get this stuff down here cleaned up that 2nd Avenue will actually start seeing more business,” French’s manager Rachel Gray said.
French’s was forced to shutter their store for about a month after the bomb. They didn’t have much physical damage aside from the broken windows, but Gray estimates they’ve lost about 50% to 60% of their average profit over the last year and a half.
Gray is hopeful that when the new windows are installed it will attract more customers to the storefront.