NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — It appears the historic Exit/In music venue may be saved from the wrecking ball of redevelopment.
Owners tell News 2 that the new owner and developer of the land in which Exit/In sits on, Adventurous Journeys LLC, agrees the venue should be saved and wants to see live music in the venue.
All of this comes in light of the overwhelming outpour of community support rallying behind the venue, and over $215,000 in community funds raised to save it.
“We’re thrilled Ben [Weprin, Owner of Adventurous Journeys LLC] agrees Exit/In must be preserved,” the couple tells News 2 in a Facebook message, “We’ve reached out previously to no avail, but hope he’s now ready to accept our offer to purchase the building and make a profit from selling it to us.”
The Cobb’s have owned the venue for 17 years and said “the magic of the Exit/In cannot be bought or sold in a real estate transaction.”
“It’s created by the people. Learning to own and operate a small independent venue is a monumental undertaking, especially for a company best known for building luxury developments. We invite Ben to accept our offer so Exit/In can continue to nurture Nashville creative working class and not become another playground for the elite.”
According to the owners, the developer had offered to reimburse donors for their funds to the Preserve Exit In! campaign.
“We know Nashville’s music community can’t be bought,” the owners said in a joint statement to News 2.
The Cobb’s also own nearby bar Hurry Back. They plan to present concerts at the Exit/In venue as soon as it is safe to do so.
The agreement must be made official between the Cobb’s and the landowners before any changes can be made.
Councilmember Jeff Syracuse had earlier said losing Exit/In would be an irreplaceable loss though this is not the first time the city’s culture has been threatened due to growth. Mayor John Cooper also previously expressed his support for Exit/In on social media, saying he hopes the current owner, or any future owners will protect the landmark venue so it can thrive another 50 years.
Money raised from the GoFundMe are going to the couple’s offer. Cobb said if their bid fails, all money raised will be donated to organizations like the National Independent Venue Association and the Music Venue Alliance of Nashville.