NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — The old Tulip Street United Methodist Church sits on Russell Street empty, and even though neighbors want to see the building restored, they’re not all on board with plans to turn it into a boutique hotel and venue space.
“As a neighborhood, we feel that we’re under siege,” said Edgefield resident Peter Greaves.
Grieves, who also sits on the neighborhood association’s development board, continued, “There is always a new development wanting to come in, there is always a new development wanting to bring more traffic, they always cite the nature of the community and [say it will] be a part of the fabric of the community. It wouldn’t.”
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Neighbors generally have no issue with the hotel aspect of the plans, however, they’re worried allowing events in the space—including weddings and corporate gatherings—will create more traffic and parking problems.
The developer, Anchor Investments turned another church on Russell Street into a hotel called, “The Russell” in 2019. It plans to use 41 public parking spaces for people staying at the hotel or attending events. They hope to have access to 66 additional designated parking spaces at the Nashville First Church of the Nazarene across the street, but that plan has not been approved.
Greaves told News 2 the developer stated the building can hold up to 600 people, but they expect events of a smaller size.
“We do not necessarily oppose the hotel,” Greaves said. “[There would be] much more control over parking, provided they can provide the parking. That is different to having two or three events a week with 150 people coming in here, parking here, noise until 11 pm.”
In addition, neighbors feel the development wouldn’t benefit the people who live around it, besides having the church restored.
“It’s been a struggle to work with proposed development, which we accept, but also how do we maintain our little neighborhood?” Alice Forrester, president of the neighborhood association said. “We’re becoming a huge parking lot for everything around us.”
People use the neighborhood to park during Titans games and other large events downtown, according to Forrester.
Neighbors hope to come to a compromise with Anchor Investments before the August 25 planning commission meeting where city leaders will decide whether to recommend the church be used for a hotel and event space.
News 2 reached out to Anchor Investments for more information but had not heard back at the time this article was published.