Small businesses on Nolensville Pike concerned amid rapid development

(Photo: WKRN)

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NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Small businesses along the Nolensville Pike corridor are concerned the development boom will force them out.

Andrew Vallomthail has been a small business owner on the busy thoroughfare since 1995. He and his wife own the dress shop Bridal and Formal by RJS.

“It was always been my dream to start my own business,” said Vallomthail.

He told News 2 he has come a long way since immigrating to the United States from India, but now he is concerned that as the Nolensville Pike corridor develops, his small business will get pushed out of the area he loves.

“The two concerns I have are the displacement of the existing businesses and the displacement of the existing community, the older residents of this location,” said Vallomthail.

That was part of the focus of the research that Conexion Americas and Transportation for America presented Tuesday.

The groups outlined several suggestions for making sure people who have been part of the community for years are not pushed out by new development.

Mayor Megan Barry shared her thoughts with News 2 about the issue and the recommendations that the groups presented.

“This is a comprehensive plan for Nolensville Pike. It doesn’t just address the businesses but also looks at affordable housing, transportation, one of the things I think was highlighted most in this report it trying to make sure to find a way that the businesses that are here can say here,” said Mayor Barry.

Some of the recommendations the community advocates outlined included creating a Nolensville Pike Business Alliance, collecting data to help better understand the real risk that some people and business owners face in terms of displacement, and transportation improvements as the area becomes more congested.

“We are a great corridor for cars, but not for pedestrians and not for bikers. I can tell you as a resident of Casa Azafran, closer to I-440, sometimes our staff and families who are there have to get in the car to go across the street to go to the InterAsian Market because it’s dangers to go one side to the other,” said said Renata Soto, the executive director of Conexion Americas.

“We also know that kids who go to Glencliff cannot go to Casa Azafran for after school programming by bike because we don’t have that type of infrastructure,” she added.

“This report clearly identifies that here is more to do, and we look forward to working closely with this community and find new ways so we can make sure this community continues to grow and thrive and be the special place that it is,” said Mayor Barry while speaking to the group.