It didn’t happen in Warren County, but the most impactful news for Middle Tennessee this past week came Wednesday in Nashville.
That’s when it was announced Oracle Corporation plans to bring 8,500 jobs to Nashville over the next decade with a new $1.2 billion facility to be built on the east bank of the Cumberland River.
The jobs will have an average salary of $110,000, the company said. Projections indicate 2,500 jobs will be created by the end of 2027 and the full total of 8,500 jobs will be reached by 2031.
Nashville Mayor John Cooper called the project unprecedented in terms of its economic impact on the entire state.
The move will undoubtedly have an impact on Warren County, even though we’re 90 minutes away from Nashville. There’s only so much growth Music City can contain and it’s already at its overflow point right now.
People are spilling into neighboring counties and we’re all seeing how that is working to create a shortage of available homes.
It's also important to note an industry that will pay an average salary of $110,000 is what improves quality of life in an area. A company that brings 500 jobs that only pay slightly more than minimum wage won't help local families one bit. At that pay, they barely make enough to survive.
What makes a lasting impact is high-paying jobs that provide people with discretionary income to spend on new cars, boats, and four-wheelers.
The Oracle announcement is a really big deal for all of us. As Nashville continues to establish itself as a place which can sustain top-tier jobs, we’re going to enjoy the residual effects here in Warren County with more money finding its way to our community.
Our Industrial Development Board continues to plan for more industry coming to our area by purchasing more property.
On Thursday, IDB members unanimously voted to spend $275,000 to buy 43.5 acres of land in Morrison on property that is probably best known as the estate of Jack and Bessie Smithson.
The selling price translates to about $6,300 an acre, which seasoned real estate veteran Tommy Foster says is a good price in today’s market.
“Land here lately has gone crazy,” said Tommy. “Right now, $6,300 an acre is a reasonable price. We wouldn’t have any trouble getting our money back.”
The property is on the back end of Mt. View Industrial Park and connects to land already owned by the IDB. It's off Doyle Frazier Road near its intersection with Progress Blvd. and Brown Road.
Combined with other property, it would allow the IDB to make a 75-acre site, according to IDB director Don Alexander.
“No one would have more value from that piece of property than us,” said Don.
The IDB is certainly doing its part to have available sites ready, including a spec building, when companies come looking to locate in Warren County.
Activity at old
As you might expect, the renovation work taking place at the old Regions Bank at Plaza Shopping Center has generated quite a few questions.
The main question is what’s going to locate there?
To cut to the chase, nothing has been decided and Plaza Shopping Center officials continue to negotiate with a couple businesses which appear interested in the spot.
I was surprised a bank didn’t jump on the location, since it had been Regions Bank for so long, but I was told the facility was definitely showing its age and there was no interest expressed from another financial institution.
So let the remodeling begin!
The bank vault has been removed and the building is in the process of being completely gutted.
The drive-thru lanes and overhanging shelter are even being demolished.
In the end, the building will probably end up being a vape shop because everything seems to end up being a vape shop. I will refrain from speculating that the building will become a Mexican restaurant.
expands at Plaza
In this day when furniture is hard to find, it’s my pleasure to announce that Mattress Plus has purchased what was formerly Hometown Furniture at Plaza Shopping Center.
Mattress Plus has a showroom overflowing with inventory and owner Travis Kilgore says he’s ready to make you a great deal on your next sofa.
As many people realize, there’s been a shortage on sofas, loveseats, and recliners over the past six to eight months. Travis says his showroom is able to be so full because he paid top dollar to order a huge selection of inventory months ago and that merchandise has finally arrived.
“The only reason we’re so full and have so much stuff is because I ordered most of this in October,” said Travis. “A lot of people are struggling to find stuff, but we have over 1,200 pieces of furniture in here and it’s all Ashley Furniture.”
Travis said there was a furniture shortage last year that got somewhat better a couple months ago. He says another shortage is on the way, along with higher prices in May because the cost of wood has soared.
“I think the next eight months to a year could be really bad when it comes to getting furniture,” said Travis.
Mattress Plus is filled with sectionals, recliners, kitchen tables, bedroom sets, sofas, loveseats and more. The store is located in the back corner of Plaza Shopping Center, not far from where Stewart Pharmacy used to be.
Current hours are Monday thru Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Plans are to open Sunday in the future. The phone number is (931) 304-8700. Free delivery is offered locally with any furniture purchase.
The construction boom has caught nearly everyone’s attention. That includes Dusty Robinson, who has decided to start a new business called Volunteer Concrete Pumping.
“There’s an insane amount of work that’s out there,” said Dusty, “and nobody else around here does this type of stuff.”
Dusty said his Schwing concrete pump is top of the line and he has 300 feet worth of hose to reach any area. The attraction to using his method is it’s often difficult for large concrete trucks to reach certain areas.
“Lake houses are not easily accessible with a cement truck,” said Dusty. “And some people just don’t want an 88,000-pound truck driving in their yard so this concrete pump is a big problem solver.”
Dusty said he had been growing discontent with factory work in recent years and he wanted a job where he could work more outdoors. He said it was his girlfriend, Brooke Sparkman, who mentioned to him a concrete pump would be a good business venture. Brooke operates Sparrow Construction and is in touch with the local building market.
“This is ideal for small commercial or residential work,” said Brooke.
Dusty was busy putting his new concrete pump to work on Tuesday when he was pouring the concrete footer for a retaining wall in the Woodland Creek subdivision. The wall surrounds an in-ground pool.
An IMI concrete truck was on hand to feed concrete into the pump and Dusty was able to maneuver the long hose around the pool without much effort. It allowed the concrete truck to stay in place well away from the yard.
Volunteer Concrete Pumping can be reached at (931) 808-8053.
If there’s an underlying theme to this week’s Business Pulse it’s that the local housing market is like a pot of gold at the end of the rainbow. Home prices, pardon the pun, are through the roof.
“This is the most interesting time of my career,” said longtime realtor Lynne Cole. “It’s the best time ever to sell, but you better have a game plan if you’re selling because you have to buy into the same market.”
Lynne is a wealth of information when it comes to real estate in Warren County and beyond. She said it was about a week ago when she tried to purchase a home for a client in Murfreesboro that was listed at $429,900. The property owner received 13 offers in one day and sold the home for $465,000.
“Selling for over the asking price is not the norm in Warren County but it does happen,” said Lynne. “Locally, the under $200,000 market is really depleted, and the under $100,000 market is almost nonexistent.”
Lynne says homes that were selling for $125,000 just 18 months ago are now selling for $175,000. She said that increase doesn’t translate over all price ranges because it’s the under $200,000 market which is so depleted right now.
It seems every realtor I talk to mentions the number of out-of-state residents who are moving to Warren County. When I talked to Lynne on Friday she said half the local buyers are from out of town.
So why are people looking to buy a home in Warren County?
“People don’t mind to drive 40 minutes from Murfreesboro for a much more affordable home,” said Lynne. “You also have people looking to get out of Murfreesboro because they can no longer stand the traffic, and some of them are people who have lived in Murfreesboro their whole life.”
Lynne also said Isha, which has a huge facility atop Harrison Ferry Mountain, is a draw. People come from around the world to visit Isha and some of them fall in love with Middle Tennessee while they’re here.
As for downsides to this market, Lynne said she currently has the lowest number of home listings she’s ever had as a realtor at 12. She’s had as many as 45.
She also said first-time home buyers are getting squeezed out of the equation because home prices have soared so much they are no longer affordable for young couples.
Jeremy Hamilton has always loved Ford Mustangs. He’s had 12 of them in his lifetime so he knows a thing or two about making them shine.
It’s that love of cars that led Jeremy to creating his own line of auto detailing products and he’s started a business called Reflective Car Care.
"I’ve always been a big car guy and a big Mustang guy,” said Jeremy. “I like detailing and cleaning and I wanted to have my own product. I work at Farm Bureau full-time Monday thru Friday and I also do computer repair. I guess I didn’t have enough going on so this is my third job.”
Jeremy said he’s worked with chemists to refine his product and everything he sells he first tries on his own vehicles. He says a hot product now is his ceramic sprays which increase the longevity of a paint job and are easy to apply.
His renew soap is a hit, as is his glass cleaner and tire dressing.
Jeremy says his Reflective Car Care products are available locally at Car Quest, Riverside Custom, NAPA, and Downtown Service Center. You can also visit his website at ReflectiveCarCare.com.
Jeremey says the current Mustang in his garage is a 2020 Mustang GT. He says his favorite has probably been a 1989 convertible GT, although he admits to loving the 5.0.
If you want to check out his supplies in person, he’ll be set up next to Sonic on Saturday, May 1 for Back to the Strip Night.
That’s all folks
Smile and be happy.
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