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Business Pulse - Prime property set to auction
MTNG for auction.jpg
The former Middle Tennessee Natural Gas building at 569 North Chancery Street is going up for auction Saturday, Dec. 4. The property is in an attractive commercial district.

When there’s business activity on The Strip, it usually leads to some exciting developments. 

In recent years, we’ve had Bojangles opening and Bojangles closing. We’ve had Grandey’s, possibly the worst combination of blah food and poor service this town has ever seen.

We’ve gotten Zaxby’s, Huddle House and Captain D’s. And in February, Fazoli’s is expected to make its delicious grand opening with lasagna and endless breadsticks. I can’t wait.

I’m eager to see what happens Dec. 4 when the old Middle Tennessee Natural Gas building goes up for auction. It’s a prime piece of property, almost as good as it gets in McMinnville. 

“It’s gotten a little bit of interest,” said Smithville realtor Charles D. Atnip, who is handling the auction. “I’ve talked to two people who seem real interested and there have been a few more calling and asking about it. And I’m sure there will be some speculators who show up the day of the sale who I haven’t talked to at all.”

I figured whoever buys the property would more than likely want to knock down the building and start from scratch. Not so fast, says Atnip.

It’s a 7,000-square-foot building equipped with a drive-thru window. It has plenty of room in its current office configuration. And longtime residents may remember when it was a steakhouse decades ago.

“When it comes to auctions, I don’t really know what’s going to happen until I holler ‘Sold!’” said Atnip, who has been in the business 40 years. “I don’t really sell much at auctions anymore. It used to be I’d have an auction every weekend. But property is selling so fast on the market there’s no reason to have an auction. What has been selling at auction has been selling pretty well.”

I figure the property will bring in the $450,000 to $550,000 range. And that’s just for the 1-acre tract that has the Middle Tennessee Natural Gas building. 

There’s also an adjacent tract that features 69 feet of road frontage that’s between the MTNG building and the jewelry store. It’s a sneaky piece of property in that I don’t think I’ve ever noticed it before and I probably drive past it three times a week. 

The property is about 230 feet deep, making it a long and narrow spot that’s registered as 0.37 of an acre. I don’t know if you could squeeze a business in there by itself unless it’s a drive-thru-only restaurant like our Krystal or Little Caesers. How about a drive-thru Starbucks!

Or it could be the person who buys the main property also buys the smaller adjacent lot. Both tracts will be sold separately. The auction is scheduled to start at 10 a.m., Dec. 4.

Farm Credit

Office going up

I’ve had several folks ask me about the construction taking place on Highway 55 in the area of TriGreen Equipment.

It’s going to be the new home of Farm Credit Mid-America, a business which currently operates on Smithville Highway.

Farm Credit bought that property way back in 2015 and I did a story at that time saying a new office would be coming to that spot in the next year or so. Well one year has turned into several years, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s that you can always expect to have unexpected delays.

The project is full speed ahead at this point. The concrete pad has been poured and Farm Credit employees are expecting to be in the new office this spring. 

Farm Credit owns the property at its current location and its new location. I suspect the property at 1508 Smithville Highway will probably go on the market once the move is complete.

Shelda Hall

Slowing down

She’s not using the retirement word because she’s not ready to sit around her house, but Shelda Hall is handing over her longtime business to her son and daughter-in-law at the end of the year.

EZ Money Pawn will be in the hands of Rob Wolford and his wife Missy in January.

Shelda said Friday she wishes she had more energy to devote to her business and realizes it’s time for her to slow down just a bit.

“I can’t give it 100% any more like I used to and that’s a little discouraging,” said Shelda. “I love this street and I love this store. I operated a store for years just down the road called Hilltop Quick Stop. It was a full-service gas station located where Gary & Gail’s used to be. I’d get out there and pump gas and do it all. That was a tough business and it was hard being out there in the weather.”

Shelda has operated EZ Money Pawn on Beersheba Street for 22 years. She’s currently having a closeout sale with drastically reduced prices in an effort to liquidate her inventory. She has a wide selection of jewelry available at low, low prices that would be great for Christmas or Valentine’s gifts.

“I wish I could do more, but it’s time for me to slow down and do other things,” said Shelda. “I hate to use the word retire. Maybe I should say semi-retire. Either way, it will be for Rob and Missy to run at the start of the year.”

It will be a smooth transition for Rob, who already operates his business, Free Bird Bail Bonds, from that location.

“I’m hoping to bring back the guns,” said Rob.

Shelda said guns brought in a crazy amount of business when she sold firearms. We are a gun-loving people to be sure.

“I’m looking forward to slowing down, but I don’t know how I’ll deal with it,” said Shelda, who is known for her friendly nature.

EZ Money Pawn is located at 400 Beersheba Street.

Autumn Malone

Gets promoted

The editors of Business Pulse want to congratulate Autumn Malone who has been promoted to manager of 1810 Title & Escrow. Autumn joins Jared Foster on the company’s leadership team.

“We’re the middle man between the bank, the buyer and seller,” said Autumn in explaining the importance of 1810. “Everyone asks me what it is I do. I feel like I need to do a Q&A explaining title and escrow.”

One key facet of the business is ensuring there are no boundary disputes when a piece of property sells. Anyone who has done much work with real estate knows boundary disputes can get testy.

Title searches are also an integral part of the business. Jared explains that no one wants to buy property only to discover there are past liens on it that remained unresolved.

“In this day and age, there’s no way I would transfer a deed without doing due diligence,” said Jared.

The kind folks at 1810 Title & Escrow can be reached at 507-1810.

Three cheers for

Willow Branch

I want to give a shout-out to Willow Branch Health and Rehabilitation, which will be holding an event this Tuesday, Nov. 16, to honor our Enduring Heroes.

These are people who were employed with the Willow Branch skilled nursing center at the start of the pandemic in 2020 and have remained throughout to serve the residents in our community.

It’s been well-publicized how much of a struggle it’s been for companies to hire workers during this time. That problem is especially heightened in the healthcare industry, which is offering massive signing bonuses to attract qualified workers.

Said Willow Branch CEO Mick Vujanovic, “Our heroes overcame COVID fears, community, and family pressures, and their own COVID infections to continue to care for those in need. There are no greater heroes than those who sacrificed so much for the most vulnerable of our population during the greatest time of need.” 

Willow Branch, which is formerly Raintree Manor, is located at 415 Pace Street. The celebration is scheduled for this Tuesday beginning at 2 p.m.


Going strong

Tammy Young was kind enough to jot me a note following last week’s column when I mentioned the popularity of LT360 seems to have died down somewhat in recent years.

That’s not accurate, says Tammy, who was nice enough to point out LT360 is a great way to shed unwanted pounds and turn your life around. Tammy says LT360 is still going strong in Warren County and it’s helping people to drop weight and embrace a more active and enjoyable lifestyle.

To find out more about how LT360 can change your life, step away from the fried chicken and give Tammy a call at (931) 212-6486.

House movers


I noticed an interesting sight on my way to work Monday. A massive house was coming down Chancery Street. It's not something I normally see.

A team with Morgan House Movers of Hillsboro was moving the house. They turned next to Zechman State Farm onto Hill Street and were able to squeeze between a utility pole and retaining wall to get the house in place there on Hill Street. It was impressive to watch.

This was a 1,440-square-foot house, but workers told me it was small in comparison to some of the houses they have moved. They recently transported a four-bedroom, three-bath house that was 3,000 square feet.

If you love your house, but don’t like the location, there’s hope. Perhaps consider picking up and moving – not just your belongings but your entire house.

Morgan House Movers can be reached at (931) 596-2757. The company has 40 years of experience.

That’s all folks

Thanks for reading another installment of Business Pulse. Send me an email at to get your news in the paper.