THE MERCHANTS OF 919 GALLATIN OPEN HOUSE THIS WEEKEND
For over 20 years, the cluster of cement block buildings at 919 Gallatin Ave. have been an easy to overlook landmark on the East Side’s main thoroughfare. That’s about to change.
“It's the kind of place you could drive by and never even notice,” property owner Ross Condit says. “The tenants and I are all so proud of what we've done with the property we wanted to shine a light on it. That’s why we’re having our first open house.”
This Saturday, Nov. 11, the businesses that have made 919 Gallatin home are holding an open house to highlight the renovations made in the last two years, along with throwing a spotlight on the diversity of creative commerce that now resides in this mini-business park.
Originally built as storage units in 1996, the property evolved over time through many different uses until Condit’s company purchased it in 2015.
“At the time it was mostly light industrial businesses and some of the tenants were actually living on the property,” Condit says. “It was one of those situations where the property had been neglected for some time. There was no synergy between tenants, and there was a ton of deferred maintenance that needed to be done. It was kind of a mess. If I did nothing else but clean it up I thought I could improve its value, but what I realized early on was that there was an opportunity to curate a tenant mix that embraced the artistic qualities of East Nashville.”
Condit began a multi-step process of improving the property, first addressing the dense jungle of weeds, vines, and out of control tree growth that was the result of years of neglect. The buildings were then given a new paintjob with accenting colors, glass-paned garage doors, and entrance awnings that gave each unit a friendlier face. Condit also began seeking out tenants that would fit his vision for the property.
“I thought at first it would be a hub for makers, and while it didn’t exactly end up that way, we do have a mix of really great creative people,” Condit says. “The thing I like best is that it's not strictly a retail location. The merchants that are here don't depend on retail foot traffic to make a living, but for the most part they do sell to the public through different channels. We're very pleased with the way it turned out, and we're thrilled with all of our tenants.”
The dozen businesses that make their homes in the renovated space — Just Plain Wood, Red Arrow Gallery, Electra Eggleston Fine Textiles, Michael Weintrob Photography, Hank 3 Touring Group, Delgado Guitars, Amanda Valentine Fashion Design, Tucker & Bloom, Ryan Lowe Designs, Tournament Audio & Video Production Services, Soft Junk Records, and The East Nashvillian magazine will all open their doors to friends and neighbors from 3-7 p.m. this Saturday. They’ll have food trucks and beverages on hand, as well as live music provided by Mariachi Internacional de Nashville from Glencliff High School, Mare Wakefield & Nomad, and more.