AJ Capital's ambitious concert venue proposal
AJ Capital Partners, the development firm that acquired the rock club Exit/In last year, is seeking to expand its live music footprint in Nashville with a 4,500-person venue in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.
Driving the news: A rezoning proposal for a property on Chestnut Street is scheduled for a public hearing during tomorrow night's Metro Council meeting.
- AJ Capital plans a mixed-use development next to the venue.
Why it matters: The ambitious proposal comes just a few weeks after AJ Capital Partners assumed control of Exit/In following the departure of the rock club's long-time operators.
- AJ Capital Partners has not disclosed if it will partner with a company to run the Chestnut Street venue, but music industry stakeholders anticipate a relationship with Live Nation.
Details: Although the Chestnut Street proposal would have a capacity of 4,500 people, the expectation is that it would mostly book concerts for crowds between 2,000 and 3,000 fans.
- Its size and expected strategy would make the venue a possible competitor for the Ryman Auditorium, which has a capacity of 2,362.
- The Planning Commission recommended the rezoning plan be approved, and the influential neighborhood group South Nashville Action People is in support.
Catch up quick: Over the last decade, Live Nation has dramatically expanded its footprint, entering into operating agreements at small clubs like the Basement East, larger venues like Ascend Amphitheater, and massive festivals like Bonnaroo.
- Critics say that expansion has come at the expense of independent operators, like Chris Cobb and Telisha Cobb of Exit/In. The veteran operator of Mercy Lounge lost his lease last year, and 3rd and Lindsley is facing a precarious future as well.
- Meanwhile, Live Nation's sister company Ticketmaster is facing government scrutiny over last month's botched online ticket sale to Taylor Swift's 2023 tour. The company says the sale was hampered by historic demand and by ticket scammers using special software called "bots."
Be smart: J Capital is best known for owning the chain of Graduate Hotels, but the company has a variety of real estate projects around the country.
- In addition to Exit/In, the firm has acquired Minglewood Hall in Memphis and the Joy Theater in New Orleans. An AJ Capital spokesperson tells Axios the company does not have a comment at this time.
Yes, but: There has been some opposition due to concerns about traffic and parking.
What we're watching: The venue could be a welcomed addition to a growing Wedgewood-Houston area.
- But considering its size, it could be a drag on traffic and parking in the area. And its possible partnership with Live Nation may have critics, given the company's surge in influence in recent years.
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