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SIX great reasons to RE-discover PRINT pages 6–12


Jeff Estepp, West Nashville Business Owner PHOTO BY CARISSA RICCARDI Media Kit | 372WN


A SOURCE THAT: • Preserves and protects the history. • Explores growth, progress and development. • Combines objectivity with passion. • Keeps all residents informed. • Is written, photographed and designed exclusively by West Nashvillians. • Builds community by building a community, because it . . . CELEBRATES AND CHAMPIONS WEST NASHVILLE.


A magazine for and about West Nashville.



A news source that transcends individual forms of media to deliver stories affecting our neighborhoods. the magazine with the odd name, is West Nashville’s magazine. Each issue is packed with informative, interesting features that cover current happenings; historical facts and anecdotal memories; business and SHRSOH SURȴOHV DQG ȆDUWHU\ȇ QHZV IURP :HVW (QG &KDUORWWH DQG Centennial. And with new neighbors moving into our community at UDSLGȴUHSDFH\RXȇOODOVRȴQGTXLFNUHIHUHQFHJXLGHVWKDWDQVZHU WKRVHȊKRZGRΖ"ȋDQGȊZKHQGRΖ"ȋVRUWVRITXHVWLRQV

WHY IS IT CALLED 372WN? Our neighborhoods may be different, but together, we comprise West Nashville. Rather than drawing definitive, neighborhood-specific boundaries, we want to focus on strengthening our collective, eclectic West Nashville voice. Periodically, we may also include stories beyond our community that have a connection with, historical significance to, or effect on West Nashville. Most Metro Nashville zip codes begin with “372,� so the “WN� simply stands for “West Nashville.� Clever, right?

WHY NOT JUST DO THIS ONLINE? At press time: Among residents in West Nashville’s core—Sylvan Heights, Sylvan Park, The Nations, Charlotte Park, Robertson, and White Bridge— only 18% are members of Nextdoor. That number decreases to 11% when surrounding West Nashville neighborhoods are factored in. Over a dozen Facebook pages exist on behalf of these

same neighborhoods. Proportionately speaking, none of these has emerged as a centralized source of West Nashville news, much less reached the majority of West Nashvillians. By and large, West Nashville remains a print community; we recognize, however, the need to provide news via multiple platforms. After all, this is about reaching our entire community, right? So it is essential to make 372WN accessible, no matter how you receive your news—print, web, social media, and maybe someday . . . even broadcast (as they say in the biz, ‘stay tuned.’).

IF I BUY ADVERTISING, WILL YOU PROFILE ME, OR MY BUSINESS? Our editorial department operates separately from our advertising department, in terms of content. But there is no reason you can’t ask— you may already be on our radar, but if you’ll reach out to us, then you’ll know for certain.

ARE YOU JUST THE MOUTHPIECE FOR NEIGHBORHOOD ASSOCIATIONS, DEVELOPERS OR ELECTED OFFICIALS? We are not chasing scandals, but nor will we shy away from issues that affect West Nashville, directly or indirectly. To this end, it is our policy that our editorial department is not beholden to any elected official, advertiser, neighborhood association or individual. Certainly, we are willing to work with these entities (and want to), but we are under no obligation to them.

WHAT IF I HAVE A STORY IDEA OR SUGGESTION? Reach out! We’re not kidding when we say 372WN is the magazine “for and about West Nashville.� Without our neighbors’ input, how can that be?

West Nashville, we’re in this together. All of us. Please join us on this exciting adventure! Media Kit | 372WN




he November 2015 Nations Neighborhood Association’s meeting started out like any other, with then-president Frankie Stabile working through that month’s agenda. When it was time to discuss new business, a mild-mannered gentleman stood and introduced himself: “My name is Jeff Estepp, and I recently purchased the old church at 4909 Indiana Avenue.” While a few neighbors in attendance knew Estepp personally, many more knew him by his occupation: He was a developer. Another developer. There was nothing unusual about developers attending these meetings; Estepp attending one, however, was a different matter. He had a reputation for being reasonable, didn’t carry the baggage that many developers and builders in the area carried from one job to the next. But nor did Estepp attend neighborhood meetings; something was up. “Right now, I have two options with the current zoning,” he continued. “I could leave it as a church, or I can tear it down and build six houses.” At that point, neighbors started


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glancing at each other, knowing what was coming next. “What I want to do is renovate the building, and I’ve come to you, the neighborhood, for ideas on what to do with it.” For a nanosecond, you could have heard a pin drop; murmurs turned to excited stage whispers. No, this wasn’t what they expected to come next. “So I’m asking for your ideas and dreams about what this neighborhood needs and wants,” Estepp said. “What could we do with this property? That’s all I had to say.” Sitting down, he encouraged people to speak with him after the meeting or contact him in the days following.

for over a decade, Estepp recently relocated his office deeper into The Nations neighborhood, just down the street in the building that once occupied West Meade Decorating Company; he is no stranger to West Nashville, having spent his childhood in Sylvan Park and returning to it as a resident for more than twenty years. Looking across Charlotte Avenue, he saw a neighborhood worth preserving and improving. “I was the second builder to build a new home in The Nations since probably 1970,” he explains. “I’ve got a lot of time, effort, and money invested in this neighborhood—honestly, I think more so than any other developer or builder in this area [The Nations neighborhood].” In a climate where developers are begging people to sell their homes, it’s interesting to note that Estepp

“retrofitting just one percent of the city’s office buildings and single family homes . . . would help to meet 15 percent of the entire county’s total CO2 reduction targets.”

Local Boy Does Good? Having been a fixture on 51st Avenue

was not seeking to purchase this particular property, owned by the Church of God since 1960 and occupied most recently by Judah Ministries. “It happened so fast, that I really didn’t have time to think about it. I really was just looking at it thinking, ‘hey, there’re six lots there, I could build six houses.’ But then after talking about it with a couple of people and realizing the building’s in great shape—it needs some work, but structurally, it’s like

a bomb shelter—it could really be repurposed into a few good things, I think.�

D ; +Ĺ‚1ĂŠĹ‚ That could be good news for the neighborhood and the environment. According to “The Greenest Building: Quantifying the Environmental Value of Building Reuse,â€? published by The National Trust for Historic Preservation’s Green Lab in 2012, even if a new building is energy efficient, the negative environmental affects of construction outweigh

the positive gains. The report states that, “it can take 10 to 80 years for a new energy efficient building to compensate, through efficient operations, for the climate change impacts created by its construction.� The study offers a startling example out of Portland, Oregon, where they determined that “retrofitting just one percent of the city’s office buildings and single family

homes that would otherwise be demolished and rebuilt over the

next ten years would help to meet 15 percent of the entire county’s total CO2 reduction targets.� When you consider how much demolition and new construction is taking place in The Nations, West Nashville, and Nashville as a whole, those findings should take on a whole new level of concern. Under the existing zoning, however, Estepp’s options were quite limited. He could have left the building as a church; he could have demolished the building and built up to six

houses; or, according to municipal code, he could have demolished it and turned it into a park, greenway . . . or water/sewer pump station. So Estepp’s next step was a logical one: find a congregation to lease the church. “I spoke with five different churches, and not one could even come close to paying the cost to run that property,� he says. At that point, he briefly ‘re-reconsidered’ the residential option. “My thinking was, there’s so much building going on in the [Nations] neighborhood,� he says. “And for every house that’s disappearing, two are taking its place. I saw it as an opportunity; maybe six houses are not what the neighborhood needs. Which led me to thinking I need to get it rezoned and get tenants in that space.�

The Codes Consideration Ideas were flowing and being debated among neighbors—which was what Estepp had requested— without considering the zoning codes themselves. “It seemed like there was some neighborhood consensus building to put some sort of large grocery store in

WHAT COULD BE: 4909 Indiana Avenue, rendering by Austin Schulenburg, Pen & Mug Graphic Design.

Media Kit | 372WN


there,� explains Rick Bradley, whose property is adjacent to the church. “It’s not really zoned for that, so I was in opposition to that.� Contemplating the rezone, Estepp weighed his options carefully. “I didn’t think commercial zoning was an appropriate route; it wouldn’t have been supported by Planning, and I think it would have been a bad

move for the neighborhood,� he explains. “Commercial zoning opens up the possibility that anything could go in there: a used tired store to a massage parlor. I don’t think that would work.� When asked about a Specific Plan (SP), which seems to be a popular tool for neighborhoods that want an active voice in new construction,


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Estepp agreed “it would probably work, but it would have to be residential and we would have to tear the building down, and that’s not what I hope to do. The whole goal is to repurpose the building.� So Estepp’s next step was to explore mixed-use with MUN zoning and a neighborhood landmark overlay; either type of zoning would allow for commercial to go in the existing spaces. “When Jeff first spoke to me about it, I suggested that he speak to the neighborhood before going to the Planning Commission,� explained Mary Carolyn Roberts, Metro Council Representative for District 20, which includes The Nations. “Although that’s opposite of what he had done previously, he agreed to do it. I believe that’s how the process should happen because with community feedback, it’s easier for both the developer and the community to come together and make joint decisions in how a project should be laid out.�

A Landmark Decision Estepp got to work immediately, attending a couple of monthly neighborhood meetings and purposefully seeking residents in the immediate area who would be affected most by these decisions. One neighbor was Bradley, who welcomed the conversations. “After talking to him, it sounded like he preferred to keep the building and secure a landmark overlay,� says Bradley. “That way, we’d keep the building but loosen up the use, with some restrictions. I think that’s a good idea, if he can make it work.� Bradley and Estepp walked through the property itself, discussing some of the improvements Estepp envisioned. “He talked about opening it up to get more light in there, improving some of the materials,� says Bradley. “From everything I can tell, he seems to be trying to do something that’s good and would work well with the neighborhood

the idea is to “preserve and protect neighborhood features that are important to maintain and enhance the neighborhood character,� including, among other aspects: design, materials, and compatibility with nearby uses . . . . . . it’s worth mentioning that Jeff wasn’t actively looking to buy the property, he was approached by the pastor and congregation . . . It wasn’t something he was working toward, a scheme to find a location to bulldoze and put in fifteen houses. Instead, he’s thinking, ‘Now I’ve got this cool property, what could we do with it?’ I think that may be the difference.� Estepp continued to reach out to neighbors via e-mail, telephone, and even door-to-door before making his decision to file a rezone request for a neighborhood landmark overlay in December. According to Article XI of the municipal code, the idea is to “preserve and protect neighborhood features that are important to maintain and enhance the neighborhood character,� including, among other aspects: design, materials, and compatibility with nearby uses, protecting “the neighborhood character and context by preserving existing neighborhood fabric while permitting reasonable use of a property.� From there, Section 17.36.420 defines neighborhood landmark as: A feature, its appurtenances and the property it is located on which has historical, cultural, architectural, civic, neighborhood, or archaeological value and/or importance; whose demolition or destruction would constitute an irreplaceable loss to the quality and character of a neighborhood within Nashville and Davidson County, and that meets one or more of the following criteria: 1. It is recognized as a significant element in the neighborhood and/or community; 2. It embodies characteristics that dis-

tinguish it from other features in the neighborhood and/or community; 3. Rezoning the property on which the feature exists to a general zoning district inconsistent with surrounding or adjacent properties such as, office, commercial, mixed-use, shopping center, or industrial zoning district would significantly impact the neighborhood and/or community; 4. Retaining the feature is important in maintaining the cohesive and traditional neighborhood fabric; 5. Retaining the feature will help to preserve the variety of buildings and structures historically present within the neighborhood recognizing such features may be differentiated by age, function and architectural style in the neighborhood and/or community; and 6. Retaining the feature will help to reinforce the neighborhood and/or community’s traditional and unique character. Estepp’s plan was approved by the Planning Commission on January 28th, passed its third Metro Council reading on April 19th and was approved by Mayor Barry on April 20th. At press time, he is working with Planning on some additional details and definitions, but Estepp’s proactive approach to this project will not stop with these approvals. “I feel like this project warrants maybe its own separate meeting—not a ten-minute portion of a regularly scheduled neighborhood meeting,� he says. “And maybe send out a couple of notices; maybe there’s two meetings instead of one. I know people work, so let’s



Advertise! According to the MRI Survey of the American Consumer, so-called ÂŚĂŠĹƒ ĂŠÉ$§ +$( + $(É&  É$ÊÇ decisions of other

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WELL, THIS TAKES THE PAGE! When ads for each medium are delivered to audiences of the same $*É cÉÇOc ++ ÉÇÉ*ĂŠĂ‰Ăˆ is 90% as effective as a 30-second TV ad and an Internet banner ad is 17% as effective. SOURCE: “Time-based Comparisons of Media Effectiveness: A New Approach,â€? Rebecca McPheters (McPheters & Company), Dr. Scott McDonald (CondĂŠ Nast), presented at Worldwide Readership Research Symposium, 2009


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give them two opportunities to meet about this.�

;ĂˆĹ‚ĂŠÊÇ;Ăˆ$ +" ÊÇ  “Community Builderâ€? Which means now that the rezone has been approved, Estepp will continue to seek neighborhood input—a very different approach than what residents are used to. While understanding that the numbers have to work, many are appreciative of Estepp’s efforts to positively re-define—or maybe re-discover— what a “community builderâ€? is. One person in particular who is grateful for Estepp’s transparency is Stacy Downey, founder and executive director of The Little Pantry that Could, a non-profit organization that provides food and other necessities to those in need and is a West Nashville staple. Downey’s “no questions askedâ€? policy helps the spectrum of those in need, including those who are homeless, having a bad month, or need only a small amount of assistance each week. Estepp is actively engaged in helping Downey find The Little Pantry’s next “permanentâ€? home, and hasn’t ruled out a portion of a renovated 4909 Indiana serving that purpose. “We are so grateful to Jeff Estepp and others in this community who have been working to help us stay in West Nashville,â€? Downey says. “Although many we serve are from this area, it’s a market that we would never be able to afford without some help.â€? “It’s already a better experience of being involved than when you have neighbors saying this horrible thing is going in, and we’re trying to fight it, and we can’t seem to stop it— which is happening all over the city, and leaves neighbors very unhappy,â€? Bradley explains. “This just seems like a very different environment than that. In the sense that if the neighbors are involved in helping to shape what happens, then that’s community development.â€? Roberts echoes Bradley’s remarks. “We are in an area where so much

diversity and change is happening so quickly,� she explains. “We have to be proactive, and I plan to move forward having all developers speak to the neighborhood before they go to Planning.�

Clear Answers

so that can’t be the only approach. With the development I’m proposing on Indiana, those would be two of the tools I would use—Next Door, and maybe Facebook—but you have to do mailings, pamphlets, or something other than social media.� Another tactic neighbors have witnessed are developers who get their rezonings and sell the property to another developer at a much more lucrative price. Estepp is clear that, having obtained the landmark overlay for 4909 Indiana, “I want to keep it. If I can make something work, the whole thing is about investment. I’m looking toward retirement, my future, my family’s future, and the neighborhood’s future, also. The intent is not to purchase it, rezone it, and sell it. Absolutely not.�

Residents still have every right to be skeptical of Estepp’s intentions, however. Part of what has landed West Nashville into a lightning rod of development woes are lack of transparency, lack of communication, and outright lies they’ve been told by builders and “millionaire-on-paperâ€? type of builders beholden to investors who don’t want their names attached to what’s coming, but do want to collect the paycheck it will yield. In addition, the lack of communication from neighborhood leaders has often Blurry, Barely-there Lines resulted in fractured information and silos of division. Estepp understands Discussing community development the suspicion, and encourages neighon a broader scale, one of the most bors to make every effort to shift common issues that raise residents’ from reactive to proactive mode. “I collective blood pressure is a builder’s think so many people just don’t have time to get involved; [4] they want to get involved, they voice their opinions when the outcome isn’t something they desired,â€? he explains. “I think we need more advertisAs long as your products and ing of community meetings $ " $É ĂŠ$&ĂŠ ( É instead of just social media. ĂŠ ÉÇÉ*ĂŠY$$ $  $ There are so . . specialty publications offer many people who need a you a dedicated market. mailer or a flyer stuck on their SOURCE: “Top Five Benefits of Print Advertising door; there are in Niche Magazines,â€? HCP Aboard Publishing, May 29th, 2014 so many who aren’t members of Next Door or Facebook,


Summer 2016 | 372WN


Next Steps


His outlook—primarily for Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights, The Nations, and Charlotte Park, which contain most of his interests—remains optimistic. “My vision for West Nashville is to keep improving, especially the residential spaces and cleaning up the neighborhood,� he explains. “That doesn’t necessarily mean tearing down every house that’s fifty years or older, either. There are plenty that I’ve remodeled. West Nashville is a broad canvas. I want to do as much as I can to support commercial development on 51st . . . I think that Charlotte Pike needs to be cleaned up. Property owners have a right to do what’s allowed, but I think there are a lot of older structures that either need to go away or repair, if they could. I plan on retiring here, I plan to stay here until I’m done and want to do what I can for this area. To make it better and moving forward instead of stalling out.� While the final outcome of 4909 Indiana remains to be seen, transparency and true neighborhood input is a great first step. IN









37 ’S MAG


























ble, thoughtful development,’ however, he responded: “It definitely requires you to tie in your neighbors and your neighborhood. You want to be responsible, architecturally—do the work, warranty your work, pick up the phone when someone calls. I’ll tell you this: You call me and I don’t answer, that means I’m on another line and I will call you back. Being accessible, especially after you’ve completed the job; don’t just complete it and not stand behind your work. . . . There’s not one job I’ve walked away from.� When pressed about whether this open-door policy applies to surrounding neighbors during the building process, he responds with one word: “Absolutely.� Still, Estepp remains realistic about handling opposition. “I think developers need to listen and take that person’s opinion into consideration,� he explains. “You’re never going to please one hundred percent of the people, no matter what you do. Even with that being said, if the majority says, ‘hey, we want it this way,’ I still think there are some things you can do, some concessions you can make, for the opposition. I try to approach this by explaining that this is what the majority wants done, reassure them that I understand they’re not in favor of it, and then also suggest that maybe there’s something I can do to please them and please the majority.�


persistence to barely skate inside the laws required by Codes (and in some cases, not adhering to them, but that’s another story for a different issue). Many who have come to West Nashville seeking their real estate fortunes claim to be “community builders� who aren’t considering the community’s wants and desires, dismissing the differences of opinion by simply stating something “is within Codes.� Estepp is of a different opinion. When asked about going above and beyond the basic Codes requirements, “I think it depends on what it is, but yes, absolutely,� he explains. “Especially on commercial development. Let’s say for example, Codes is requiring this project to only have ten parking spots; I think it’s a wrong approach to just offer ten parking spots. With parking being one of the biggest issues with any neighborhood in Nashville, especially street parking—and Codes allows street parking—I feel like it’s the responsibility of the developer to do something to curb that, too. So if I’m required to have ten, maybe I need to add twenty percent more . . . or whatever there’s room for.� Estepp also mentions green space should be a priority, not an afterthought. To make clear, Estepp owns the property outright; by law, he does not have to ask for anyone’s opinion or ideas. When asked to define ‘responsi-







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372WN Ad Deadlines and Calendar AD DEADLINES ISSUE



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EDITORIAL CALENDAR October/November Definitively, West Nashville

December/January Ends and Beginnings

February/March Love

April/May The Great Outdoors

June/July Arts and Culture

August/September Gettin’ Schooled


Connect the dots, collect the dollars -ĂŠ  "É %ÊÇ ÉÉÇÊ(+ %$$( ĂŠ ĂŠ$ $Ăˆ( +  ĂˆÉas +ĂŠĂŠ+ ÉÊĂŠÇ ÉĂˆ$+ +ĂŠ;$É  É$$ +(ĂŠ ÉĂ‰ĂˆĂˆÊÇ ĂŠ+  Ă‰Ăˆ" $ÊÇĂˆÉ)(ĂŠ É$ ;Æ5+  +" É ÉÉÇÊ: ĂŠĂˆÉ( ĂŠ++ĂŠ&Ă‰ĂˆĂˆ+ ;Æ5(É$+ĂŠ ÉÊ  ;Æ5+ Dg+ +ĂŠĂŠĂŠ ) SOURCE: “Why Print Media? Putting the advertising media mix together,â€? Print Power

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372WN Media Kit  

Media kit for the magazine for and about West Nashville. Get a feel for what we're about, learn why print still matters, and look at ad form...

372WN Media Kit  

Media kit for the magazine for and about West Nashville. Get a feel for what we're about, learn why print still matters, and look at ad form...

Profile for 372wn