Business | Nashville Public Radio


Help Us Count All of the Cranes in Nashville

Jun 23, 2015
Lily Williams / WPLN

Something funny going  is on with Nashville's iconic skyline: Tower cranes are popping up like weeds, their swaying and turning a constant reminder of Nashville's rapid growth.

One day metal spindles jut into the sky, and the next they are covered in glass with a "for rent" sign hanging from a new edifice.

We scoured the town for as many tower cranes as we could find. Scroll down to see photos and a little info about where they are and what's being built. At the very bottom you'll find a map.

Lily Williams / WPLN

The big-ticket item on the August ballot is the mayor’s race, but voters will also be weighing in on amendments. One that's sparking debate would require construction companies doing business with the city to hire more local workers. Supporters say the goal is to help more Nashvillians get valuable skills, though the construction industry opposes this approach.

Mike Mozart / Flickr

Dollar General plans to expand more than it did last year, even though it’s already the biggest discount retail chain in the country. In the company’s first quarter earnings report, incoming CEO Todd Vasos said Dollar General plans to add 900 stores by 2016.

Nissan USA

Auto sales in May were mixed, and Franklin-based Nissan North America wound up on the low side. Its slip in monthly sales comes amid a period of double-digit growth. Nissan’s numbers were down only about 1 percent compared to the prior year, but that’s in stark contrast to the sales gains in some recent months.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

An expansion of Volkswagen’s plant in Chattanooga, which is under construction now, could create nearly 10,000 permanent jobs. That’s the finding of an economic impact study commissioned by the German automaker and completed by University of Tennessee professor Bill Fox.

He says there will be thousands of short-term jobs during the construction phase and then 2,000 new jobs inside the plant assembling a new SUV and staffing a new engineering center.

Wikimedia Commons/Ken Thomas

The big warehouse of SPEAKeasy Spirits distillery in West Nashville is lined with dozens of barrels. In a few years, there might be thousands of them. 

“We’re going to start construction on a big barrelhouse because we’re running out of room,” says Jenny Pennington, one of the the company's founders.

SPEAKeasy is among an influx of new distilleries in Tennessee, many of which want to make the state’s signature liquor — whiskey. But there’s a problem: They can’t just open up shop and start selling it. They have to let it sit in a barrel and age. 

Sarah_Ackerman via Flickr

A theater in Gallatin is trying to make it easier for kids with autism to go to the movies.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

Farmers markets around the country want to see how Nashville’s city-owned facility fares after forcing out vendors who just buy and sell produce. The short-term result has been a lot of empty space.

Blake Farmer / WPLN

As Volkswagen experiences a management shakeup in Germany, the United Auto Workers is pressing harder than ever to unionize VW’s Chattanooga plant. Top union leaders say they’ve been patient long enough.

Emily Siner / WPLN

The small metal building set back from the corner at 36th and Charlotte is where Perry Auto Sales moved to in 1972. It sits on a big parking lot full of used cars.