NASHVILLE, Ind. – Roughly a third of Nashville’s commercial district is up for sale. An auction on October 30th will impact more than 30 businesses in the tourist town.
16 properties up for bid belonged to Andy Rogers, a fixture in Nashville who passed away last year.
The tourist attraction is filled with rich history and charm. There are few chains on the streets of downtown.
John Lawrence, the owner of Quintessence Gallery, has been blowing glass at his shop for decades. It is his only source of income.
“It is a life not a job really,” he said. “This is how I paid for my education and it became my daily living.”
The auction at the end of the month is sparking conversation in the town. Craftsmen like him want the character of the art colony to stay after the auction.
“I hope they have the empathy for what the arts and craft people have done,” he said.
The auctioneers, Tim Ellis and Jimmie Dean Coffey, said the leases will transfer to the new owners. If a tenant doesn’t have a lease, the new owner must give the tenant at least a 30-day notice before they need to move.
Ellis said most of the shops have leases.
Cathy Haggerty runs an antique store called Cathy’s Corner. She’s relieved she signed a lease not too long ago.
“There is a lot of nerves up in the air as to what new owners would do with the properties, we would like to keep Nashville, Nashville,” said Haggerty.
Some shop owners fear new ownership will demolish buildings and take away the town’s charm so many people come there for.
Lawrence is trying to stay optimistic.
“Here in retail, you have to stay as positive as you can,” he said.
Auctioneers said they are getting a lot of interest from shop owners and investors. They expect the property will change hands in November.
To protect the community, the town council’s president said they are trying to amend the demolition ordinance. The changes say an owner must get approval before tearing down a building that is 50 years or older. The council hopes to adopt the change a week before the sale.
The auction will take place at 90 Gould Street, Brown County Historical Society, on October 30th at 1pm.