Executive Director’s Message
From the desk of G.C. Hixson...
Successful Communities Contribute to States Top Ranking
Each year the Nashville Business Journal publishes the results of The Beacon Centers most and least business friendly cities in Tennessee. In its most recent ranking, Ms. Jamie McGee of the Journal discussed the findings which listed Lebanon (6th) and Mt. Juliet (4th) among the largest fifty cities in Tennessee. I thought it important to discuss these rankings and why we should take this as a call for further thought and action.
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New Gander Mountain Store
Outdoors enthusiasts throughout Middle Tennessee will soon have a new opportunity to find great prices, selection and service when shopping for the best in gear and apparel. Gander Mountain is expanding the nation's largest and fastest growing network of outdoor specialty stores with a new location in Mt. Juliet, set to open in the spring of 2014.
The store will be located in a new 52,000 square foot space adjacent to Providence Marketplace. The Mt. Juliet location will be the St. Paul, Minnesota-based outdoor retailer’s third store in Tennessee and the first in the Nashville area.
About Gander Mountain Company
Gander Mountain Company headquartered in St. Paul, MN, is the nation's largest and fastest growing retail network of outdoor specialty stores for hunting, fishing, camping, marine and outdoor lifestyle products and services. Since 1960, Gander Mountain has offered the best selection of outdoor equipment, technical apparel, active casual wear, and footwear featuring national, regional and specialty brands at competitive prices. Focused on a "We Live Outdoors®" culture, Gander Mountain dedicates itself to creating outdoor memories. Gander Mountain has 131 conveniently-located outdoor lifestyle stores in 24 states. For the nearest store location call 800-282-5993 or visit www.GanderMountain.com. Gander Mountain is also the parent company of Overton's ( www.overtons.com ), a leading catalog and Internet based retailer of products for boating and other water sports enthusiasts.
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A new building and a park space donated to the City of Mt. Juliet will fill the open area on the corner of North Mt. Juliet Road and Old Lebanon Dirt Road.
Robinson Crossing will have an 18,000 square foot, two floor building, another 4,500 square foot building and nearly 13 acres of park land donated to the City of Mt. Juliet.
In the 18,000 square foot building, The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet offices and Robinson Properties will relocate to the top floor, along with two signed tenants yet to be announced.
On the bottom floor, a retail tenant has already leased leaving five units still available for lease. The 4,500 square foot building will be a stand alone, and will also be leased to a tenant.
No official plans for the park space have been released by the City.
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Children’s Clinic East Expands to Lebanon
Children’s Clinic East has opened a new 4,400 sf office in the Hartmann Commons building in Lebanon located at 103 Physicians Way, Suite 100.
Children’s Clinic East has been caring for children for over 60 years, with locations in Hermitage and Mt. Juliet and now its newest Lebanon location. They provide comprehensive health services for children from birth through age 21.
Lebanon office hours are Monday - Friday, 8 am to 5 pm. Call 615.466.9770 or visit www.childrenscliniceast.com for more information.
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Large Subdivision Coming to North Mt. Julie
The Mt. Juliet Planning Commission approved the preliminary master development plan for a large new subdivision on the north side.
The subdivision is to be called Nichols Vale and adjoins Mt. Juliet Commons near Highway 70. The new area proposes to connect with Benton Douglas Parkway through the Commons and offer developed lots in a master planned community, according to its co-developers, Brentwood-based Pearl Street Partners LLC and Crescent Communities of Charlotte, NC.
The Nichols Vale plan includes 326 single-family homes and 54 townhome units. The single-family homes are planned for four different size lots ranging from 50 to 150 feet wide. Both sites will use the same recreational area and swimming pool in the Nichols Vale section.
The co-developers plan to start work on infrastructure in the spring of 2014, with lots becoming available to builders by the following spring.
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Penn Station East Coast Subs Opens in Mt. Juliet
Penn Station East Coast Subs, the fast-casual restaurant known for its legendary Philadelphia cheesesteak sub sandwich served hot and made-to-order on freshly baked French bread, opened its fourth store in middle Tennessee in mid-December at 600 S. Mt. Juliet Road in Mt. Juliet.
At the helm is Thompson Station resident Marcus Queen and his two partners, who have plans to open two additional locations in 2014 and a total of 12 stores throughout middle Tennessee within the next five years.
Queen is no stranger to the restaurant industry. He’s spent 34 years working for well-known chains such as Applebee’s, Houston’s and Burger King. After a short stint working for Advanced Auto Parts in 2011, he was immediately drawn to Penn Station and its food after a visit a few years ago.
“After three decades in the restaurant business I thought I’d had enough and decided to try my hand in the automotive industry,” said Queen. “But it didn’t take long for me to return after I learned about Penn Station. I first tried the food on a trip to Louisville, Ky. to visit my sister. I thought the concept was great and the food was terrific. A few months later I received a phone call from a recruiter and the rest, as they say, is history.”
Queen and his partners opened their first Penn Station location in Hermitage in August 2012 and purchased two additional stores in Bellevue and Murfreesboro in May 2012. Their development agreement calls for the opening of eight more locations.
“Penn Station is a northern brand that we are slowly introducing to the South,” said Queen. “So far the response of the Middle Tennessee community has been very positive and we know as we continue to open more restaurants Penn Station will soon become a household name that represents fresh and delicious sub sandwiches.”
Originally founded in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1985, Penn Station serves a variety of grilled and cold deli subs, as well as fresh, hand-cut, made-to-order French fries, hand-squeezed lemonade made throughout the day and chocolate chunk cookies baked fresh in the restaurant.
With his 12 restaurants, Queen will bring approximately 300 jobs to the area. He plans to hire 25 employees at his Mt. Juliet location and applicants can visit the Hermitage restaurant to apply.
Penn Station has approximately 270 restaurants in 13 states including Ohio, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia. All but one location is franchised. Projections call for the opening of 30 restaurants nationwide in 2014. Markets targeted for growth include Kansas City, Richmond, Chicago, Detroit, Nashville and North and South Carolina, as well as a number of other existing markets. For more information, visit www.penn-station.com.
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Mt. Juliet & Lebanon Ranked in Top Ten Business-Friendly Cities
The Beacon Center ranked two Wilson County cities in their top ten most business-friendly cities. Mt. Juliet ranked fourth while Lebanon ranked seventh. The annual study examines Tennessee's 50 largest cities, assessing factors such as property tax rates, sales taxes, job growth, population growth, violent crime, household income, cost of living and high school graduation rates.
The Beacon Center of Tennessee, a free-market nonprofit, tends to emphasize low taxes, while other business groups sometimes champion public spending on livability, mass transit and other public amenities.
No. 4 Mt. Juliet:
For the third consecutive year, this Wilson County city finished fourth in the overall rankings, having claimed the top spot in 2010. Mt. Juliet saw a significant improvement in Economic Vitality, moving up six places to finish 3rd in this key category. The city continues to maintain a relatively low individual tax burden and experienced the highest population growth of any city measured in 2013.
- Economic Vitality Ranking: 75.1 (3rd)
- Business Tax Burden Ranking: 89.3 (2nd)
- Community Allure Ranking: 70.1 (5th)
- Overall Ranking: 79.7
No. 7 Lebanon:
Lebanon drops one spot in 2013, but remains firmly in the field of the top 10. The city maintained a below-average tax burden for individuals and businesses, but continued the downward slide in Community Allure that began last year, falling another three spots. Despite exhibiting one of the highest population growths, the city also retains a higher cost of living and high unemployment rate.
- Economic Vitality Ranking: 57.5 (14th)
- Business Tax Burden Ranking: 85.1 (4th)
- Community Allure Ranking: 58.3 (21st)
- Overall Ranking: 68.7
The full report, along with the ranking of each of Tennessee’s 50 most populous cities, can be found at http://www.beacontn.org/wp-content/uploads/2013-Business-Friendly-Cities-Report.pdf
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204 Fitness Opens in Watertown
204 Fitness Center opened their doors in October. Proprietor Ann Larese states they center has no contracts. It’s a pay as you go, with monthly plans available. Seniors over 65 work out for free and they offer military discounts.
For a small public square location in a tiny town, the fitness center will offer a great deal of equipment options for its patrons. Included are treadmills, ellipticals, recumbent bikes, upright and regular bikes, weights and dumbbells with a multifunctional trainer and 800 pounds of plate weights for the hardcore weight lifters. They even have Olympic curl bars and a 7-foot long Olympic grade bench press bar - amongst many other pieces of equipment.
A family run business with her husband Marc and their children Hunter and Hailey, the fitness center will be closed for major holidays, but those days and family emergencies where they cannot open will not affect memberships.
204 Fitness is located at 204 Public Square in Watertown and will be open Monday through Saturday from 8 am to 8 pm. To keep up with 204 Fitness, like their page on Facebook.
Pavilion Assisted Living
2014 will see the start of construction of a new assisted living facility in Lebanon. The Pavilion Assisted Living will be a 40,000 square foot, 45-bed facility located on Medical Center Drive behind University Medical Center Hospital and across the street from its sister company, The Pavilion long-term care and skilled nursing facility.
The Pavilion Assisted Living will have 15 studio, 27 one-bedroom and 3 two-bedroom units along with a multitude of services available to its residents. The new facility will offer two dining areas, beauty salon, fitness and therapy room, massage and spa area, and plenty of room to visit with friends and family. Unique to it in Wilson County will be the fact that each suite will have its own screened in porch area.
With the addition of The Pavilion Assisted Living, this facility will provide a continuum of care when coupled with its sister operation on the adjacent campus.
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Zone Conditioning Now Open in Mt. Juliet
Zone Conditioning, a boutique wellness and fitness studio, opened for new students Dec. 1 in the Hays Business Park across from the Mt. Juliet Library. The premier studio caters to the individual fitness needs of each client through personal and group training, nutrition counseling, special sports and therapeutic massage and health coaching. Each instructor and practitioner is certified in their areas of expertise and focuses on motivation through positive encouragement.
In addition, Zone Conditioning offers the only Official Spinning® Facility in Wilson County. Spinning classes will be joined by Spin yoga, beginner spinning, and curvy yoga for all body types. Two Zone Conditioning signatures are its ZONE Circuit, which incorporates treadmills, Spinner® bikes, TRX suspension training, Bosu balls and resistance training, and Power Hour Circuit, which blends aerobic and strength training in a group setting. Both classes are limited in size.
Zone Conditioning training focuses on the mind-body-spirit connection, ensuring that all areas of fitness are incorporated. In addition to its certified fitness instructors, Zone Conditioning staff includes a trained spiritual director offering soul care classes and a registered dietitian who can coach clients through health conditions. Sports and therapeutic massage helps prevent injuries, relieve stress and improve endurance.
Owners Jen and Rob Mulford each have more than 20 years of experience in the wellness industry. Jen Mulford, CHHC, CPT, holds certification in personal training, health coaching, Spinning® and yoga. She is the co-founder of Compassion Fitness, which offers fitness and nutrition training, education and spiritual growth to individuals, non-profits, groups and communities regardless of their ability to pay. Rob Mulford, LMT, is a licensed massage therapist and certified Spinning® instructor.
Zone Conditioning is currently offering Grand Opening specials and ongoing sales, which can be found on its Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ZoneConditioning) or on Twitter (@ZoneCondition).
Taziki Mediterranean Cafe Opened in Mt. Juliet
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café has opened their first location in the Mt. Juliet area at 200 Crossings Lane Suite 100, in the heart of Mt. Juliet, Tennessee. Local owner/operator Dale Wasem and his partners Michael Bodnar and Mike Tidwell made the decision to bring Taziki’s to Mt. Juliet in October. "We are excited and proud to come to the Mt. Juliet community."
Taziki’s offers the same innovative, fresh-made recipes that they have provided for years in the Birmingham, Alabama area, brought to you in a fast-casual setting. For those looking to experience something deliciously different, Taziki’s offers a refreshing break from the typical, with flavors inspired by the Mediterranean, highlighted by simple ingredients, fresh grilled meats, original sauces and healthy sides.
Today’s diner has great demands for a health conscience diet, along with a fast-casual experience. Taziki’s provides both of these services with an elevated quality of food that is prepared fresh daily (there are no fryers in Taziki’s). Every guest at Taziki’s can take full control of their dining experience, for a reasonable price, without sacrificing the quality of an upscale restaurant.
Taziki’s also seeks to make improvements in the fast-casual service level and overall experience. Just like other fast-casual places, patrons order from the counter and sit down, but that is where the similarities end. Just the taste of one meal and you will want to return. Taziki’s is well suited for the person who needs to get in and get out in a hurry, as well as the individual, or family that wants to take their time and enjoy the full experience of a more traditional casual dining restaurant.
About Taziki’s Mediterranean Café
Taziki’s Mediterranean Café was founded in Birmingham, AL in 1998 by Keith and Amy Richards. The recipes are all made fresh and inspired by Mediterranean cuisine. The menu features freshly grilled meats, original sauces and healthy side dishes. Taziki’s is open for lunch and dinner, offers take-out as well as catering for events large and small. For additional information, please visit Tazikiscafe.com or contact the restaurant at 615.610.1815.
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