The property and building housing Nashville's historic Exit/In music venue are up for sale.
Business owner Chris Cobb, who leases the property from Anthony Rentals and Gene H. Nash, according to Davidson County real estate records, confirmed the potential sale in an email to Main Street Nashville.
Now Cobb is seeking to buy the 2208 Elliston Place property that houses Exit/In and Hurry Back tavern outright with the aid of Grubb Properties and its Live Venue Recovery Fund.
"We've made an offer," Cobb said, providing no further details.
According to Grubb's website, the fund partners with live music vendors "to help them establish long-term ownership. By increasing the number of owner-operators, the fund is creating a more diverse and sustainable independent live music ecosystem."
"It also contributes a portion of returns to NIVA (National Independent Venue Association)," Cobb said in a related Twitter exchange. "Simply put, there’s no better solution for Exit/In and other venues in similar scenarios."
The property is for sale through Southeast Ventures, Cobb also confirmed in the email.
Cobb and company are hoping that purchasing the property locally and establishing an owner-operator dynamic will help maintain the culture, history and soul of Nashville, more specifically its "Rock Block" area, in the wake of rapid development.
"To ensure the long-term health of places like this, trusted operators must own their building," Cobb said in a statement to Main Street Nashville.
"This cycle must stop! Artists and the creative workforce create desirable neighborhood — People move to said neighborhood, which drives up property value — artists and creatives are forced out of neighborhood to make room for chain retail and luxury living/hotel. Grubb Properties Live Venue Recovery Fund is breaking the cycle!"
The 4,110-square-foot space housing Exit/In was built in 1953, according to real estate records. It became Exit/In in 1971. As of its last appraisal in 2017, the property was said to be worth an estimated $3.36 million.
The potential sale comes during Exit/In's 50th anniversary year.
In the spring of 2020, Exit/In ownership took an active role in advocating for the survival of independent venues during the COVID-19 pandemic through the mobilization of the National Independent Venue Association.
That quest was ultimately successful. In December, the Save Our Stages Act passed as part of the December COVID-19 relief package.
Its passage made available $15 billion in grants through the Small Business Administration earmarked for covering operating expenses of live venues, independent movie theaters and cultural institutions.
Specifically, it offered an initial grant of 45% of a venue's 2019 gross earned revenue and a potential secondary grant. Grant totals were not to exceed $10 million total for a given business.
According to NIVA, the funds cannot be used to purchase property.
Also in 2020, Exit/In and nearby institutions at Elliston Place, including The End and Gold Rush, were recognized with a historic marker highlighting the area's importance to the local music scene as Nashville's "Rock Block."
The recognition followed community resistance that summer against allowing a large-scale hotel structure to go up in the area.
In a storied run, Exit/In has hosted the likes of Chuck Berry, Johnny Cash, Willie Nelson, Billy Joel, Leonard Cohen, the Police, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M. and a host of other iconic artists across genres over the years.
A message left with Southeast Ventures was not returned by press time.