Country music superstar John Rich has partnered with an Atlanta real estate firm to buy and transform Lower Broadway’s Cotton Eyed Joe property next door to their Redneck Riviera honky-tonk.
They plan to redevelop the five-story red brick building at 200 Broadway from a souvenir shop into an entertainment destination. The $18.5 million purchase closed Thursday, according to county property records.
“The Cotton-Eyed Joe building was really the last big building on Broadway that did not have entertainment,” Rich said. “It’s been there a long time but is really underutilized. There’s no better place to invest your money than downtown Nashville.”
Ardent Commercial Real Estate of Atlanta is partnered on the deal. The team also developed Redneck Riviera together.
Brokers Cushman & Wakefield marketed the property’s potential as a honky-tonk.
“The area is home to the highest grossing bars and restaurants in Nashville with revenue between $18 – $23 million per year,” the marketing brochure states. “The building is a trophy real estate asset that tenants and investors seek out.”
Rich said that business at Redneck Riviera has been “phenomenal” since opening last year.
He and the real-estate team are now considering tenant options for the site, but he said it would complement neighboring honky-tonks and wouldn’t carry the Redneck Riviera name.
“There are more people wanting to get into honky-tonks on Broadway than there are spaces to put them,” Rich said. “There are all kinds of things you can do with that space. It’s a prime location on the hottest street in the U.S.”
Ardent has been actively involved in Lower Broadway real estate for years. The company paid $5 million for 312 Broadway in 2014 and sold it for $10 million in 2017. It is now The Valentine.
In 2016, Ardent paid $22 million for 305-311 Broadway, which includes Tequila Cowboy Bar & Grill and WannaB’s Karaoke Bar. It sold that same stretch last year for $32 million.
In addition to Redneck Riviera and Cotton Eyed Joe, Ardent owns the four-story building housing a FedEx at the corner of Third Avenue North and Broadway.