RCA Studio A Building Tenants Being Evicted
Weeks after its acquisition by a development company, the tenants in the building that houses RCA's Studio A are being evicted.
According to Nashville's Tennessean newspaper, tenants of the historic building were informed last week that they need to be out by Dec. 1.
Musician and producer Ben Folds, who has rented Studio A for the last 12 years, had already decided to vacate when his lease expired at the end of November after, he says, the building's new owners, Bravo Development, informed residents their rents would increase by more than 100 percent.
"The decision to terminate all tenancies has not been an easy decision for [Bravo Development] to make, but is necessary given the poor state of the building," the company wrote in its termination letter. "[Bravo Development] is providing this notice to you as early as possible so that you can make appropriate arrangements."
Folds tried to save the historic building and studio, which has been home to important recordings from artists including Lyle Lovett, Ronnie Milsap, Willie Nelson, the Oak Ridge Boys, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Josh Turner, Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack, Hank Williams, Jr., Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Kacey Musgraves and the Beach Boys.
Keith Urban was among the other prominent musicians who weighed in on the matter, urging preservation of Nashville's Music Row, which serves as the central hub for recording, publishing and record label activity in Music City. Bravo owner Tim Reynolds claimed the building was beyond repair after structural, mechanical and electrical engineers assessed the structure. The final verdict was that it would cost too much money to repair the building due to multiple issues with mold, electrical systems and HVAC. He had recently said that he still wanted to find a way to retain some of the historic aspects of Studio A as part of any development he would pursue.
"Once again, the owner has done an about face on what he pledged to do a few weeks back, even while he was seeking new leases from existing tenants in the building," says Mike Kopp, Ben Folds' publicist. "To most anyone who has been trying to follow his curious actions of late, none of this comes as any surprise."
Reynolds says he has been straightforward in regard to his plans.
"I released those reports to the public several weeks ago so they could understand the situation better," Reynolds tells the Tennessean. "It is based on these reports that I must make my decisions about this building moving forward. I have kept my tenants informed of the process and have been very open with them about what the future might hold."
Nashville songwriter and producer Trey Bruce is part of a new grassroots coalition that has formed between concerned citizens, music makers, business people and others who are hoping to intervene in the possible destruction of the building to make way for an entirely new development project.
"We have early indications that the building may not be in as bad of shape as some are saying," Bruce states, "and we want to ensure that all options to salvage this legendary studio are heard and respected."