NASHVILLE, TN — It’s hard to miss the big blue building at 1037 Jefferson St. and, if its owner proceeds with another bright idea, it’ll be even more noticeable.
The bright idea is for a big electronic billboard on one side of his building. Its message board could: welcome TSU alumni for homecoming; announce community meetings; as well as market products, ideas and services.
The building is owned by Brad Hill, proprietor of Local Search Masters, LSM, and his BHC real estate business from that building with the blue cubist-art front.
Hill, 38, also rents office space to various other businesses there. LSM is a digital marketing agency offering customized services for small and franchised businesses so they can generate revenue and prosper. Brad Hill Companies invest in property and provides property management.
Hill was toying with the electronic billboard idea while talking with The Tennessee Tribune last month. After all, LSM specializes in the Internet, a distinctly digital domaine.
Before refurbishing his building, Hill felt welcomed by neighbors and business partners in North Nashville. Because of their hospitality, he’s given back to the community by, among other things, teach- ing classes on entrepreneurship at Avenue South Baptist Church so sole proprietors could become managers and employ other people.
Another class might be at Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Regardless of whether he proceeds with an electronic billboard, Hill is clearly capable, having purchased property in November 2015 from Charles Bright for $699,000, plus the lot next door for $300,000, and then investing another $1 million for renovations. “Office rental prices were going through the roof,” Hill said, so he invested in Jefferson Street. “Folks around here are very supportive.”
For example, his neighbor, Kenneth Christman, proprietor of R&R Liquors, provided water when Hill’s utility failed one day. “People have been more than friendly here. I didn’t understand how tight the community was. It’s great to have people to lean on” when a long-timer’s insight is needed. That includes Metro Council-woman Sharon Hurt’s JUMP, Jefferson Street United Merchants Partnership. He’s also a member of EO Nashville. Entrepreneurs’ Organization is part of a global network of business owners. EO Nashville is the fourth largest chapter.
Jefferson Street neighbors thanked him for putting up a fence on his property line so the blue building’s wall wouldn’t be a shadowed hiding place at night. A big electronic billboard would illuminate that area.
In another mutually beneficial effort, he and others signed documents to give police advance permission to re- move vagrants. Hill looks forward to more cooperative efforts within the community to make it flourish for all concerned.
He grew up in San Diego, Calif., and moved to Nashville 20 years ago. He left the construction business behind, went into computer programming, and started a health care demographics business to show where various kinds of health services are needed.
After he sold that business, the dot-com bubble burst. He started another business, sold it in 2006, and other efforts led him to create LSM and BHC. His interest in the community includes a desire to have local art in his building. Among other images, Hill likes a map on display in Mary’s Barbecue across the street. That and paintings by local artists will be reminders of Jefferson Street community.