Proving its success as a unique “ecosystem for the arts” Fort Knox Studios in Portage Park expects 2017 to deliver major expansion, accelerated growth, stability and excitement with the opening of Fort Knox Studios Nashville.
Fort Knox was founded in 2012 by co-owners musicians and former entrepreneurs Kent Neilsen and Dan Mahoney. It now houses nearly 100 start-ups within its 20,000-sq. ft. 2112 Chicago business incubator.
According to Rob Tovar, director at 2112 Chicago and The Hangar, the 7,200-sq. ft. production space launched within Fort Knox last summer, their innovative business model “has enabled our partner companies under one roof to share ideas, talents and resources, leading to mutual growth.
“We haven’t seen this much excitement in years,” Tovar notes.
This excitement will expand mightily when the 180,000-sq. ft. Fort Knox Studios Nashville opens, at a date to be announced, in two phases. It’s the Music City’s first such collaborative facility for artists and industry professionals.
Fort Knox Nashville is considered one of the largest investments ever made in Nashville’s infrastructure. The former warehouse property for Fort Knox was sold in December for $7.2 million to an unnamed limited liability partnership, reports Nashville-based The Tennessean.
With Nashville’s live music scene still growing and so many top touring acts located here, Fort Knox Studios could conceivably fill a void in offering rehearsal space before artists embark on major arena tours, The Tennessean said.
The forthcoming facility will include film, music production and office space, similar to the Chicago facility. Fort Knox’ Kent Nielson will move to Nashville to oversee the new operation.
The first phase will be the creation of 70,000-sq. ft. of 24/7 low-cost rehearsal and collaborative space and offices, catering to up-and-coming artists.
An 80,000-sq. ft. second phase, planned for later in the year, will add full-blown recording and film studios.
The new venture will be located at the former warehouse at 640 Massman Ave. in the hip Donelson suburb 10 miles east of downtown Nashville.