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Mt. Juliet leads in homes sold in April

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By TOMI L. WILEYSpecial to The Wilson PostMT. JULIET -- Home buyers continue to flock to Wilson County to live, work and raise a family, and Mt. Juliet proved the leading place to build in April, officials said.According to a report from the Eastern Middle Tennessee Association of Realtors (EMTAR), 147 single family homes sold in April in Wilson County, the most in six months, increased from 127 in March 2010 and up from 108 in April of 2009.    Of the 147, Mt Juliet contributed 74 of those sold homes with a median sales price of $218,650 and median days on the market of 79. Lebanon had 63 of those with a median sales price of $157,000 and median days on the market of 69.    The median sales price in April was $185,000 up $12,515 from March and up $4,122 from April 2009. “There are 177 new homes that went under contract in April, which will continue to keep our housing market stable,” remarked EMTAR Public Relations Chair Amy Hamilton.And business leaders in Mt. Juliet and throughout Wilson County are working to keep new businesses coming to West Wilson for those new homeowners by wooing industry from corporations to sandwich shops, including a recent trip to a major convention in Las Vegas, Nev.According to Mt. Juliet Economic Development Director Kenny Martin, the International Convention of Shopping Centers (ICSC) convention in Las Vegas is the largest retail business recruitment conference in the nation and is held in May of each year. It provides an opportunity for state, city, and county governments to market their states and communities to retailers all across the United States and beyond.“We have had great success in years past by attending the ICSC convention. On average there are around 50,000 attendees each and every year. I personally met or visited with 20 different retailers this year alone,” Martin said last week. “What makes the ICSC Convention so valuable is the face to face interaction with the key corporate decision makers. Getting through to the correct decision maker via phone, mail or by e-mail can be very difficult. At the convention there are reps that cover each and every state. You can also learn which companies currently have plans for business expansion in your market area and which ones don't. Needless to say this saves lots of time and effort and gets results almost immediately.”Martin said he, Jason Loggins with the Mt. Juliet/West Wilson County Chamber of Commerce, Lebanon Mayor Philip Craighead, Watertown Mayor Mike Jennings and Joint Economic Community Development Board members Tammy Stokes and Diane Fletcher made up the Wilson County team at the conference, a massive event which was divided into four buildings and sectioned by streets and blocks.“We had a booth and each attendee from Wilson County worked shifts at the booth and working the convention floor,” Martin said. “I met with about 20 different businesses while in Vegas and have what I believe to be about 15 great business possibilities. It's always no unless you ask. There are no guarantees a business will locate to your community, but having the correct contact person and opportunity to communicate face to face is a sure-fire way to get your community noticed. A small seed planted today can grow to be the next Cheddar's or Belk.”Martin said he met with the following businesses about locating in Mt. Juliet or Wilson County: Earl of Sandwich, Jimmy Johns, Family Dollar, Firehouse Subs, Bruegger's Baked Fresh Bakery, Two Laundry Companies, Big Lots, Dots, Simply Fashion, Christian Brothers Automotive, Popeye's, Ponderosa, Bojangles, Panda Express, Haagen-Dazs, Denny's, Subway, Spirit Halloween, Aunt Annie's, Auto Zone.Martin added that while no new businesses actually signed to locate in the area while at the conference, “about three are very viable at this time.” He said the most common questions about Mt. Juliet included the per capita income, population and the location and proximity to Nashville. The I-40 area and Lebanon Road were the most desired locations to build, with a slight interest in Mt. Juliet Road once construction is finished.Businesses set to open soon in Mt. Juliet include Cheddar’s, EyeMasters, Corner Pub Between the Lakes, Billy Goat Coffee (reopening at a new Mt. Juliet Road location), “and many more possibilities.”Editor’s Note: Tomi L. Wiley is the editor of The Chronicle of Mt. Juliet. She may be contacted at
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