North End growth is incredible. Those of us who live here know it anecdotally. I have some stats that back it up.
I recently contacted Metro's Planning Department to get some demographic data for the North End just in case it was needed in efforts to keep Jones School open. They referred me to a survey of the various census tracts around Davidson county. The survey focused on population and household changes from 2000 to 2004 and projected those changes through 2010.
Salemtown is included in the census tract bordered by the Cumberland River, Jefferson Street, and the north I-65 loop (#140 on this map). That tract also encompasses Germantown and the neighborhood around Cheatham Place public housing.
I was not surprised to find that the North End is moving in double digit positive growth, in terms of both population change (+12.8%) and household change (+14.1%). Those numbers confirm what many of us here experience and see: an explosion of people buying and developing property and moving into the neighborhoods. I'm assuming that these numbers were crunched in 2004; my guess is that if they were revised this year the upward trend in both categories would be even more pronounced.
I was surprised to see that very few other neighborhoods near downtown were growing at the rate that the North End is. The exception is the Downtown core itself, which is expected in some cases to experience triple digit growth until 2010 (the most prominent examples of which are The Gulch on the west side and Rolling Mill Hill on the southeast side). Neighborhoods in the West End are not expected to match the North End's growth (12 South comes the closest). And I was surprised to see that the East End neighborhoods (running from the I-24 east loop to Inglewood) are not keeping pace with North End growth. A reason for less projected growth on the west and east (relatively speaking) is probably because their growth has peaked and they are reaching the saturation point, but I guess I assumed that the differences in growth percentages would not be as large as they are, even though the West End and the East End are more developed. I reckoned that the tendency of those neighborhoods to sprawl farther (and thus be larger) than the North End would have balanced differences in growth rates.
We feel like we got into the North End at the best time we could, but given the the planning data, only Downtown itself has more growth potential over the next five years. So, it continues to be a good opportunity for those considering a move to urban neighborhoods.