Charlotte developer discusses planned Germantown project

Charlotte-based Proffitt Dixon Partners has about 2.4 acres of Germantown property under contract and is eyeing a 220-unit apartment building.

The site, which fronts Third Avenue North between Taylor and Van Buren streets, currently is home to roofing and sheet metal company RD Herbert & Sons Co., which announced this week it is looking to move. Of note, the site is adjacent to the parcel on which Butchertown Hall restaurant and beer garden will be developed.

Post Managing Editor William Williams recently chatted with Stuart Proffitt, PDP managing principal, about the planned project.

WW: The property you want to develop still must be rezoned. What can you say about the process?

SP: We are working with an entirely local team that has been very impressive. Shawn Henry at Tune, Entrekin & White, PC, Hunter Gee and Scott Morton at Smith Gee Studio (the architect), and Kevin Gangaware at Civil Site Design Group are all very talented and certainly have a clear understanding of the process. And Chad Grout of Urban Grout introduced us to the site.
WW: If all goes well, when would ground break and what would be the timetable?

SP: We expect to break ground by the first quarter of 2015 and deliver the first units within 18 months after that.

WW: What type exterior design do you expect?

SP: We are currently working through this aspect of the project.

WW: Why Smith Gee Studio?

SP: Several factors.

1. Knowledge of the submarket. Smith Gee is the architect on SWH’s The Flats at Taylor Place apartment project at Werthan Mills and others in the vicinity.

2. Knowledge of the product type. They have drawn many apartment projects and it became clear through interviews with prior contractors and owners that they are strong on the drawings and construction administration. 

3. Design capability. We are impressed with the design of their prior projects. 

4. Good people. If the above boxes are checked, then it’s about the people. We want to build a team in Nashville that will work together over the long term, and we want to do that with people we enjoy working with. Hunter Gee and Scott Morton are great guys with an energizing entrepreneurial spirit.

WW: Why Nashville and why, more specifically, Germantown?

SP: The actual employment growth alone is enough for us to pursue Nashville. Add to that the attractiveness of Nashville to the creative class and those that are attracted to the creative class and the progressive public investment in demand drivers and citizen quality of life. We are confident that Nashville will outperform over the medium to long term. 

Germantown is a high-quality, authentic, walkable neighborhood. Our site is accessible to Morgan Park and the Cumberland River Greenway, adjacent to the new Butchertown Hall restaurant under development by Terry Raley and Woodland Street Partners and easily walkable to several of the city’s best restaurants.  A historic neighborhood with those amenities so close to the city’s largest employment nodes is a place we are bullish to invest.

WW: There are no fewer than five Charlotte-based development companies either undertaking development in Nashville or planning to do so. Why are Charlotte developers so high on this city?

SP: Nashville is similar demographically to Charlotte. So I suspect we come for the reasons outlined above and get comfortable with Nashville pretty quickly.