Downtown building slated for boutique hotel could be capped with neon sign

Nashville-based BNA Associates will go before the Metro Development and Design Review Committee Tuesday to seek approval for exterior updates — including what could be an eye-catching neon rooftop sign — for a proposed boutique hotel to be called The Fairlane and located in an existing building with an address of 401 Union St.

Bathed in travertine limestone, the modernist building to be reinvented is located at the southwest corner of the intersection of Fourth Avenue North and Union Street within the central business district (see the structure here courtesy of Google Maps).

Philip Welker, BNA co-managing partner, said the development team will soon begin undertaking cleaning and demolition work within the 12-story structure’s interior. Crain Construction is handling the work, with a permit valued at $300,000, according to a Metro Codes Department document.

Welker said Nashville-based Manuel Zeitlin Architects is handling the architecture, with Reunion Goods & Services, a New York City-based company, to oversee interior design efforts. Civil Site Design Group is the civil engineer, with EMC Structural Engineers (structural), MP&E Engineering (mechanical, plumbing and fire) and Kidwell Engineer (electrical) also contributing.

As to the exterior, the most noticeable proposed change involves a large neon sign that would, if approved, cap the 1972-opened building. Nashville-based Sideshow Sign Co. has designed the sign.

Relatedly, Welker said the team will replace all the building’s glass to yield a more environmentally efficient structure. In addition, the design calls for the moving of the building’s main entrance from the corner to the middle of the building fronting Union. That entrance is to offer valet parking and a canopy. A secondary entrance fronting Fourth Avenue would remain.

“We feel comfortable about the proposed exterior updates and we are hopeful the MDHA committee will, too,” Welker said.

The team is not yet ready to disclose a construction timetable, opening date or brand, but Welker said the hotel will contain 72 upscale rooms, a penthouse and a “signature restaurant” on the fourth floor.

The property falls within MDHA’s Capitol Mall Redevelopment District and, as such, the exterior changes to the building require committee approval.


(Image courtesy of BNA)





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