Officials with Boyle Nashville LLC and Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments will meet next week to discuss master planning for the latter’s North Gulch site.
"We will discuss land plans to see if they are financially feasible," said Jeff Haynes, co-founder of Boyle Investment Co. and managing partner of Boyle Nashville LLC, which is working with Northwestern Mutual on the effort.
The approximately 35-acre site is now home to only one building, which houses a Porter Paints store. That building is slated for demolition this fall.
Haynes (pictured) said he fields inquiries “all the time” regarding the site.
“Some of those are not necessarily uses we think will fit into an urban project,” he said.
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Nashville has added another major real estate player to its fast-growing list of out-of-town companies looking to taste a piece of what is becoming a tasty local land pie.
The latest heavy-hitter to enter the market is Los Angeles-based real estate investment company Griffin Capital Corp., which has purchased the 21-acre HealthSpring MetroCenter campus for $36.4 million. (Read more about the deal here and the company here.) The El Segundo, Calif.-based company owns properties that accommodate offices of Boeing, Comcast, Northrup Grumman and Westinghouse Electric, among others. Its Griffin Capital Essential Asset REIT owns 16 properties with a total purchase price of $364.2 million.
Other major real estate investment companies that have entered the market the last year or so include, but are not limited to, Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments and LaSalle Investment Management. In addition, the city has seen various high-profile developers and architects do work here.
The last remaining buildings on Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments' approximately 35-acre North Gulch site downtown — which straddles either side of 11th Avenue North and fronts Charlotte Avenue downtown — will be demolished by this time next year, making way for what is expected to be a major mixed-use urban infill development.
A recent flurry of razings has left the massive site looking fairly barren.
"The majority of the Hansen/Chrysler/Dodge dealership building has been demolished," said Jeff Haynes, co-founder of Boyle Investment Co. and managing partner of Boyle Nashville LLC (which is working with Northwestern Mutual on the effort).
Relatedly, the Franklin Industries plant located on Jo Johnston Avenue is currently being razed.
"It’s fair to say that by the end of January, we’ll have all buildings down except for those home to Porter Paints and Nashville Glass," Haynes said, adding the former should be felled by April while the latter will meet the wrecking ball sometime next fall.
The full demolition of all the site's structures will cost approximately $1 million, he said. Northwestern and Boyle are undertaking a full environmental clean-up effort, addressing, for example, asbestos concerns and underground chemical and fuel storage tanks.
Franklin-based land planning company Kiser + Vogrin Design has been enlisted to devise a master plan for the site.
Northwestern Mutual Real Estate Investments' recent purchase from Crosland of approximately 32 acres of North Gulch property does not represent the first time the global financial giant has invested in urban real estate to be developed.
Northwestern has a stake in a major mixed-use project in Bethesda, Md. The company is teaming with StonebridgeCarras and PN Hoffman, which have been working with Montgomery County officials since 2005 to redevelop two county-owned surface parking lots with 250 residential units and 40,000 square feet of street retail space above a public parking garage.
The approximately $200 million development, to be located adjacent to the popular Bethesda Row, is expected to break ground in January 2012.
In addition, Northwestern Mutual is part of a joint venture that will develop 77 12th St. in Atlanta. The 330-unit, 23-story building is to include about 20,000 square feet of retail space.
Other markets in which Northwestern Mutual has financial interests in urban infill mixed-use projects include Boston, Chicago, Dallas and Seattle.