The Nashville Downtown Partnership hopes to receive within the next few weeks an assessment of SoBro’s long-term retail prospects.
The partnership has placed on retainer Downtown Works Inc., a Seattle-based retail consulting firm. DW officials Midge McCauley and Kelly Kost spent Monday and Tuesday in Nashville, with the focus on SoBro retail.
Crissy Cassetty, NDP retail recruiter, said the DW duo met with various downtown developers and property owners. She said SoBro’s retail future will be “an equal focus” on food/beverage retail and on soft-goods retail (clothing, home accessories, gifts, etc.).
As to SoBro’s long-term retail prospects, Cassetty said Downtown Works visited Nashville, in part, to provide an update for the partnership’s 2008 Downtown Nashville Retail Strategy and Merchandising Mix Plan.
McCauley, DW founder and principal, said a challenge will be the fact that the SoBro lacks closely sited buildings with contiguous retail space. Indeed, the district’s new buildings (and those expected to be built in the future) are almost exclusively free-standing structures with uniform retail space, if they offer any space at all. This could render any future retail to operate in pockets of sorts, according to McCauley.
“Nashville is now getting the critical mass of buildings in SoBro but most [of those buildings] are not designed for retail,” she said.
Still, McCauley is bullish on SoBro.
“We were very pleased when we saw the Omni and how the retail spaces will have entrances on Fifth Avenue,” she said. “We think that is very important.”
XMi Commercial Real Estate is planning to demolish the West End Avenue building last home to a Church’s Chicken fast food eatery.
Nashville-based XMi, which owns multiple Midtown properties, is attempting to sell the site, which sits at the northwest corner of 19th Avenue North and West End, for redevelopment.
Of note, Renasant Corp. plans to redevelop its site on the northeast corner of the intersection. Read more about that project here. And ground is about to be broken on a mixed-use project one-half block east on West End.
The Metro Planning Commission deferred voting on Buckingham Cos.'s request for a zoning change for its proposed Midtown development.
Buckingham officials had requested the deferral. The commission will now vote on the zoning change on Dec. 13.
Read more about the proposed project here.
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