Listening Room Cafe owner Chris Blair says he will reopen his venture in the former Luau Louie's Hula Hut building at Second Avenue South and Molloy Street. Workers are renovating the space, which should be ready for business before the end of the year, and Blair wants to build out his brand soon after.
The new location will offer nightly shows, additional parking, and a fully renovated stage and bar. Upon reopening, Blair also plans to launch additional business components for the brand, which will include a publishing company division (Emerge Nashville) and a full service video and audio recording division.
Parmenter Realty, the owner of the Nashville City Center, has teamed up with Gresham Smith & Partners and R.C. Mathews Contractor to start work on the 475-space underground parking garage adjacent to the downtown office tower. Work on the five-story project is expected to wrap up late next year. The street-level plaza near Sixth Avenue North and Union Street also will look a little different by then.
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.
H.G. Hill Realty Co. is close to beginning full-scale work on its vintage building that anchors the Broadway and Division Street split in Midtown.
The building, last home to a beer market and The Great Escape and long surrounded by chain-link fencing — read the history of the project here — will be given a neo-art deco exterior design aesthetic, while its interior is being prepped for two tenants, according to Jimmy Granbery, Hill Realty CEO.
“We’re in for our permits,” said Granbery (pictured). “We'll [soon] be full steam ahead with a total remodel.”
Granbery declined to reveal whether the company has landed a tenant — or two. But the fact Hill Realty is ready to undertake the expense of a full rehab suggests efforts on that front are gaining steam.
On a similar note, Indianapolis-based Buckingham Cos. earlier this week announced plans to radically reinvent the stretch of 21st anchored by Ken’s Sushi and adjacent to the Hill Realty site. Granbery said he supports the project, noting, “I’m confident it will move forward.”