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.”
Recently released U.S. Department of Labor statistics show the average weekly pay in Davidson County rose 9 percent in the first quarter of 2012 compared to the same period for 2011. The county's increase ranks above that of the U.S. average of 5.4 percent.
Nationally, Davidson County ranked 18th highest in average pay growth, placing in the top 6 percent of large counties in the U.S. Knox (Knoxville), Hamilton (Chattanooga) and Davidson counties placed in the highest 20 percent in pay growth, while Rutherford, Shelby (Memphis) and Williamson counties placed in the top 45 percent.
Tennessee average weekly pay rose 6.8 percent over the year, ranking the state eighth highest among the 50 states. By contrast, North Dakota rose 14.6 percent, the highest average pay growth, while New York experienced the lowest growth at negative 0.8 percent over the year.
BB&T officials on Monday said their Grandbridge Real Estate Capital division recently brokered a deal to help fund the construction of the 475-spot parking garage being built next to the Nashville City Center by Parmenter Realty. Miami-based Parmenter last year committed to build the underground garage — it could eventually have up to 25 stories built on top of it — to help convince law firm Waller to renew its City Center lease. The terms of the deal handled by Grandbridge: Five years, 6 percent and 18 months of interest-only payments.
Turnip Truck owner John Dyke has beefed up his team's culinary lineup with the hiring of Meg Giuffrida as director of food services. Giuffrida, who most recently worked at the Martha O'Bryan Center, has in the past run Bongo Java East's brunch operation and is the former proprietor of The Red Wagon café in East Nashville.
“I watched Meg grow The Red Wagon catering business into to a full-fledged neighborhood café utilizing the best fresh, local ingredients with a loyal following,” said Dyke. “In between, she provided all the carry-out food for The Turnip Truck Natural Market in East Nashville when we opened in 2001. It was then that I fell in love with her dedication to creating simple, delicious natural food.”