Developer plans two towers for SoBro site

Turnberry works on master plan, considers future of UMPH buildings

Turnberry Associates is planning two towers for the SoBro-based United Methodist Publishing House site it will soon acquire.

In addition, the Florida-based development company is considering the future of three buildings located on the 3.7-acre site. Turnberry has the property under contract with UMPH.

Ray Waters, president of Turnberry’s hospitality division, said design work is underway for both a hotel building to offer 450 rooms and a structure that will feature 250 “high-end” condominiums. Turnberry plans to have its general contractor construct both structures simultaneously, he said.

Two traditional brick structures and a 1950s-era modernist building anchor the site, which is located at the southwest corner of Demonbreun Street and Eighth Avenue South. None is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The two brick buildings are among only a handful of such structures located outside Nashville’s central business district, with many from the past having long been demolished.

Former Nashville-based architectural firm Warfield and Keeble designed the modernist building. The company is noted for having designed the L&C Tower, arguably one of the city’s five most iconic buildings. Both the UMPH Building and the L&C Tower offer similar materials (dark granite, limestone, blue tinted glass, etc.).

“I’ve talked to Metro [about the buildings],” Waters said. It’s too early to say [if one or more will be incoporated in the planned development]. We are in the process of master-planning the site.”

Tim Walker, executive director of the Metro Historical Commission, said he would like to see the Warfield and Keeble-designed building adaptively reused if possible.

“It’s always good to reuse a quality building," Walker said. "But if it’s not on the National Register, we wouldn’t take a hard stand."