The revitalization of 12South has been one of Nashville's economic development success stories of the past decade. But in this week's City Paper, Kay West writes that many residents are concerned that redevelopment will drive out some of the people that make the neighborhood the eclectic mix it is.
But it is the narrow streets that bleed off the north-south arteries that are — depending on your point of view — bearing the brunt or enjoying the benefits of the boom in residential construction that has enveloped one of Nashville’s oldest urban neighborhoods. Along Belmont Boulevard, the once-grand foursquares that were cut up into apartments in the ’60s and ’70s during the upper- and middle-class exodus from the urban core to the suburbs are being restored to their glory days — with the addition of a thousand or more square feet, a free-standing garage and a wall to shield it from the alley. Ironically, they are often then sold to suburbanites looking to move back to “town.”
Hill Realty and Southeast Venture's four-story 12South Flats project, which will comprise 90 apartments and ground-floor retail, will begin work April 2 with expected completion next summer, according to an email sent by Hill chief Jimmy Granbery to the project's neighbors.
Highlights of the letter:
• The fourth floor of the building will be set back from the first three to reduce the visual impact of the structure.
• "The majority of the parking for the project will be located behind the building which will be ‘pushed’ forward to the street to encourage pedestrian traffic for our retail tenants and provide a more enjoyable, walk-able experience for the neighborhood," Granbery wrote. "This will be accomplished through a wider sidewalk (8’ vs. the existing 5’) and areas that will include street trees and parallel parking spaces. By voluntarily deeding a portion of our land to new right-of-way, we worked with Public Works and Planning to accommodate a more pedestrian-friendly streetscape within our commercial district."
• The apartments will be primarily one-bedroom, similarly sized to those in Midtown and The Gulch and priced to attract so-called renters-by-choice, especially catering to grad students and others at Belmont and Lipscomb.
• "Our retail will be approximately 9,800 square feet — large enough for a nice-sized, ‘sit-down’ restaurant with outdoor seating and as well as one small eatery and multiple retailers," Granbery wrote. "The parking for the retail will be surface parking located behind the building. Patrons will be able to access the front by walking through a common area corridor running through the middle of the building as well as around the north end of the building. We currently have no leases for this space and will begin to actively market the project in the coming weeks."
Mike Pontes, the co-founder of successful 12South eatery Burger Up, killed himself early Saturday morning at the restaurant. Pontes and his wife, Miranda Whitcomb Pontes, had been in the middle of divorce proceedings. On their Twitter account, restaurant officials said they plan to reopen Wednesday.
Country singer Gary Allan and stylist Renee Layher have teamed up to open The Label, a high-end men's boutique, on 12th Avenue South near the Rumours wine bar. The store offers designer clothing as well as jewelry and furniture, much of it on an exclusive basis.
Tony Sartino, designer for celebrities such as Prince, Kings Of Leon, Bon Jovi and Goo Goo Dolls, will create custom suits, pants and shirts. Sartino resides in Los Angeles, but he will be available regularly at The Label.