The Metro Planning Commission on Thursday voted to approve rezoning for two key projects: The Manning at Belle Meade (read here), pictured, and Evergreen Real Estate’s townhome development eyed for the Blair and Belmont boulevards intersection (read here).
In addition, the commission voted to approve a request to revise the preliminary plan and final site plan that will allow the Metro Development and Housing Agency to undertake a four-story 68-unit apartment building at Cayce Place Apartments in East Nashville.
Atlanta-based developer Pollack Shores Real Estate Group announced earlier this weeks its plans for a mixed-use building (apartments and retail) for the North Gulch.
Post Managing Editor William Williams caught up with Michael Blair (pictured), the company’s managing director of development, to discuss the form and function of the future building (read more here).
When will the Gossett building be demolished and when do you expect to break ground?
The Gossett sign has already been removed so that we can preserve and re-use it as part of our new project. More prep work associated with the demolition will commence next week, with physical demolition of the building to start by the beginning of June. Following the demolition, we will break ground this summer with the sitework, utilities and building foundation activities.
Where will the retail be positioned?
The majority of the retail/restaurant space will be along 12th Avenue starting at the building’s corner at Grundy. The Church Street Viaduct frontage will include our leasing office and specific resident amenities, such as fitness center and mailroom, as well as a few live-work units near the intersection of Church and George Davis Boulevard.
What are the minimum and maximum number of retail spaces you anticipate?
Although that has not yet been finalized, I would expect there may be at least two retail spaces, and possibly up to four spaces, along the 12th Avenue frontage. Our design for that portion of the building allows for that flexibility given the multiple storefront access points.
Explain the connectivity to and interaction with the Church Street Viaduct.
The surface parking lot between the Gibson building and our new building will remain. We will provide a new curb cut location on Church Street that allows for both resident and visitor access. This arrangement will provide pedestrian and vehicular access to the building from the Church Street Viaduct.
The streetscape along 12th will continue under the viaduct. As you continue north on 12th towards the viaduct, we are planning some outdoor use, such as a dog park, to help activate 12th under the viaduct and to help screen our parking structure. Adjacent to that outdoor space, we will also have a building access point on 12th that provides residents with access to other amenities, including bike storage, dog spa, and a multipurpose music/rehearsal room.
Where could the Gossett sign go?
We’re not sure yet, but we are considering possible exterior locations that may be permitted, as well as interior locations such as inside our two-story clubroom.
Given you have an interesting site that allows much connectivity to the public realm, how many building access points do you envision?
The primary residential access points will be through the main leasing/lobby space on the Church Street Viaduct and through the corner lobby at 12th and Grundy. It’s important that we engage all four sides of the building and the streetscapes at each frontage. Residents will also have vehicular access to the parking structure (with entrances off both 12th and Church). However, there will be multiple secondary access points around the building.
What will be the primary materials for the exterior?
Primarily masonry (a mix of split face block and brick) at the base of the building with fiber cement panels above at upper residential levels. We'll use glass storefront at the retail space.
When will you provide a name for the building? Could you call it The Gossett, for example?
I would expect that we will have a name within the next 30-60 days. Incorporating “The Gossett” into the name is certainly a possibility, but we are in the process of developing some preliminary concepts and branding for the property, which includes different names and logos.
Will the building comprise the entirety of the footprint and, if not, will there be some green space and/or a hardscape pedestrian area?
The overall building footprint will take up most of the block. This is fairly typical of an urban development such as this to ensure that the building connects with the streetscape. The residential and retail pedestrian traffic created by this type of design are very important to the activity of the block. Within the property, we will have three distinct courtyards that will provide different resident amenities, including swimming pool, outdoor kitchen, bocce court and other multipurpose outdoor spaces.
What entities will participate?
Our architect is Poole & Poole Architecture, with Beasley and Henley providing interior design. The general contractor will be Cambridge Swinerton. Littlejohn will serve as the civil engineer and is doing the landscape/hardscape architecture as well.
(Image courtesy of Pollack Shores and Poole & Poole)
The Franklin Historic Zoning Commission on Monday night voted to approve plans for Harpeth Square, the $80 million mixed-use project planned for the northeast quadrant of downtown Franklin. Commissioners had voted against the plan less than a month ago, citing concerns about building height and massing. Emily West at Franklin Homepage has more info and context here on the meeting, which got just a bit contentious at one point.
"A lot of you are supportive of the project," Reynolds said. "But there's just as many that don't. You are just more powerful and louder. I would like to vote for this project, but I feel like I am being pushed into a corner. I've been disappointed in the developers willingness to address our concerns."
The crowd immediately called back in unison, "Where are they?" and meeting chairman Besser gaveled them into silence.
Research firm CoreLogic says Nashville-area home prices, including distressed sales, rose 7.1 percent year over year in March. Take out transactions involving distressed properties and the 12-month price rise drops only a bit to 6.5 percent.
CoreLogic's latest national data set is here. It shows Tennessee as one of seven states where home prices are at record highs.
Bristol Development Group continues to focus on its Bristol 12 South targeted for the Nashville district from which the project's moniker is derived. Though the Metro Planning Commission recently disapproved a rezoning that would allow the project to move forward, Bristol is working on an alternative plan, according to David Hanchrow, the Franklin-based company’s chief investment officer.
Post Managing Editor William Williams recently caught up with Hanchrow (pictured) to gauge his thoughts on the effort (see an image and read more here).
Many 12South-area residents and business owners have voiced concerns about Bristol 12 South as previously proposed, with a key being the overall height (four stories) and massing of the original iteration. You altered that design with a more modest segment of the building rising four floors and the structure, as such, playing more so like a three-story building. Then you changed to a three-story building only. That plan had the support of the Metro Planning department staff and many neighbors. Plus it and met the standards of the urban design overlay proposed for 12South. Where do you stand now?
There were a number of issues at play most recently. There was still some concern from a small but vocal group of neighbors. I certainly appreciate their concerns and passion for their neighborhood. But we felt we had listened to people and had planning department staff support. Another thing working against us might have been the timing of Nashville Next, the adoption for which is pending. That combination gave a number of commissioners pause.
But we are by no means walking away from this. We will look at other options and consider comments from neighbors and planning staff and get a plan we hope will be more accepted the next go-around. We are still very engaged with the Tabernacle Baptist Church officials.
When is the latest you must close on the acquisition of the church property before the deal is dissolved?
It wouldn’t be appropriate to comment on a prospective transaction.
What is the next step?
Smith Gee Studio is our architect and Littlejohn is our engineer. We are planning to meet with the church and the design team very soon and talk about how we move forward.
If the project materializes in a new form, could the building offer retail and/or parking for non-residents?
One thing we’ve learned — and that was different from what we heard originally — is that the building needs retail. We had no retail space in the original plan because we had heard that retail would lead to parking problems on the side streets. Now we’re hearing most folks want retail. Whatever we do in the next proposal will most likely have a retail element to it.
Could the building offer condos?
That is a market-driven question and we will keep our options open. Condo construction financing is hard to obtain and, given the apartment market, we feel confident this can be successful as an apartment project. But as any good developer would do, we are not ruling out options.
Given the setbacks, what realistically is the earliest a demolition and groundbreaking could take place?
We are not going to submit a new plan before Nashville Next is adopted (expected this summer) and we’ve had a chance to review the Nashville Next suggestions for the area.
It's not necessarily a surprise, but it is encouraging. Real estate research firm CoreLogic's latest numbers show that more and more Middle Tennessee homeowners are becoming current on their payments. The 2.71 percent delinquency rate for February was 70 basis points better than that of a year earlier and just about a full point below the number from October of 2013. That trend has had a positive effect on local banks' earnings and is showing little sign of slowing down.
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