Yesterday's announcement that Kite Realty Group has paid $37.5 million for Franklin-based big box strip center Cool Springs Market (read more here) might seem like nothing more than a standard commercial real estate story. But it followed the Monday announcement that XYQ Artist Management has opened a Nashville office within the West End Corridor. And so ... ? Both Kite and XYQ parent XYQ Inc. are based in Indianapolis. And so ... ? Within the past 15 months or so, we've also seen Buckingham Cos. prepare to break ground by year's end on a major mixed-use project in Midtown and White Lodging begin developing a Hyatt Place in SoBro. Yes, both are Indianapolis based. (Actually, White Lodging is located in Merrillville, but that's not much more than 120 miles from Indy.) We have no idea if this is some type "record" for Indy-area-based companies doing work in Nashville within such a brief time period. But it is interesting nonetheless.
Chattanooga-based Vision Hospitality Group Inc. has broken ground on the Residence Inn by Marriott-Murfreesboro (a rendering for which is seen below). Vision is the developer of the Fairfield Inn & Suites by Marriott, currently being built on Division Street in the Gulch (read more here). To learn more about the Residence Inn by Marriott-Murfreesboro, read here.
The Nashville Convention Center Authority announced today that the Metro Codes Department has issued a certificate of occupancy for the Music City Center — one week before the construction completion deadline of the soon-to-open 2.1-million-square-foot convention facility.
The certificate of occupancy, which certifies compliance with all local and state codes and regulations, was issued following 250 final inspections and approvals by the State of Tennessee and Metro Nashville agencies and departments.
“I applaud the project management team and its crew for finishing construction of the Music City Center ahead of their deadline,” Mayor Karl Dean said in a release. “It is no small feat to finish construction on time, but to do so for a project of this scale is truly remarkable. I look forward to our grand opening festivities on May 19-20 when members of the public can see for themselves the size and beauty of this magnificent building.”
The contracts for architects TVS Design and construction management firm Bell/Clark, a joint venture, specified construction of the SoBro-based center be finished by April 30. With the certificate of occupancy now in place, the project and development, construction, and design leaders can progress with the contractual documentation of substantial completion.
West End Avenue LLC announced Monday that it has completed the topping off for its seven-story Homewood Suites by Hilton Nashville/Vanderbilt.
Under construction at 2400 West End Ave., across from Vanderbilt University and on the site once home to Tower Records, the Homewood Suites by Hilton will consist of 192 suites. EBCO General Contractors and Hardaway Construction are overseeing construction. Memphis-based 2400 TN West End Avenue LLC is the developer/owner, while Vista Host of Houston will operate and manage the hotel upon its completion. Vista Host manages two Nashville hotels: Hilton Garden Inn Nashville/Vanderbilt and Home2Suites.
The Nashville-based CBRE trio of Douglass Johnson, Morgan Hillenmeyer and Steve Preston (below in that order) have been hired by the receiver for what remains of WexTrust, the real estate investment firm whose two former principals are serving a total of 35 years in prison for fraud. The brokers will help attorney Timothy Coleman dispose of a portfolio appraised at $66 million and comprising 13 single-tenant office buildings, four warehouses, two office flex buildings and a grocery-anchored shopping center.
The portfolio — check out the full list here — includes the 528,500-square-foot building at 530 Myatt Drive south of RiverGate and a number of properties around Tennessee being leased by the state.
SEE ALSO: WexTrust CEO pleads guilty in fraud case from 2010
Gallatin-based developer Green & Little LP has begun the process of finding an anchor tenant for its mixed-used building proposed for Green Hills.
The development team, the spokesman for which is Lee Zoller, waited to move forward fully until after the Metro Council approved the zoning on March 19.
“We just started the marketing of the office building at end of March,” Zoller said. “We’re anxious to find an anchor tenant.”
Zoller said Green & Little is seeking a company to anchor the development (read more here), which will feature primarily office and hotel space, with some retail. The building, a name for which has not been announced, would be constructed at the point at which Crestmoor Avenue curves and becomes Cleghorn Avenue.
“It’s an integrated site,” he said. “There will be a small amount of retail. The focus is on the office space.”
The Nashville office of Gresham Smith & Partners is serving as architect.
In today's edition of The City Paper is the 111-year-old story of a paragraph that has the potential to complicate a land swap between Metro and the State.
The existence of the paragraph — which reverts a key parcel of the land on which the former Ben West Library Building on Union Street sits back to the family that gave it for a library back in 1902 — is one of those esoteric things reporters vaguely hear about that seem, most of the time, more interesting than substantive. We'd all heard hardy-har stories about the tiny library Metro maintained when the Ben West building was occupied to satisfy the longstanding requirement. But with the building unused, it wasn't something anybody discussed with any frequency.
But when my colleague Pierce Greenberg came back from a State Building Commission meeting in March with details of the swap that would give the state the property — in exchange, Metro gets the old Tennessee Prep land — it suddenly became substantive.
First, I had to verify that this reversion existed. Metro has two great resources for tracking land transfers — MetroMap and the Register of Deeds site. The first is open to the public; the second requires a nominal fee to use.
Often, we have to cross-reference information from the former — which allows a user to search by street address — to get documents from the latter, which only allows searches by owner or more technical information, like plat numbers.
Unfortunately, the Register of Deeds is equipped only for searches dating back 50 years or so. Still, MetroMap was able to tell us which page and book number that recorded the most recent conveyance — the transfer from the Carnegie Library to the Nashville Library system in the 1950s (page 1 and page 2). With book and page numbers, a more tedious method is needed to view the information on the RoD site, but, again, it is possible.
On page 2, the reversionary rights are restated and notes that it applies to "Tract 3," which, also on Page 2, tells us was given by J. Craig McLanahan and his wife, and gives the book and page number of that transfer. The tract in question is the north 100 feet of the property, roughly a quarter of an acre representing nearly 40 percent of the entire Ben West tract.
So I located the original transfer from J. Craig McLanahan and wife Katherine in 1902, recorded in long-hand here and here, with the reversionary paragraph near the end of the transfer on the second page.
So now I have a name. There were precious few references to the McLanahans in Nashville. Mr. McLanahan was a defendant in a court case related to an election and he owned the Pinkney mine, which collapsed in 1897. But nearly every reference to him was in Pennsylvania papers. The proliferation of genealogy websites eventually led us to Find-A-Grave. Mr and Mrs McLanahan are buried, together, in Pennsylvania and nearby are their two daughters — Mary Katherine, who died at the age of 2, and Magaret, who died, unmarried and childless in the 1940s.
It's a seeming dead-end in the search for heirs, except that one search for information — looking for information on McLanahan via his mining interests, led me to the McLanahan Corporation, where I was able to find an e-mail address for the company's CEO.
I emailed Mike McLanahan, who confirmed his family's relationship with J. Craig McLanahan and their family's donation. A few days later, I was was contacted by H3GM, the company's local attorneys. (McLanahan has a facility in Gallatin.) And then a few days after that, I was contacted by another family member, closer in the family tree to J. Craig McLanahan. (This person happens to be a descendent of J. Craig's brother, J. King). All confirmed the gift, the relationship and all wanted more information about the Metro/State swap plan.
At this point, the story was more or less paused. The Metro Council had yet to take up the deal, and I knew that both Metro and the state were aware of the potential reversionary rights, because the swap included a plan for Metro to return the TPS property to the state in the event a claim was made on the Ben West property. But I didn't know what, if anything, the family intended to do and I didn't know what, if anything, the Metro Council wanted to do.
Then, Tuesday, Councilman Bo Mitchell pulled the swap deal from the consent agenda, opening the door for Councilman Jason Holleman to ask about "any deed restrictions," the existence of which were then acknowledged by Director of Law Saul Solomon. I then sought comment from the McLanahans — and received a brief statement from H3GM attorney Kris Kemp — and then a follow-up statement from Solomon.
Where this swap goes from here is unclear. Sources tell me it boils down to whether that deed restriction can be enforced, but as Metro learned during the Turner School fiasco, often, even old claims to land can be enforced if someone is willing to do so.
So as the interesting became the substantive, the old has become news.