Not A Typo Developer Pursues 600 Residential Units In Giant Nations Development

Dated: 02/23/2016

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Nashville developer Southeast Venture is pursuing a giant mixed-use project that would inject upwards of 600 residential units into The Nations.Image title

Like so many neighborhoods in Nashville's red-hot real estate boom, it's an understatement to say The Nations is "fast-growing." The sheer scale of this particular project marks the most ambitious bet yet in the West Nashville neighborhood's revitalization — and it signals that the budding interest from homebuyers, popular restaurants, craft breweries and real estate investors is spiking to a whole new level.

"The Nations has been found," said Wood Caldwell, a principal at Southeast Venture. "The neighborhood association is very organized ... and they're saying they want 51st (Avenue North) to become another 12South. People are excited we're changing industrial back to residential."

The Southeast Venture development would be three blocks over from 51st Avenue North, at 5400 Centennial Blvd. Southeast Venture is developing the 36-acre site on behalf of its client, a partnership that operates under the name R Manuel – Centennial.

Caldwell declined to discuss who's involved in the group, which paid $6 million for the land in mid-2015. Caldwell said it was too early to estimate a total budget for the development. Full financing has not yet been obtained.
The land is bordered on the east by giant tanks of petroleum for two companies, stations where tanker-trucks fill up and then deliver that fuel to gas stations. The easternmost part of the site will be undeveloped and act as a buffer from those operations, Caldwell said.

That piece of property also contains a landmark 200-foot former grain silo, which will be preserved, Caldwell said. "It’s like a beacon everybody uses for The Nations, which is pretty cool. To be frank, that’s what first attracted our buyer; they saw that and said it’s the coolest thing ever," Caldwell told me.

The properties are split by a CSX railroad spur that continues on and crosses Charlotte Avenue, where developer H.G. Hill Realty Co. is under construction on a mixed-use development. Caldwell said access rights already exist, so no negotiations are needed with the railroad. He also said the spur is used just four times a day, with a limited number of rail cars each time.

Arguably the most prominent potential selling point is the 1,200 feet of riverfront views, with the property sitting on a bluff 70 feet above the Cumberland River, Caldwell said. The site is about six miles from the center of downtown, on the other side of Interstate 40 from Charlotte Avenue (which is experiencing its own rebirth) and also Sylvan Park, one of Nashville's more popular urban neighborhoods.

Between the river and the railroad tracks, Southeast Venture is seeking a zoning change from Metro that would allow up to 300 multifamily units and about 100 single-family homes, Caldwell said. The buildings will be three stories.
Most of those multifamily units likely will be apartments, though units facing the river may be sold as condos, Caldwell said.

The Metro Planning Commission is scheduled to vote on the requested zoning change next month, which would then trigger a six-week vetting by Metro Council. The change needs council approval to become official.
Metro already approved a zoning change for the piece of land between the railroad tracks and Centennial Boulevard. On that site, where construction could start this fall, Caldwell said plans call for 180 multifamily units with ground-floor retail.

Future development on the site is expected to eventually bring the total numbers of units in the development beyond 600.
Average rent for the apartments will be about $1.80 per square foot, Caldwell said. That's a higher price than The Nations has ever fetched, but definitely much lower than the attention-grabbing escalating rent in the heart of the city.

Southeast Venture is designing and developing the project. The civil engineer is Barge Cauthen & Associates; the landscape designer is Hodgson Douglas LLC.
Adam covers commercial real estate and manufacturing.

Adam Sichko - Senior Reporter -Nashville Business Journal

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Jacquelyn Gore

Being a REALTOR® is my passion. I truly love helping people buy and sell real estate. It is so rewarding to see the joy I bring to my clients when they buy their dream home or sell an amazingly reno....

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