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Nashville Midtown Condo Tower Back on Track


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This is from today's Tennessean. The property has been slated for some kind of condo project at least twice in the last three years. It looks like it's ready to go ahead this time. It's a great location across from Boundry, et. al., which is a growing area of bars and restaurants.

Plans for Midtown condos move ahead

The parking lot at 20th Avenue South and Chet Atkins Place across from South Street is the site of a planned condominium tower.


Staff Writer

After three years of false starts with other developers, the owners of a prime piece of Midtown Nashville property are moving forward with their own $50 million condominium tower.

The 225-unit project on 20th Avenue South will target primarily young professionals who want to live in an urban environment. Previous proposals were geared toward Vanderbilt University students.

''It was exactly the wrong approach for this property,'' said Ray Hensler, president of Corner Realty Partners, which is handling sales and marketing of the condominiums.

Hoping to take advantage of sales momentum in the area, the loft condos will range in size from 810 square feet to 1,480 square feet and carry price tags of $185,000 to $444,000, Hensler said. Several penthouse units on the planned 22-story tower will range from 1,400 square feet to 2,000 square feet and cost $500,000 to more than $1 million.

Hensler said there will be about 20 affordable units with just under 700 square feet that list for about $140,000. These types of units target buyers who earn 80% of the median income for the Nashville area, which for a single person is $34,500. By including affordable housing, developers can build more per square feet under the zoning laws.

Corner Realty plans to begin taking reservations in January, Hensler said.

''Our target is 100 units before we kick off construction,'' he said, adding that the objective is to begin in the summer.

The property, which is a parking lot also used for the summer concert series Uptown Mix, is owned by Mark Bloom and Ronnie Scott, as well as their attorney, Larry Papel, managing director of Baker Donelson Bearman Caldwell & Berkowitz's Nashville office. Together, the men own several pieces of real estate around Nashville, including a part of the Hilton Nashville Downtown. They also are part owners in the Arena Football League's Nashville Kats.

They formed Corner Realty several months ago to handle the development of that property and others they own. To build what they have planned, the owners have a contract on the Tennessee Association Realtors building on the back edge of the property.

There is a hurdle. They need a zoning variance that allows the tower to rise 22 stories and a reduction of setback requirements so the building doesn't look like an upside-down telescope. The project will be on the Jan. 6 agenda for the Board of Zoning Appeals.

That board has approved similar variances previously on the property. In 2001, St. Louis-based MLP Investments sought to build two towers, one 22 stories and the other 28 stories.

It drew a lot of opposition from neighboring merchants, who worried about parking and traffic problems. They also questioned whether buildings that tall would fit with the neighborhood.

The board approved a variance but cut the height of the two buildings to 18 stories and 20 stories. MLP withdrew in January 2002, saying it couldn't get an extension on the option the developer had to buy the property.

Later in 2002, Dallas luxury apartment developer JPI Inc. proposed a similar development that targeted Vanderbilt students, even though university market studies showed little need. That deal also fell through.

''We didn't feel there was much of a market there,'' said Betty Nixon, Vanderbilt's assistant vice chancellor for community, neighborhoods and government relations.

Last year, Fort Lauderdale, Fla.-based Stiles Corp. explored whether to build luxury apartments, retail and office space. To do so, the developer needed to acquire some other properties around the site, which didn't happen.

Hensler, who worked for Stiles at that the time, said ultimately the cost of construction couldn't be justified.

''I wasn't comfortable a year and half ago with the depth of the market like I am today,'' Hensler said.

The tower would be a few blocks away from other condo projects under construction.

Bristol on Broadway between Division Street and Broadway is converting from apartments to condos, and reservations have been brisk for the 171 units.

Nearby along 18th Avenue South, developer Marty Helfin has 44 units under construction. Scott Troxel, an agent with Keller Williams Realty handling sales and marketing, said 26 have been sold.

''It's definitely competition,'' Troxel said of the units planned and under construction in Midtown. ''But it also just communicates this is a stronger and stronger area for residential.''

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I'm not sure what the final height of this building will be. 18, 22, or 24...doesn't really matter. It's a large project with pedestrians and blending with the exisiting neighborhood as prime concerns.

Here's the latest rendering and accompanying copy from the Nashville CityPaper:

Developer attracts support for Midtown project

By William Williams, [email protected]

December 22, 2004

City officials and urban planning advocates say they strongly support a major New Urbanism project proposed for Midtown.

Needing only approval from the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals (BZA), the approximately $55 million Adelicia Lofts will feature a very contemporary 18-story loft condominium tower, a more traditional four-story residential building, a retail space and a relatively concealed six-story parking garage. To be developed by Corner Realty Partners LLC and located at Adelicia Street and 20th Avenue, the building combination totals 225 residential units and has never been tested in the Nashville market.


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