Friday, March 6, 2009

What's being built in Davidson County

Tennessean March 6, 2009 Construction projects in Davidson County from the gleaming high-rises in the Gulch to new subdivisions in Bellevue and Donelson are staying on track, despite the daily dose of worrying economic news. Developers may have secured funding in better times, and many admit sales are slower than they were in a year like 2006, but there is optimism about projects that are somewhere in the building process. An example is the high-profile Terrazzo development in the Gulch. It's 50 percent pre-sold, with 58 units left to sell. "We're already seeing signs that lending is improving and will continue to improve,'' said Bill Barkley, president of Tennessee Crosland, the developer of the Terrazzo. "We're experiencing a very high level of activity since opening our model last month. Although Terrazzo won't be fully completed until April, we will begin initial closings for the first two residential floors later this month. We think our prices are very competitive, particularly given the quality of our product. Given the current economic climate, we're pleased with our progress.'' At Belle Meade Court, six of 65 condos have sold. "We've actually got a lot of activity, and we haven't really opened yet,'' said Scott Reynolds, development director with Giarratana Development, LLC. What happens if the economy doesn't turn around? Would developers lower sale prices? Reduce rents? Turn a condo into an apartment? "Belle Meade Court will always be condos; that's the way we have it set up,'' said Reynolds As for the luxury apartments, the Marquee at Belle Meade, Reynolds said the prices remain steady. "With any type of rental property, you want to stabilize the asset, which means, you want to rent it out," Reynolds said. "But with any type of rental property, people move out because they bought a house, so you have to constantly be after new people. If someone leaves, it's an opportunity for someone else to lease it. And at this point, we're going to try to maintain our prices." With 151 units sold at Velocity, Charles Carlisle of Bristol Development Group agrees: "We are not planning to reduce prices or lease. They make take longer to sell in this economy, but we think we have a competitive price point and a good value.'' Belle Meade/Green Hills BELLE MEADE COURT Six of 65 units have been sold in the high-end Belle Meade Court condos at the corner of Kenner Avenue and Ridgefield. Cost is $30 million, a joint venture between Giarratana Development, LLC and Newport Development of Atlanta, and the project's exterior is built out. People are moving in. The luxury condos have several different floor plans, with square footage ranging from 1,252 square feet to 1,967 square feet. Prices for the one-, two-, three- bedroom units are $400,000-$750,000. The U-shaped building wraps around a courtyard and a pool with a fountain. THE MARQUEE AT BELLE MEADE The $30 million luxury apartment building is getting finishing touches with about 10 percent of the 54 units rented. The Marquee and a Harris Teeter grocery store are part of the Belle Meade Town Center, which has vacant retail and office space, including part of the former Belle Meade Theatre. The development features one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments with industrial-style accents, such as bare concrete floors, exposed brick and ductwork. Rent ranges from $1,305 to $3,530 a month. The apartments' sizes range from 763 square feet to 1,325 square feet. The Marquee at Belle Meade is a project of Giarratana Development, LLC and PGM Properties of Brentwood. LIPSCOMB UNIVERSITY Construction started in March 2008 at Lipscomb University on a 300-space parking garage and tennis center at the corner of Granny White Pike and Shackleford Road. The $9.5 million complex, the school's only construction project at this time, is expected to be completed by June 1. It will include six tennis courts and a tennis clubhouse on the roof. Access to the parking garage will be from Belmont Boulevard. The school is tentatively planning to begin a $4 million art building, located north of Fanning Residence Hall, before the end of the year. A firm start date will depend on how successful fundraising efforts are over the next few months. CAPSTAR BANK Construction started in October 2008 on CapStar Bank, a new bank headed by president and CEO Claire Tucker. The bank raised $88 million in start-up capital in 2007, a record for a Tennessee bank. There's a core group of local investors who have put money in, including venture capitalist Dennis Bottorff. The 4,100 square-foot building on Crestmoor Road, built by Solomon Builders, is valued at more than $610,000. Construction should be completed by the end of this month. Bellevue AVONDALE PARK Avondale Park subdivision, which is less than two miles from I-40 on McCrory Lane, consists of three sections set to bring 500-600 homes to the area: The Estates, starting from the $250,00s; The Landings, starting from the $200,00s; and The Groves, starting from the $170,00s. Builders on the project will include Fox Ridge Homes and Beazer Homes. Construction began in 2008, but Charles Jeter, a sales and marketing representative for Avondale, said it will take five to six years to complete the community. Jeter said the subdivision hasn't officially been opened yet, but that 25 homes have been sold. At least seven building permits have been taken out for homes ranging from $261,000 to $324,000. Amenities will include a pool, a cabana, walking trails and sidewalks. HILL CENTER AT NASHVILLE WEST The $13 million, 76,000-square-foot development at Charlotte Pike and Annex Road will include a 45,600-square-foot Publix grocery store and a 26,000-square-foot two-story retail and office structure. The Bank of America branch on the site will be replaced as the bank builds a new prototype branch on a one-acre out parcel in the center, closer to Charlotte Pike. The retail and office structure will be constructed where the bank branch is located. The developer is Nashville-based H.G. Hill Realty Company, and the architects are Southeast Venture and Street Dixon Rick. Funding is set. "It's all a go,'' said Brian Harkness of the Buntin Group, the project's advertising firm. A groundbreaking ceremony is expected for May or June. The redevelopment is scheduled to start early this summer, with completion planned for late spring 2010. Donelson/Hermitage/North RESERVE AT STONE HALL Infrastructure work began in 2007 on the $17 million project in Hermitage, and it is complete except for the building of a connector road to the Ravenwood Club. The connector road and work on the entrance should be completed by the end of March. The model home is being framed. Phillips Builders are building 185 single-family homes and 152 town homes on 90 acres over six or seven years. The units will not go on sale until the middle of March, with price ranges from $289,900 to $400,000. The project is adjacent to and partners with the Ravenwood Club. Single-family residents will have free membership to the Ravenwood Club for one year. Membership would include use of the clubhouse, golf course, pool and tennis courts. Residents would then have the option to remain as members after the year. The project included improvements to Ravenwood Club facilities done by Phillips Development. VILLAGES OF RIVERWOOD Initial home construction has started on the The Villages at Riverwood, which began infrastructure work last spring. Beazer Homes will be the builder for about 700 town homes and single-family homes expected for the development. The first phase will house 93 town-home units and 107 single-family homes. Beazer Homes had three town homes sold. Beazer is developing on about 160 acres. The estimated cost for the town homes and single-family- home portion of the project is about $145-$150 million. Beazer Homes is partnering with Nashville-based CSP Associates to also develop on the site up to 500 apartment units, and a 778-unit senior living facility. The entire project, which is on 220 acres formerly known as Brown's Farm, is estimated at $250 million. The buildout is expected to be six to 10 years, but will depend on market conditions. HERMITAGE MEDICAL CENTER Construction began in late summer 2008 on the three-story, 35,211-square-foot medical office building at 3810 Central Pike in Hermitage. The shell is complete and tenant improvements have begun. There are signed leases or commitments for two of the three floors, according to Chris Pardue, developer group CSP Associates. The first tenant is planned to open in less than 60 days. The estimated cost for the center is $9.5 million. NASHVILLE COMMONS AT SKYLINE The retail project estimated at $75 million includes a Lowe's Home Improvement Store off Dickerson Pike. The building appears near completion. Lowe's corporate office did not give a scheduled opening date. A new Walmart is also under construction, with an anticipated opening date of fall 2009. Initial work on the development began in 2007, and infrastructure work for other commercial spaces in the development has been ongoing. Other stores could be operational by fall 2009 as well. Downtown THE PINNACLE AT SYMPHONY PLACE The $180 million development on Third Avenue South recently topped out with the pouring of the 29th and final floor. The Pinnacle is the future home of law firm Bass Berry & Sims and will be the headquarters of Pinnacle Financial Partners. Adjacent to the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, it is the first office high-rise to built on the south side of Lower Broadway (Sobro). The building encompasses 520,000 square feet and is 50 percent pre-leased. It is scheduled to open in January 2010. TERRAZZO The $68 million, 14-story mixed-use development on the southeast corner of 12th Avenue South and Division Street is almost complete. Price ranges for the 117 condos are from $317,000 to $1.6 million. Terrazzo is 50 percent pre-sold, with 58 units left to sell. Four floors of retail and office space in the building are topped by 10 stories of residential space. The first phase, floors one through six, are finished, which includes the underground garage, first floor retail space, three floors of office space and the first two residential floors. The remaining eight residential floors will be phased in over the next 60 days and will be completely finished in April. BB&T is completing a build-out of its space on the first floor for a full-service retail financial center, which is slated to open in early April. Bill Barkley, president of Tennessee Crosland, the developer, says that no other retail leases have been signed other than BB&T, but there are negotiations with several restaurants and other retail prospects. VELOCITY Velocity, one of the newest projects to be built in the Gulch on 11th Avenue South, is scheduled to bring 264 condos and 21,000 more square feet of retail space. The commercial units are nearly completed and should be ready for tenant buildout in May. Residents who pre-purchased are also scheduled to move in May. Mark Deutschmann, owner of Village Real Estate, the firm handling unit sales, declined to give the number of units pre-sold or currently under contract at this property. The project cost is estimated at $63 million. There are 151 units sold in a price range of $130,000-$400,000. Some are earmarked as affordable and certain income restrictions apply. ROLLING MILL HILL The development of Rolling Mill Hill, the 34-acre site formerly home to Metro General Hospital and several city-owned facilities, will finish its first phase in the summer of 2010. The project, which had been in planning stages with the Metro Development and Housing Agency for a decade, began construction in 2008. The first phase of the project will cost around $30 million. Its four phases will take at least 10 years to complete, at a price tag in excess of $250 million. MDHA will build 109 units in the first phase and is also fronting about $7 million for infrastructure costs for the second phase, a large portion coming from federal grants. Phase one includes the renovation of two of Metro General's buildings — the Victorian building, part of which dates to the hospital's founding in the late 1800s, and an art deco building from a 1920s-era expansion — and the construction of a six-story structure called the Metro building. During this phase, 175 condos between $139,000 and $678,000 will be constructed. The project's second phase will include the rehab of the set of 1930s-era trolley barns that will bring retail to the site. Mark Deutschmann, owner of Village Real Estate, the firm handling unit sales, declined to give the number of units pre-sold or under contract at this property. West End/Vandy 12TH & PARIS The $5 million mixed-use project is under way at the corner of Paris Avenue and 12th Avenue South, making way for eight condominiums, 14 apartments and eight commercial spaces. Seven of the eight condos are under contract, and the developer won't begin leasing apartment space until it's complete. The development will include a mix of flats and town homes ranging from $179,000 to $300,000. Burger Up, a new venture by Frothy Monkey owner Miranda Whitcomb-Pontes, will become the project's anchor tenant. Construction began in November on the project, which is slated to wrap up late 2009. An art gallery, an architect's office, an organic market and a workout studio will also be located in the building's commercial space. BELMONT UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF PHARMACY Construction started on Belmont University's $30 million pharmacy building last October. The building is directly behind the Inman building and will face Acklen Avenue. Workers have been excavating the site for the 450-car underground parking garage since November. The facility will house the university's School of Physical Therapy and will include expansion space for the Schools of Nursing and Occupational Therapy, and social work and psychology programs. The anticipated completion date is June 2010. GALE LOFT APARTMENTS Construction on the 92-unit apartment building at 811 Gale Lane began last December. Applications for the rental units are not being accepted yet. The project will include a four-story building with three sides surrounding a center courtyard. The loft-style units, priced from $900 to $2,000 monthly, will feature 10-foot ceilings, hardwood floors and large oversized windows, among other amenities. Construction should be complete by the end of the year.

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