Site Work Underway for 28 New Homes in Green Hills

The early stages of construction preparation have already begun on a new development called Graymont in the Green Hills neighborhood in Nashville, TN. Twenty-eight single family homes will be built on the corner of Woodmont Boulevard and Hopkins Street, just east of bustling Hillsboro Pike. The developers, Landmark Realty Services, are projecting sales prices starting in the $800,000’s and rising to over a million dollars for the larger homes. Sizes will range between 3,600-5,000 square feet and the initial houses should be available for purchase in autumn of 2015.

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Preview of Graymont, a 28 single-family home development by Landmark Services.

The approximately $17 million dollar undertaking is on a large, 9.1 acre plot of land. There were previously five rental homes on the site that were demolished for the Graymont plans. Steve Ezell, the president of Landmark said, “We have made great efforts to save the tree canopy and we will add a half mile of new sidewalks.” He added that garages would be on the backs of houses, and private drives would serve trash and recycling pickup and mail delivery.

Landmark Realty Services has completed several other projects in the Nashville area, including Arundel Court, Dorset Park and Moore’s Landing. Highly respected architects Allard Ward will be involved in the design of Graymont, and TriMark Builders will take on the construction.

West Nashville Set for 98 New Townhouses

A new townhouse development named West Mill is planned in The Nations neighborhood in West Nashville, TN. HND Realty has acquired about six acres at the southwest corner of California Avenue and 57th Avenue North. The planned community called West Mill will feature 98 townhouses and a swimming pool. The homes are expected to range in size from 1,150 square foot two bedroom units priced at $199,900 to 1,425 square foot three bedroom units priced at $239,900. The completion date for the first available units is projected for the late summer or fall of 2015, according to Kristin Hostettler of HND. She said, “The Nations continues to emerge as an attractive district for reasonably priced homes.”

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Photo source HND Realty

The six acres of land for the project cost about $2.45 million, which comes out to roughly $25,000 per unit, a very attractive purchase price. “It wasn’t that long ago that I had a conversation with someone who said the west part of town was going to take off. I said, ‘The Nations?’ ” said Hostettler. “This has all happened kind of overnight; that’s how it feels.” She added, “I think we just got lucky with a giant piece of land that will actually get to be its own townhouse development.” HND has completed other projects in Nashville, TN including the Park at Melrose, the Row At Berry Hill, Hillsboro Quarters I and II, and Vernon Avenue townhomes.

The Nations is an interesting neighborhood where the convenient location about five miles from downtown Nashville is driving the growth. Nearby arterial road Charlotte Pike is

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East Nashville Condo Project Nears Groundbreaking

Harpeth Development LLC is about to begin a 130 unit affordable condominium project at the corner of Litton Ave. and Gallatin Pike in East Nashville, TN. The one and two bedroom units, sized between 750-975 square feet, will be priced in the $150,000-170,000 range.

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Rendering of Solo East, a 130 unit condo project in East Nashville. Image source: bizjournals.com

President of Harpeth Development, Bruce McNeilage said, “”My goal is to have Solo East occupied 100 percent by the workforce – single mothers, nurses, cops, firefighters and musicians. I don’t have to tear anything down, we’re not displacing anybody. I think the minute I do it, others will copy it.”

The difficulty of copying the project is finding a sizable parcel of land that is cheap enough to

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The Five Most Beautiful City Streets in Nashville, TN

A great city is made of great neighborhoods, and great neighborhoods are made of great streets. As Nashville, TN climbs the rankings of the best cities in America, let’s take time to look at Music City’s best streets. Certainly there are many contenders to choose from, but these are The Five Most Beautiful City Streets in Nashville, TN:

5. Oakland Avenue Nashville, TN 37212. Located in the Belmont-Hillsboro neighborhood, this charming avenue has consistent historic housing evenly set back on both sides of the quiet street. There are a nice variety of styles that include bungalows, tudors, and four squares. The neighborhood was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1980, and its central location is convenient to Music Row, downtown, and the 12 south district. Oakland Ave. has gentle hills, typical of the contours of Nashville’s terrain. Several of the lots are raised above the street level, with sets of stairs leading from the public sidewalk to the porches and front doors. When paired with the surrounding mature trees, the elevated properties create a calming sense of containment. The neighborhood is in high demand and properties command prices per square foot that are near the top of all Nashville neighborhoods. There are currently no houses for sale on Oakland Ave.

oakland 2809 Oakland Avenue

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The Torrid Pace of East Nashville’s Development

The ever-expanding East Nashville renewal continues, as multiple large development projects carry momentum into 2015. Renovations, new construction infill, and small commercial openings are barely newsworthy, due to the sheer volume that this area of town has experienced over the past decade. In the past two years the pace has accelerated even more, as the inflow of investor dollars has raised the bar, and announcements of major projects has become the norm.

Aerial Development broke ground this fall on East Greenway Park, a 62 single family home project on ten acres near the corner of Eastland Ave. and Rosebank Ave. The houses will range from 1,200-2,500 square feet, with price tags from $225,000 to $375,000 and up. Aerial purchased the land in May, 2013 for $600,000, and received SP (Specific Plan) zoning for the site, allowing higher density for a cottage development. The growing company has already completed dozens of new construction infill throughout East Nashville, and over 100 new houses in all of Nashville. This will be their largest project so far.

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Here’s the Skinny on Tall, Skinny Houses

The tall, narrow houses that have become common infill around Nashville are not a welcome sight in many established neighborhoods. New construction is part of the growing process of a city, but the “tall skinnies” don’t blend in with the surrounding housing stock of most Music City neighborhoods. Nashville’s Metro Government was getting enough negative feedback that the Metro Council passed a new ordinance 33-1 in September 2014 to limit the height of two “tall skinnies” when they are built on one lot. Councilman Anthony Davis said, “It’s very important for East Nashville neighborhoods. This is a win for them. They really wanted something to put some controls on the infill we have going on.” What effect will this have on future development? What does it mean for investors and concerned residents?

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Two examples of tall, skinny houses. Note the small “umbilical cord” between the houses on the left.

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The Top Ten New Year’s Resolutions For Nashville, TN

Nashville is a nice place to live. More people are figuring that out and moving here every year. But just because Nashville is the “It City” doesn’t mean that everything is perfect, so here are the top ten new year’s resolutions for beloved Music City.

10. More mixed-use development. Nashville needs more neighborhood commercial uses and live/work units. Traffic is becoming more of an issue throughout the city and strategic zoning will help solve traffic problems as much as anything. There are four different Mixed Use zoning designations that have varying levels of “intensity,” but they all allow for a combination of residential, retail, and office uses. When CL (commercial limited) zoning is applied to a property, it allows retail, office, restaurant, and other consumer service uses. Imagine walking to the corner store for a gallon of milk instead of dealing with the drive that includes two left turns and a prolonged search for a parking space (Green Hills Kroger) before even getting in the door of the shopping center grocery store.

9. Lower property tax rates. Nashville has benefited from a tremendous amount of infill development over the past few years. Because the existing infrastructure is already in place, the city accounts gain from a larger tax base, without the same expenses of new development on the fringes of the county. Also the assessed values for properties in nearly all neighborhoods will be higher from the rapid appreciation of the past two years. Rates can be lowered and the total taxes collected can still be the same or greater. This is a similar concept to the Laffer Curve. If rates aren’t lowered and the property taxes rise, some families will move to neighboring counties, or out of the area altogether. Higher taxes also typically cause rents to increase, as the tax burden often gets passed on to the tenants, who may be forced to move as well. Low property taxes will keep the city open to more economically diverse residents, and widen the tax base with more growth.

8. Fix the caving in walkway at Radnor Lake. I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like Radnor Lake State Natural Area. Most Nashvillians see it as a treasure, but the walkway that used to be Otter Creek Road has been deteriorating and getting worse every year. Now the ankle-spraining cracked pavement seems to be sinking in toward the lake. I know it is a State Park and therefore should receive funding from the state. But if the Metro Council and Mayor Karl Dean can easily approve the $18 million dollar Gulch-Sobro pedestrian bridge, then surely they can toss a couple million from the Capital Improvement Budget  toward one of the best green spaces in the city.

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The impact of Nashville’s newest roundabout

In November, 2014 Metro Public Works completed a $2.5 million dollar streetscape and roundabout project in west Nashville. The intersection of Murphy Road, 46th Avenue, and Westlawn Drive features new streetlights, landscaping, sidewalks, and 21 on-street parking spots.

Mayor Karl Dean eloquently commented about the centerpiece of the project. “This roundabout makes it easier to move around.”

Thanks for explaining it to us, Karl.

The project also dresses up the entrance to McCabe Golf Course and McCabe Community Center. The community center features a full-size gymnasium, indoor walking track, and a fully equipped fitness center. It was the first LEED certified community center built in Nashville in 2011. It is free for general use, although there are small fees for use of the fitness center and several of the yoga and Zumba classes. Access to the Richland Creek Greenway is also available from the same parking lot used for the golf course and community center. The greenway has a 3.8 mile paved loop for pedestrian use.

Local restaurants affected by the streetscaping include Star Bagel, The Local Taco, McCabe Pub, Park Café, and Café Nonna. Customers are grateful for a few more parking spaces and continuous sidewalks.

Several neighborhoods benefit from the infusion of public funds. The already popular Sylvan Park now has a more beautified commercial district. Nearby Cherokee Park, Richland-West End (my neighborhood), and even Sylvan Heights residents will also enjoy a more pedestrian-friendly thoroughfare. What does this roundabout project mean for homeowners and investors in these neighborhoods?

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