Our featured house of the week was just listed days ago in an incredibly desirable area near downtown at 333 22nd Avenue North, Nashville, TN 37203. The location is between West End Avenue and Charlotte Pike close to several medical centers and other offices. The house was built in 1899, and according to the MLS listing has 3,527 square feet. The tax records have that figure at 5,613 square feet from multiple additions that were made to the original structure. One of those additions has literally collapsed to the ground, and another is sagging badly and is not salvageable. I think the listing agent, Patricia Corcoran with Allison James Estates and Homes of Tennessee, went ahead and deducted the collapsed square footage to arrive at her more accurate figure. I went to view this property within an hour after seeing that it was for sale. Why the urgency? It is priced at only $239,000.
Despite the very poor condition of the building, the price is very enticing. Metro Nashville’s tax appraisal for the land alone is $273,000, and their assessments have been lagging behind the market values for the inner-ring neighborhoods for about two years. Adding just a minimal value for the original structure easily puts this property over $300,000.
The property is zoned MUG-A (mixed use, general, alternative), which according to Metro Planning is, “Intended for a moderately high intensity mixture of residential, retail, and office uses.” The location would be perfect for a law, medical, or accounting office. The building could even house a small design or marketing firm. MUG-A zoning provides the opportunity for creative uses of the space, including making the top floor and basement levels residential units, while the main floor is an office.
The property was foreclosed on by Deutsche Bank in November, 2014 for $465k, although it is quite clear that no one has been living there for a significant period of time. Since the land price is more valuable than the asking price, the building may be torn down. However, I think the original structure is quite solid and should be saved. Much of its history is still intact.
Viewing the interior proved to be almost like navigating an obstacle course. Old furniture, housewares, and reading material are piled throughout the house, while clothing and trash are strewn about every surface. Despite several dumpster’s worth of contents inside, the original architectural details were still on display with the grand, dark wooden staircase, multiple fireplaces with mantels, built-in bookcases with leaded glass, and original floors, trim, doors and hardware. It would be a shame to bulldoze these beautiful elements that date back to 1899.
The property has already received multiple offers, and I wouldn’t be surprised if the final sales price is more than $100,000 over the asking price. The commercial aspect is what pushes the value of this property. It is a great piece of real estate that could be worth over a million dollars after a thoughtful, historically sensitive renovation. Hopefully the new owners will elect to take the route of keeping the building and won’t just demolish it. Nashville has plenty of new construction all over town, and there will always be more chances to build new. This is a rare opportunity to breathe life into an 1899 gem, but if it is erased there will be no chance to bring it back.