August 04, 2015
With urban grocery planned, North Gulch shaping up as Nashville’s new frontier Getahn Ward, TN
With urban grocery planned, North Gulch shaping up as Nashville’s new frontier
With new high-rise condos, the Music City Center and hotels, the areas south of Broadway and the Gulch have emerged as downtown Nashville’s development hot spots.
But the city’s north side is shaping up as the next frontier with Capitol View, the 32-acre urban, mixed-use project as the centerpiece of the area known as the North Gulch.
"We’re really committed to changing the face of this part of the city," said Jeff Haynes, the managing partner of Boyle Nashville, a co-developer of the project. "We think geographically we become the central gathering or connecting point for the Gulch, Germantown, Salemtown, East Nashville, the central business district, Vanderbilt and Music Row. Our site is smack dab in the middle of it."
The vision of co-developers Northwestern Mutual and Boyle Nashville moved a step forward on two fronts Thursday.
Hospital chain HCA completed its purchase of the 10.5 acres where it is planning major construction for two of its subsidiaries. Meanwhile, Boyle released new details about its plans for the overall site, including naming Charlotte, N.C.-based Northwood Ravin its development partner for apartments in the first two phases of Capitol View.
In addition to Capitol View, downtown’s north side could get another boost, with the UBS Tower replacing the former Regions Center office building and the potential redevelopment of properties such as the Gossett Building across from Nashville Electric Service.
The North Gulch became a viable redevelopment area after the former PolarCold Storage Building at the southeast corner of 11th and Charlotte was converted into the Eleven North apartments.
More broadly, the boundaries of downtown are being redefined with the new ballpark under construction at Sulphur Dell and apartments and other projects underway or planned in Germantown. "SoBro no longer has the edge — it’s happening all over," said Tom Frye, Nashville office managing director with real estate firm CBRE. "It’s going to be fun to watch."
CBRE is working to lease vacant space at UBS Tower and Bank of America Plaza. Frye sees renovations to those office buildings on the north side bringing energy and tenants to that area, which lost law firms and other tenants to buildings in SoBro.
Barry Smith, president of Nashville-based commercial real estate firm Eakin Partners, sees Capitol View further expanding the real estate mix on downtown’s north side, including in the retail category. "Now you have the office component you didn’t have and an increasing residential base. The only thing missing is the retail component," he added. "And with the additional residential and office tenants, that void should be filled with follow-up retail development."
The 10.5 acres of Capitol View west of 11th Avenue North, where HCA is expected to build new headquarters for its Parallon Business Solutions and Sarah Cannon Research Institute units, is just a third of the overall 32-acre site that Northwestern and Boyle plan to redevelop.
Atlanta-based architecture firm Cooper Carry continues to work on the master plan for Capitol View, but more details have started to emerge for the remaining 21 acres. Overall, the urban, mixed-use project will have up to 1 million square feet of office space; 300,000 square feet of retail, grocery and restaurant space; sites for two hotels; and 1,000 apartment units.
A mixed-use building at the northeast corner of 11th and Charlotte will include a five-story, 250-unit apartment community on top of 80,000 square feet of retail space, including a 49,000-square-foot urban grocery store. Haynes said he would like to see that building completed up to four months after the two HCA subsidiaries move into their new headquarters at the end of 2016.
Haynes said Boyle interviewed seven multifamily developers before picking Northwood Ravin as its partner for apartments in the first two phases of Capitol View. "Putting apartments on top of retail is complicated, and this firm understands the urban, stacked multifamily product, and is willing to think outside of the box," he said, adding that Boyle plans to develop the rest of Capitol View itself.
Haynes said Boyle is working to identify specific retailers for the grocery and other space.
Currently, Gresham Smith and Partners, an architecture design firm, is working on designs for a building or two on HCA’s site. "We look forward to completing this project, which promotes growth and development in the North Gulch area," said Ed Fishbough, spokesman for HCA.
Meanwhile, Haynes said Boyle is working with Metro Parks to eventually connect a bikeway/greenway trail through Capitol View to Nashville’s Bicentennial Mall and the new minor league ballpark. Other companies on Boyle’s Capitol View team include traffic consultant RPM, land planner Kiser Vogrin, engineer Barge Waggoner and law firm Butler Snow.
Fred Kane, vice president for land services at real estate firm Cassidy Turley, says the $10 million price tag that HCA paid for the land is consistent with other recent deals, but that it may look like a bargain in a few years.
"The North Gulch is less expensive because it’s an unproven market, but with HCA breaking ground this year, that will likely change in the near future," he said.
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