Thursday, March 21, 2013

Urban Renewal Done Right

Posted By on Thu, Mar 21, 2013 at 5:18 AM

Over at the Nashville Post, William Williams has a really interesting story about the future of the warehouses on Charlotte Avenue right before 440. I drive by them every day and they are really striking. And, yes, empty.

But something is in the works:

Holladay and Cassidy Turley principal Ronnie Wenzler — known for having teamed on the local Sawtooth Building and BowTruss Building projects — will call the adaptive reuse development The Sheds on Charlotte. Located at 2200 Charlotte Avenue, the 1940s-built row of corrugated metal sheds will be transformed into a light-filled office and retail complex linked with courtyards and offering free surface parking. Nashville-based Tuck-Hinton Architects will handle design work.

This is great news (with a bit of bad news attached — the TDOT building isn't structurally sound and can't be salvaged). That part of Charlotte is prime for development. It's very convenient to downtown and there's already been a lot of stuff happening on Charlotte closer to downtown. Plus the Richland Park area along Charlotte, which had been trying for quite a while to congeal into something, has finally started attracting new businesses that complement the funky stuff that was already there. And the new connector makes it super convenient to get from Charlotte to West End and opens up a lot of space that previously was just an industrial wasteland.

So, it's good to see people looking to fill that space with interesting projects that also try to respect the history of the area. And frankly, I think the concept art for the warehouses looks beautiful. The old purpose of the buildings is still obvious, and they're transformed into open, light, airy spaces. We get to keep historical structures and we get to give them a modern purpose. It's really great.

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