Wednesday, September 11, 2013

It City Real Estate News: Vintage Apartments Threatened; Hill Moving Forward on Charlotte

Posted By on Wed, Sep 11, 2013 at 12:59 PM

Over at the NashvillePost, William "Bill Dazzle" Williams brings news that an apartment building on Elliston — built in 1916 — could be the latest victim of Nashville's nextification:

Two sources, both of which asked to go unnamed, said a large-scale retail and residential development is being planned for the site and that two nearby strip centers may be in play. Of note, The Mayfair, a small vintage apartment building that anchors the southwest corner of 23rd and Elliston, apparently would not be affected.

As of today, a crane was at the site of the three-story courtyard building ... which is located in the 2300 block of Elliston Place. The property is fenced off, with the crane seemingly to accommodate a wrecking ball. To date, Metro has issued no permit.

Grace Development Inc. owns the site, along with a generic retail strip center (home to a Jersey Mike’s) to the west of the apartment building and a similar nondescript center located to the south. That retail building fronts West End Avenue and is recognized for its large Office Depot space.

Here's a map:


The folks at the Metro Historical Commission don't seem too keen on it:

“It scares me how quickly we are going down this road,” Walker said. “If we continue to tear down everything of architectural value, we’ll soon have no sense of identity or place in our city."

In 2000, you may recall, there was a big battle a few blocks west as folks tried to save The Jacksonian from the wrecking ball. They failed, and now there's a Walgreens there, because Lord knows if there's one thing the west side needed, it was another drug store.

Obviously, this is in the early stages, but we'll keep an eye on.

In other It City real estate news, H.G. Hill impresario Jimmy Granbery has apparently decided to move forward on H.G. Hill's Sylvan Heights project.

In a piece on Charlotte Avenue for The City Paper, I wrote:

One of the biggest landowners in this stretch is H.G. Hill Realty Co. That's no surprise, as Hill is one of the biggest landowners on dozens of stretches across the city. The company's property holdings here, though, differ from some others. For starters, it's not on the "going home side" of Charlotte. The holdings stretch from the railroad tracks, over 40th Avenue and up to 39th — but on the south side of the street. It doesn't follow the old Hill mantra — that grocery stores should be on the side of the road most accessible for homeward-bound commuters. The Hill company started assembling properties here in 1926 — there was once a grocery; it didn't survive, perhaps because it was on the wrong side of the road — and finally completed the assemblage in May 2010. "It's not an urgent situation," Hill Realty CEO Jimmy Granbery understated in an interview last summer.

Granbery said there are plans for this stretch — undisclosed plans — and it's a matter of when and not if those plans will come to fruition.

Today, though, it's still car washes and check cashers, steady payers of rent to the Hill empire, vestiges of the once and current Charlotte.

If the momentum for Charlotte's redevelopment didn't come from downtown, urban observers expected it would come from Hill — the company whose Hill Centers have driven development in sites across the city.

Across the street, Climb Nashville is readying its new gym on a vacant overgrown lot (between two car lots, of course, and across from, of course, an auto parts store). For once, Hill looks like it's late to the redevelopment party.

Here's a Post piece from 2010 on Hill finally putting that assemblage together (after 80 years).

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