Most Nashvillians know Music City’s hottest growth pockets — The Gulch, downtown and midtown come to mind rapidly, as do Green Hills and 12South, among others.
But 8th Avenue South has quietly made its own strides, and may be poised for big changes.
“It could be an amazing corridor. It has a lot of potential,” said Aaron White, president of Core Development. “I think what people want is responsible development, well thought-out development.”
Watchers of the corridor are waiting to learn what will happen to the one-acre property formerly home to The Chute, a local iconic bar catering to Nashville’s gay community that recently closed after nearly 25 years in business.
The City Paper has learned that at least one group of investors is working to purchase the property, which is currently owned by Parks Investment of Nashville and valued at $839,800 by the Davidson County Tax Assessor. Located a few blocks south of Wedgewood Avenue and Douglas Corner, changes at the property could ripple out to affect much of the corridor.
Breeze Hill flux
Another property in flux is the area locally known as “Breeze Hill,” located behind the Kroger grocery store at 2625 Franklin. Zoned for many years as commercial shopping center space, the area was recently approved for rezoning by the Metro Planning Commission to accommodate a residential project proposed by White’s company, Core Development. The project would include 60 cottage-style, single-family homes surrounding shared courtyards, plus 30 town homes, White said.
The proposed rezoning is currently stalled in Metro Council and may remain so indefinitely, but development of Breeze Hill remains on the minds of residents of nearby neighborhoods, including Sunnyside and 12South.
Another big change for the corridor is the recent announcement of Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s leasing of 100 Oaks, which developer Bill Hostettler of Craighead Development LLC said is already affecting growth on Eighth Avenue.
VUMC has set an anticipated occupancy date of July 2008. More than 1,000 staff members are expected to work from 100 Oaks, and for the space to accommodate a patient flow of about 2,000 per day. Clinics to be moved to the facility include cardiology, breast center, obstetrics and gynecology, dermatology, bariatrics, an imaging and laboratory center, the pain clinic, neurodiagnostics, pharmacy, pediatrics, cytogenetics and rehabilitation.
“[The corridor] is more affordable than Green Hills, and just as conveniently located,” Hostettler said. “It’s just convenient to everything. And now, with Vanderbilt moving in, it’s going to get even better.”
Though Hostettler says there is plenty of room for growth in the area, residential developments have been booming in the area for the past few years and continue to do so. Hostettler’s company has completed 470 condos in the last six years within half a mile of the corridor, plus 43 units in nearby Berry Hill. He recently relocated his office to the area. And all the residences his company has built in the area have been sold before completion, Hostettler said, with the demographic primarily made up of young professionals.
“People are calling and wanting to buy things now,” Hostettler said.