Brentwood’s ‘corner’ market

Monday, April 28, 2008 at 1:58am

A prominent Brentwood corner has been the target of attempts for a substantial mixed-use development of retail, residential, office and a hotel that would be a tax boon to the city if it could be built.

However, none of the developers circling Franklin Pike and Maryland Way have been able to make the deal work because of the prices being sought for the desired properties, real estate industry sources said.

Sources say Crosland Tennessee is possibly backing away from an option on the Tennessee Baptist Convention building directly at the corner of Franklin and Maryland Way, and the former Murray Inc. headquarters location next to the Baptist building has been in play as a possible mixed-use site.

“A final determination hasn't been made at this point,” said Bill Barkley, president of Crosland Tennessee.

Houston-based Hines Interests owns the Murray building, having bought it out of that company's bankruptcy nearly three years ago along with a warehouse in McKenzie. An option came with the building that allowed Hines to buy the underlying property.

Sources said Hines had considered a mixed-use development but that the developer has a lot on its plate elsewhere.

“Nobody seems to be able to make the numbers work on a 600,000 to 700,000 square-foot development,” said one source familiar the attempts.

Prices on both properties seem to be the sticking point. According to sources, Tennessee Baptist Convention wants to hefty price for its 80,000-square-foot building as does Hines for its property. Both properties sit on high-traffic corners in Brentwood.

"It's a sizable development," one real estate broker said the idea that had been considered. "But what a great corner."

Real estate brokers say that Brentwood needs the type development discussed for both sites.

If such a development moved forward, it could supplant the Brentwood Town Center idea the city approved last year for the east side of Franklin Pike closer to the Davidson County line. Real estate brokers say the number of landowners involved presents the biggest challenge for that idea.

Brokers point out that Brentwood lacks some of the amenities that serve most business areas, primarily restaurants such as a steakhouse and a higher-end hotel with meeting space.

A sewer moratorium was one obstacle to new development in Brentwood. But that is about to be lifted, developers said.

Brokers said redevelopment of the Baptist Convention and Murray sites likely wouldn't have as much trouble getting approved as developer John Cooper's rezoning of property at Virginia Way and Granny White Pike that increased the amount of square footage that could be built by 200,000 square feet.

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