Stahlman work to begin soon

Tuesday, November 2, 2004 at 11:00pm

Full-scale renovation work to convert downtown's historic Stahlman Building to apartments will begin soon as the developer is both finalizing a redesign and preparing to purchase the Metro-owned property within the next few weeks.

With the redesign, Stahlman Redevelopment Partners LLC will be eligible for the tax credits, approval for which the National Parks Service will oversee.

"We're actually going to end up with a better product," said Marty Heflin, who teams with Bert Mathews to comprise SRP.

Heflin said the amount of historic tax credits available would be tied to overall construction dollars. That figure, he said, has not been finalized.

In addition, Heflin said SRP and Metro are nearing an agreement that will allow Stahlman residents to park in the future Public Square/Metro Courthouse underground parking lot, slated to open at about the same time (late 2005/early 2006) Stahlman will be completed. Parking considerations (the Stahlman project was announced before the underground lot was approved) resulted in a start delay.

"We hope to have [an agreement] finalized in the next week or so and then close on the building shortly thereafter," Heflin said.

Nashville-based Everton Oglesby Architects is the project designer.

Sheila Dial, EOA's lead architect on the project, said the original plan internalized the building's corridor system, incorporating the corridors into the units.

"We are now keeping the existing corridor system," Dial said. "Now the public can see the original layout of the building, and each unit will be accessed from the corridor system.

"We'll lose some square footage from the corridor system rework, but we think the historical character gained will offset that," Dial added.

The Metro Development and Housing Agency, which is assisting the city in the transaction, first announced it would seek redevelopment of the Stahlman Building in July 2001. The building last housed various city government and court offices, and has sat empty for roughly one year.

"I think we'll get a superior design out of this exercise," said Phil Ryan, MDHA executive director.

R.C. Mathews Contractor will be the general contractor.

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