A building once slated to be the home of a major East Nashville mixed-use development is on course for a new future.
800 Main St., the four-decade-old former home of a Bank of America processing center, has been vacant for years and a recently pulled building permit described it as “severely vandalized and infested with vagrants.”
Nashville-based Double A Development said in 2008 it had plans to build a 300-unit apartment complex  with 25,000 square feet of retail space on the site. But Adam Leibowitz, a Double A principal, said Thursday the recession forced a change of plans and now permits have been pulled to gut the building, a step toward its new use as commercial and office space.
He said it was disappointing not to follow the original plans, but he thinks the conversion of the building will be a jolt to the area nonetheless.
“It was a matter of the unfortunate economic conditions,” he said. “These larger-scale projects were not feasible. But, we are sitting on 110,000 square feet. Why tear that down to build a major multi-family project when there’s an adaptive reuse,” he said. “If we can breathe life into the building, it’ll breathe life into the area.”
Leibowitz said there’s no strict timeline to have work completed, but he decided to move forward with the gutting because he’s getting “more and more” calls about leasing space inside.
Rumors in East Nashville are that a Piggly Wiggly grocery store will occupy the space, but Leibowitz said he is “unaware of any interest from Piggly Wiggly.”
“We are just rehabbing the existing building. It’s in phenomenal shape. It has the structural integrity of a parking tower,” he said.
As new businesses and residents have moved into East Nashville, Main Street and Gallatin Road have been frequently cited as corridors of possibility.
Kenny Byrd, president of the Historic Edgefield Neighborhood Association, said Main Street can become an “amazing gateway” for the city.
“Main Street needs to transform, we all agree with that,” he said, adding that it’s important the right kind of development come to the area.
“Something there is better than nothing."