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$95M Sale of Elliston 23 Breaks All Records in Nashville Apartment Market

7 May 2014, 8:05 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Franklin, TN-based Southern Land Company has announced the sale of Elliston 23 Apartments to Dayton, OH-based The Connor Group for $95.1 million. The sale broke several records—it’s the highest price paid for one apartment community by The Connor Group, the highest price paid for one apartment community in the Nashville market, and the highest price per-unit sale in the state of Tennessee. At over $287,000 per unit, it surpassed previous record holder Vista Germantown by over $65,000 per unit.

The Silver LEED-certified mixed-use development in the Elliston Place block of Nashville was owned by 2300 Elliston Place LLC, a joint venture comprised of Southern Land Company and institutional investors advised by J.P. Morgan Asset Management. The property was originally listed on the market in mid-February and garnered significant interest prior to the final offer. Southern Land served as developer, architect, general contractor and property manager for Elliston 23, which had a price tag of $60 million.

Completed in late 2013, Elliston 23 features 331 luxury residential units and 15,000-square feet of commercial space. The community offers 20 different one- and two-bedroom floor plans ranging between 554 and 1,363 square feet. At an average rental rate of $2.20 per square-foot, rents range between $1,300 and $3,000. At the time of closing, E23 boasted a 75 percent occupancy and 82 percent leasing rate for an averaged lease-up speed of over 30 units per month.

Amenities at the luxury community include a 2,000-square-foot heated saltwater pool (Nashville’s largest), 1,000-square-foot fitness center, six-floor parking garage, dog park, game room, two landscaped courtyards, grilling stations, controlled access and a resident lounge which hosts the live tweeting parties of the cast of hit TV series Nashville, Southern Land told MHN.  Other neat facts MHN found out? Elliston 23 is the only Nashville property with exposed concrete ceiling and walls and the benches in front of the property are made out of repurposed stone. Due to Southern Land CEO Tim Downey’s wishes to preserve some of the history of the Father Ryan High School, which occupied E23’s site between 1928 and 1991, the stone was sourced from the previous structure. E23 boasts a walk score of 92.

The 15,000-square-foot street-level retail component is also fully leased to local and national retailers such as Dunkin Donuts, Massage Envy, Jamba Juice, Fresh To Order, Nama Sushi Bar, Juel Salon and Dailey Method (barre), some of which established their first Tennessee locations at E23.

Sitting on three acres of some of the most desirable land in Nashville, the six-story luxury apartment is located at the center of the “eds and meds” job base afforded by three major hospitals (Vanderbilt Medical Center, Centennial Hospital and Baptist Hospital) and Vanderbilt University campus. Also within walking distance are the 132-acre Centennial Park, the Centennial Sportsplex and the dynamic West End Avenue commercial corridor with its myriad dining, shopping and entertainment venues.

The purchase of Elliston 23 is The Connor Group’s second foray in the Nashville market, after the $60.5 million purchase of Ashton Brook in 2013.

The “Day in the life” promo video of E23, created by Southern Land Marketing Manager of Multifamily Operations Morgan Porter and Glenn Sweitzer of Fresh-Design, received a 2014 Telly award.

Click here to read the MHN interview with Southern Lands’ VP of mixed-use development Michael McNally

Images courtesy of Southern Land Company



$598M Music City Center Earns LEED Gold

30 Apr 2014, 4:00 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Music City Center, Nashville’s brand-new $598 million convention center, has been awarded LEED Gold Certification for New Construction by the U.S. Green Building Council.

The 1.2 million-square-foot facility boasts a 20 percent lower energy consumption than conventionally designed facilities of similar size thanks to a variety of green features, among them an 845-panel, 211-kilowatt solar array, high-efficiency HVAC system and energy-conserving LED lighting equipped with occupancy and photo sensors and dimmable ballasts. One of the most striking green features of Music City Center is the four-acre green roof that helps reduce the heat island effect as well as the center’s energy consumption by insulating the facility. It also provides a natural habitat for plants, insects and wildlife in the urban core of Nashville. At 175,000 square feet, the green roof is the Southeast’s largest. A water management system comprised of, among other features, low-flow fixtures, rainwater irrigation and a 360,000-gallon rainwater harvest and recycling system reduces the center’s water consumption by 40 percent. Other green features include using low-emitting VOC materials, 90 percent recycled glass, locally sourced building supplies and diverting at least half of the waste towards recycling. The project is also a brownfield redevelopment.

The sustainable development is the result of a collaboration between Nashville Mayor Karl Dean, architecture firms tvsdesign, Tuck-Hinton Architects and Moody Nolan, Inc. and the construction team composed of Clark Construction, Bell & Associates Construction and Harmony Construction Group. In addition, 130 local, small and/or disadvantaged businesses were involved in building Music City Center. A total of 7,800 workers were employed on the site.

Since opening in May 2013, Music City Center has hosted over 250 events with an economic impact of $125 million and has spurred over $1 billion in new developments in the SoBro neighborhood.

Image courtesy of tvsdesign



Virgin Hotels Plans 240-Key Location on Music Row

23 Apr 2014, 7:54 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The now demolished Victorian mansion

Virgin Group’s lifestyle hotel brand Virgin Hotels has announced plans to open and operate a new hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. Set to rise on Nashville’s famed Music Row, the hotel is expected to open in 2016 and will be managed by Virgin Hotels. The new hotel will be developed by local businessman David Chase, executive vice president of D.F. Chase Inc., a national construction services firm.

Although many of the details of the 240-key project have yet to be disclosed, the future hotel’s location is being regarded as its most defining characteristic: One Music Row, the start of Nashville’s iconic entertainment industry hub. The setting is also the inspiration of one of the distinctive features of the hotel: a cutting-edge recording studio. Other amenities include food and beverage outlets, several concept suites, and according to the Nashville Business Journal, a fitness center, spa, meeting rooms, a rooftop venue and a parking facility.

According to the Nashville Business Journal, NV Music Row LLC, an entity headed by David Chase, has started assembling the necessary land for the project, making three Music Row purchases for a total worth of $6.35 million. Among the acquisitions was 1 Music Square West, which fetched $3.18 million. The site was until very recently the home of one the oldest structures on Music Row, a 6,605-square-foot Victorian brick mansion, reported the Nashville Post. The six-bedroom single family home built in 1870 was razed a few days ago. The home avoided demolition in 2007, after plans for a $52 million office and residential condo project fell through.

Virgin Hotels Nashville is the brand’s third announced location, after New York and Chicago. The city’s strong cultural and musical heritage, paired with its recent economic growth, contributed to its selection as a Virgin Hotels city.

Image via Google Maps



Highwoods Inks 91KSF Lease in Brentwood

16 Apr 2014, 8:09 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Raleigh, NC-based Highwoods Properties has signed a 91,000-square-foot long-term lease at Highwoods Plaza II in Nashville with a current customer. The lease represents a 32,000-square-foot net expansion for the undisclosed customer, while also accessing an additional ten years of lease term.

The space was part of LifePoint Hopsitals’ recently vacated offices at Highwoods Plaza II. This latest lease, paired with another recently secured contract for 13,000 square feet, leaves 29 percent of LifePoint’s previous square footage vacant. According to a news release, Highwoods is in negotiations for the remaining 43,000 square feet of space.

In February 2014 LifePoint relocated its operations from Highwoods Plaza II to a seven-story Class A built-to-suit office tower at The Shops at Seven Springs. LifePoint’s new 203,000-square-foot home was developed and is owned by Highwoods.

Located in the Maryland Farms Office Park in Nashville’s Brentwood submarket, Highwoods Plaza II comprises 102,121 square feet of space across four floors. Built in 1997, the property is ENERGY Star certified and boasts several more eco-conscious features, such as high-efficiency lighting and HVAC drives, green cleaning and a recycling program.

“Nashville continues to be one of our best performing markets,” President and CEO of Highwoods Properties Ed Fritsch commented, adding, “The Brentwood submarket, where Highwoods Plaza II is located, is very strong, with vacancy of 6% at March 31.”

Although Colliers International’s data is slightly more conservative, it still reports a healthy 6.7 percent vacancy rate for the submarket, the fifth lowest within metro Nashville. Brentwood’s average asking rent rate of $23.25 per square foot is the fourth highest within the market.

Image courtesy of Highwoods Properties

Chart via Colliers International



Vista Germantown Sold for Record $53M

14 Apr 2014, 1:42 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Nashville’s apartment market is reaching for the stars, with two record-breaking sales inked just a few days apart. Following the recent $83 million sale of Wyndchase Aspen Grove, which broke the per-community price record (details here), the $53.25 million sale of Vista Germantown set a new record in the per-unit price category, reported the Nashville Post, as it was sold for a cool $220,041 per apartment. That’s $10,000 per unit more than previous record holder West End Nashville.

Vista Germantown Apartments LP, an affiliate of Canadian institutional investor Avison Young Inc., acquired the 242-unit community from Ohio-based Associated Estates Realty Corp. affiliate AERC Bristol Germantown JV. The latter co-developed Vista Germantown with Franklin-based Bristol Development Group, an entity that sold its ownership in 2010 for over $6.7 million. California-headquartered Hancock Real Estate Strategies and Nashville-based The Kirkland Co. marketed the property on behalf of AERC.

As previously reported, Vista Germantown was expected to be a record-breaking deal if it sold before 331-unit Elliston 23, another high-profile Nashville apartment project on the market. Elliston 23 is expected to be bought at a per-unit price in the high $200,000s.

Opened in 2012 and developed at a $32 million cost, the Vista Germantown luxury apartment complex is located in Nashville’s historic Germantown district. It features 242 one- or two-bedroom units, each with uniquely designed floor plans and amenities such as stainless steel appliances, oversized closets and granite kitchen counters. Community amenities include a five-story parking deck, resort-style saltwater pool, 24-hour fitness center, bike storage areas, electric car charging stations, grilling are and firepit.

Image via the Vista Germantown Facebook page