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Amstar Sells $44M Retail Asset to TIAA-CREF, Lists 45-Acre Commercially Entitled Tract Cool Springs

9 Jul 2014, 9:15 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

HFF has announced the closing on the sale of the 95,000-square-foot Southside at McEwen, a high-end trophy grocery store located in the Nashville MSA. The commercial real estate and capital markets services provider marketed the Whole Foods-anchored property on behalf of the seller, Amstar. The sales team was led by managing directors Jim Hamilton and Richard Reid and senior managing director Mark Sixour.

Although HFF did not disclose the buyer, or the selling price, the Nashville Business Journal identified the new owner as Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association – College retirement Equities Fund. Commonly known as TIAA-CREF, the buyer is a Fortune 100 financial services organization and the leading provider of retirement to people employed in the academic, research, medical and cultural fields. TIAA-CREF paid $44.4 million for the Cool Springs, Tenn. asset.

Completed in 2012, Southside at McEwen was co-developed by Amstar and Southern Land Co. on the corner of West McEwen Drive and Mallory lane. Anchored by a 45,000-square-foot Whole Foods, the property is 97 percent leased and includes a tenant roster other high-end retailers such as lululemon, fab’rik, charming charlie, BrickTop’s and Mountain High Outfitters.

Southside of McEwen is part of the 93-acre McEwen mixed-use development in Franklin, Tenn.’s Cool Springs submarket. About 50 percent developed, McEwen comprises residential, retail, restaurant and office projects including the 175,000-square-foot McEwen Office building. Adjacent to the recently sold grocery store is a six-story, Class A office building  that was also developed by Amstar in partnership with Southern Land. HFF recently announced that it received the exclusive sales marketing contract for the 44.89-acre Northside at McEwen on behalf of seller Amstar. The undeveloped tract is currently entitled for 870,000 square feet of commercial space, 580 attached residential units and 150 hotel rooms.

“Northside at McEwen is located in Williamson County, the most affluent and fastest growing county in Tennessee,” says HFF Managing Director Jim Hamilton. “This offering represents one of the last opportunities to acquire this scale of undeveloped real estate in Cool Springs.”

The Cool Springs submarket is the dominant high-end business, shopping and entertainment district in the greater Nashville area.

Click here to read our Q&A with Southern Land VP of mixed-use development Michael L. McNally, Jr.

Image courtesy of Amstar


Model Homes Available at Crescent Communities’ Lockwood Glen

2 Jul 2014, 8:06 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Model homes have recently opened in Crescent Communities’ 220-acre master-planned community Lockwood Glen, announced the Charlotte-based developer. Located in Nashville’s historic Franklin suburb, one of the hottest submarkets in metro Nashville, the 220-acre master-planned community of Lockwood Glen is located close to Franklin’s business district and a short drive from downtown Nashville.

Located off the I-65 corridor, a mile south of Murfreesboro Road, Lockwood Glen comprises 384 single-family home sites. Crescent Communities acquired the land in late 2012, announcing plans to develop 384 single family homes and 240 apartment units, as previously reported. Nashville-based home builders Celebration Homes, Goodall Homes and Regent Homes committed to purchase the community’s first phase in early 2013. Overall, homes range between 1,800 and 4,500 square feet in size with prices ranging between the $200s and $500s. Regent Homes’ houses come in three- and four-bedroom configurations, ranging between 2,121 and 3,101 square feet and $316,900 and $454,900. Goodall Homes offers three-, four- and five-bedroom homes ranging between 2,070 and 4,165 square feet, selling for prices starting at $361,990 and going up to $456,990 for a five-bedroom four-bath house with two garages, covered patio, bonus room, flex room and loft.

The architecture of all the homes draws inspiration from Franklin’s historic vibe, creating a classic small town atmosphere. Community amenities include nature trails, 4,000 feet of frontage along Harpeth River, a 12-acre lake for fishing and canoeing, and expansive green areas. A resort-style swimming pool, playground, lakeside pavilion and pocket parks are also planned.

Brentwood, TN-based Pearl Street Partners LLC is the project manager.

Crescent Communities has been busy in the greater Nashville Area recently, kicking off preleasing at the 252-unit Crescent Cool Springs apartment community last week (Details here)

Image courtesy of Celebration Homes

252-Unit Crescent Cool Springs Kicks Off Preleasing

26 Jun 2014, 1:56 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Crescent Cool Springs, the 252-unit luxury apartment community in Nashville’s historic Franklin suburb, has started preleasing, announced developer Crescent Communities. The community, which sits on the corner of Carothers and Resource parkways, celebrated a soft opening in early June. Greystar is in charge of leasing.

Developed by Crescent Communities, the project received equity financing from Crescent Communities and CNL Growth Properties, Inc., while construction financing was provided by Fifth Third Bank. Summit Contractors handled building, with Littlejohn Engineering acting as civil engineer. Historical Concept handled concept design, Cline Design was the chosen architect, and Vignette Interior Design was in charge of interior design.

“The Franklin community strikes a perfect balance between big-city style and small-town charm, and we designed Crescent Cool Springs for people in search of that way of life,” said Ben Collins, vice president of the Carolinas and Tennessee for Crescent Communities’ multifamily group.

The community comprises studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom units featuring Energy Star stainless steel appliances, granite countertops, walk-in closets and washer and dryer. Apartments range between 765 square feet and 1,440 square feet and rent at rates between $1,235 and $2,580 per month.

Community amenities include an outdoor resort-style saltwater pool, outdoor fireplace, outdoor kitchen and grilling stations, fitness center with dedicated CrossFit gym and cardio and strength training circuit, 24-hour clubroom with catering kitchen, wine bar and entertainment lounge, business center equipped with Mac stations, Wi-Fi and Starbucks coffee bar, attached garages and car care center. The community has direct access to walking and biking trails and offers swift access to retail and over five million square feet of Class A office space.

Crescent Cool Springs is pursuing National Green Building Standard Bronze Level Certification.

Image courtesy of Crescent Communities and Crescent Cool Springs via Facebook

1,156-Car Parking Facility Will Rise Next to LEED Platinum Project

19 Jun 2014, 1:50 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Downtown Nashville is on its way to getting a swanky new parking lot that would boost downtown parking spaces by six percent—a welcome addition, as the Nashville Downtown Partnership estimates that 20,000 parking spaces are available in the downtown core, whereas 35,000 people work in the area with the city’s tourist influx making the parking shortage even more acute, reports the Nashville Business Journal.

In order to alleviate the parking shortage of the downtown core, the Metropolitan Development and Housing Authority (MDHA) has signed a memorandum of agreement with Nashville developer Tony Giarratana to purchase from the latter 0.8 acres of land for $9 million for a future parking facility. R.C.Matthews Contractor will build the $21.6 million structure which is expected to be up and running by late 2015. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the parking garage will offer 1,156 spaces and will be jointly designed by MDHA and Giarratana with EOA Architects at the helm. The facility, which will feature street-level retail, will be financed by Cleveland, Ohio-based Gates Group Capital Partners.

The 0.8 acres purchased by the MDHA, along with Giarratana’s remaining 0.4 acres are currently housing a surface parking lot of Premier Parking, which Giarratana co-owns. The site was intended to hold Signature Tower, the Southeast’s tallest skyscraper. The project was scrapped as the Great Recession hit. The Nashville developer then came up with the 505 CST project, a 750-foot skyscraper, that would be Nashville’s tallest if developed.

Although several versions of 505 CST have been imagined, from full residential to full commercial use and a mixture of the two, according to Giarratana Development’s website, 505 CST will be a mixed-use tower featuring 700,000 square feet of Class A office space, a 200-key, five-star hotel, a world-class conference center with 6,000-square-foot ballroom and 1,000-car underground parking facility. The project is set to feature a striking design with solar panels, two Skygardens, an under-floor air distribution system, which will contribute towards achieving the building’s targeted LEED Platinum certification. The development will also target meeting the energy goals of the 2030 Challenge, an international initiative pushing towards innovative energy efficient architectural practices and lowering energy consumptions to zero fossil fuel dependency by 2030.

Image courtesy of Giarratana Development


Hermitage Community Sold for $13.8M; 254-unit Estates of Brentwood Up for Sale

12 Jun 2014, 12:24 am

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Green Leaf at Hermitage

Green Leaf at Hermitage, a 261-unit asset, has been sold by Green Leaf Hermitage LLC, an affiliate of Danville, California-based equity firm Green Leaf Partners, reported Atlanta Citybizlist. The buyer, an affiliate of Old Tappan, New Jersey-based Spyglass Capital Partners, paid $13.8 million for the 5610 Old Hickory Blvd. property. The latter did not use a broker in the transaction, while the seller was represented by Brett Kingman, a director in Multi Housing Advisors’ (MHA) Atlanta office.

Built in 1973, Green Leaf at Hermitage comprises one, two- and three-bedroom units and amenities such as a fitness center, swimming pool, business center, picnic area and playground. The buyer is planning upgrades to both the interiors and exteriors of the low-rise property.

Green Leaf Partners acquired the 43,088-square-foot, 20-acre community in 2008 for $12.5 million, according to PropertyShark.com’s data.

Estates at Brentwood

In other apartment news, the 254-unit Estates at Brentwood has been put on the market by current owner Merion Realty Partners and is expected to sell within three months, reports the Nashville Business Journal. The garden-style apartment community is listed with Vincent Lefler, senior vice president of JLL’s Southeast Multi-Family Capital Markets Group. Lefler described the property to the Nashville Business Journal as a “super-exclusive high-end listing” that could very well set a new record in its age category.

The 20-year-old gated community is comprised of one-, two and three-bedroom apartments ranging between 851 and 1,407 square feet in size. Amenities include a pool with outdoor lounge and Wi-Fi, on-site storage units and fully equipped kitchens.

The property is currently managed by Merion Realty Management.

Image credits Green Leaf at Hermitage via Facebook and Estates at Brentwood via Facebook

Fifth Third Center Finds $90M Buyer, While Palmer Plaza Starts Looking For One

4 Jun 2014, 1:09 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Palmer Plaza

Palmer Plaza, the 284,000-square-foot office high-rise at the corner of 18th and West End Avenue, is set to go on the market due to the impending maturing of an outstanding loan on the property, reports The Tennessean. The 18-story West End office tower’s owner, entity Palmer Plaza Partners II, has close to $30 million in outstanding debt on the property, which matures in September 2015 and can be paid off by March 2016 without penalty. The ownership might also choose to refinance the loan, instead of selling the property. Real estate investment banking firm Eastdil Secured’s Atlanta office is expected to market the property.

Developed by the Alex S. Palmer-run Alex S. Palmer & Company, the namesake property offers 284,000 square feet of gross space with 15,970 square feet of space per floor. Amenities include an adjacent 700-space, nine-story parking garage, rooftop fitness center with sauna and sun deck and a three-story entrance lobby. The Class A office asset has efficiency features such as reflective glass curtain wall and computerized energy management system. It was designed by architecture firm Gould Turner Group PC.

According to The Tennessean, Palmer Plaza is 94 percent leased, anchor tenants including Marsh, Lend Lease and Bethel University.

Fifth Third Center

In other office news, the 490,276-square-foot Fifth Third Center in Nashville’s downtown is set to sell in June for around $90 million, reports the Nashville Business Journal. The property’s owner, Amstar Group, has selected a yet-to-be-disclosed buyer who will pay in the low- to mid-$180s per square foot for the asset, which Amstar purchased for $62 million in 2007.

Downtown’s fourth largest building, Fifth Third Center’s amenities include an underground parking facility, high-end men’s barber shop, executive shoe shine and a Starbucks. Close to 80 percent occupied, the 31-story tower’s tenant roster includes Fifth Third Bank’s Nashville headquarters, Loews Hotels Shared Services Headquarters, Deloitte and Sony/ATV Music Publishing. According to the Nashville Business Journal, the property is being marketed by Mike McDonald, managing director of Eastdil Secured’s Atlanta office

Images via Alex S. Palmer & Company and Fifth Third Center Nashville

Steadfast Buys Nashville Apartments for $35.2M

28 May 2014, 2:00 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Richland Falls

California-based Steadfast Income REIT continues its Tennessee apartment buying spree with the fourth purchase in the state and the third in metro Nashville in eight months. Steadfast’s latest acquisition is the 176-unit Village at Spring Hill, which it purchased for $14.2 million from Villages at Spring Hill LP, according to the Nashville Business Journal. Brentwood-based The Kirkland Co. brokered the $80,680 per unit sale. Located in Nashville’s Spring Hill submarket, the community comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments. According to apartmentguide.com the community’s amenities include a 24-hour fitness center with sauna, swimming pool, lighted tennis court, pet park, playground and picnic area with grills.

The California investor also purchased the 190-unit Richland Falls community in Murfreesboro, TN, paying $21 million for the community only two weeks ago. The newly constructed community comprises nine multi-story buildings totaling 190 one-, two- and three-story apartments averaging 1,026 square feet and average in-place rents of $892. Richland Falls comprises 18 acres, part of which has the ability of holding an additional 86-unit phase. Amenities include a fitness center, outdoor swimming pool, dog park, billiards lounge and business center.

“Steadfast Income REIT’s acquisition focus has been to focus on properties in flourishing markets,” said Ella Shaw Neyland, president of Steadfast Income REIT. “Murfreesboro and the Nashville area are high on national rankings for economic strength, attractiveness to business, population growth and job growth.”

Cantare at Indian lake

With the acquisition of Richland Falls and Village at Spring Hill, Steadfast now owns 67 communities in 11 Southern and Midwestern states. Barring the latest acquisitions, the company’s Nashville portfolio includes the 206-unit Cantare at Indian Lake, 90-unit Keystone Farms and 256-unit Audubon Park. According to The Tennessean, Steadfast picked up Cantare for $29 million, while Keystone was bought for $8.4 million.

Images via Facebook

Athena Companies Buys 100-Key Asset in Booming Nashville Hotel Market

22 May 2014, 1:49 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

MainStay Suites Brentwood/Nashville

Hunter Hotel Advisors recently advised on the sale of three MainStay Suites for Choice Hotels International in three secondary US markets: Nashville, Pittsburgh and Greenville, SC. All three hotels were acquired by regional investors, attracted to the extended stay model of prime location hotels. The total purchase price was $12.2 million, although the assets were sold individually. Athena Companies paid $4.6 million for the Nashville property, Shiv Hospitality paid $4.5 million for the Pittsburgh asset, while the Greenville MainStay was picked up for $3.1 million by Paragon Hotel Companies.

“Their robust interests in these assets reinforce the importance that investors place on strong locations even if they are in secondary markets,” said David Perrin, a senior associate at Hunter Hotel Advisors’ DC office and the broker of the transaction. According to Hunter Hotel Advisors, regional investors are fueling robust activity in secondary markets.

David Perrin

“Demand for well-located hotels in secondary markets is extremely high.” David Perrin told CPE. “Investors can produce high returns in markets other than New York and San Francisco, as long as the hotels are well positioned within the particular sub-market and they keep the property updated to compete with new supply.”

The new owners of the three recently sold properties are following this trend, planning full renovations to all rooms and public areas in order to upgrade the hotels to current Mainstay standards, which include a fully equipped kitchen, flat panel TVs and free high-speed internet.

The Nashville property currently features amenities such as a pool, fitness room and continental breakfast. The hotel, operating as MainStay Suites Brentwood/Nashville, comprises 100 keys.

According to David Perrin, Nashville is a prime example of a city whose suburbs are benefiting from an influx of investments to the city. “Nashville continues to be one of the hottest hospitality markets in the country,” Perrin told CPE. “Some are beginning to worry about the impact the large amount of new supply will have, but with the new convention center, a heavy focus on the Healthcare industry, and a strong University system, Nashville should not have a problem absorbing the new rooms coming into the market,” he added.

Images courtesy of Hunter Hotel Advisors and Ben Rose Photography

Starwood Plans to Fill Void of Full-Service Hotels in Downtown Nashville

14 May 2014, 4:10 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Music City Center

While Nashville’s swanky $600 million Music City Center has brought great profits for the local hotel market, especially in the downtown area, things aren’t working exactly as they should. More to the point, business isn’t as good as it could be for the year-old convention center. According to the Nashville Business Journal, in its first eight months of operation, the 1.2 million-square-foot convention center was passed over by no less than 16 massive conventions due to a shortage in downtown’s high-end hotel inventory. In fact, downtown Nashville would need up to 1,000 more full-service hotel keys in the downtown sector to adequately accommodate the sheer number of visitors brought in by the massive conventions Music City Center can hold.

That void could be partially filled by a 430-key The Westin Nashville, recently announced by Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. “Demand for this city is at a historic high. The addition of the Westin to our hotel package will help ensure our continued success,” said Butch Spyridon, president and CEO of the Nashville Convention & Visitors Corp., adding that “… a brand that is new to Nashville makes this a perfect fit. And the timing couldn’t be better.”

The Westin Nashville will rise across from Music City Center, to the right from the roundabout

Certainly the new hotel could not be located more conveniently to Music City Center, as it will be built at 100 Clark Place, right across from the new convention center on the Cokesbury site previously acquired for $8.2 million. Set to break ground this summer and open in early 2017, the hotel will be owned by Nashville Hospitality Capital, LLC and managed by Wischermann Partners, Inc.

The 430-key hotel will feature 25,800 square feet of state-of-the-art meeting and events facilities, a business center, the brand’s signature WestinWORKOUT fitness studio, a rooftop pool and lounge, an indoor pool, a full-service spa and a signature restaurant.

The hotel will also be within walking distance of the lower Broad, The Gulch, Ryman Auditorium, Bridgestone Arena and downtown’s myriad of shopping, dining and entertainment venues. Music Row, the Country Music Hall of Fame and The pantheon will also be easily accessible. Separated by less than eight miles from Nashville International Airport, The Westin Nashville will also offer access to the offices of KPMG, AT&T and Deloitte.

According to the Nashville Post, the Metro Development and Housing Agency design review committee has to approve the exterior design of the hotel before the project can move forward. The developer is expected to submit renderings soon.

Image via tvsdesign and Google Maps

$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

Wyndchase Aspen Grove Breaks Record with $83M Sale

8 Apr 2014, 1:08 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

An affiliate of Boston-based Berkshire Property Advisors has acquired Wyndchase Aspen Grove, paying $83 million, the highest price ever for one apartment community in the Metro Nashville, reports The Tennessean. Berkshire bought the 560-unit Franklin, TN apartment community from Dallas-based Crow Holdings and has taken over the management from Bell Partners. According to PropertyShark.com, the seller, operating as Ch Realty V/Wyndchase Lp paid $71.5 million for the community in September 2011. The real estate website’s market value assessment of the property for 2013 was a little over $60.5 million.

Located at 3100 Aspen Grove Drive in Nashville’s Franklin submarket, the 1997-built community sprawls on 60 acres of land overlooking a 36-hole championship golf course. Wyndchase Aspen Grove comprises one-, two- and three-bedroom units ranging between 708 square feet and 1,423 square feet.  Apartment features include an all-electric kitchen, breakfast bar, dishwasher, refrigerator, large walk-in closets, garden style tubs, patios or balconies, extra storage, nine-foot ceilings and oversized windows for copious amounts of sunlight.  Selected units even boats built-in bookshelves, attached garage and wood burning fireplaces.

The gated community boasts amenities such as a 36-hole championship golf course, two swimming pools, fitness studio with personal trainer, outdoor fireplace, pet park, children’s play area, cyber café, resident video library, business center, car care center, laundry facility, on-site recycling, on-site maintenance and easy access to shopping and Franklin’s historic areas.

Berkshire Property Advisors focuses on value-add opportunistic investments in the multifamily industry. The company owns or manages over 100 apartment communities with over 32,000 units located in 30 markets across the US.  Wyndchase Aspen Grove is Berkshire’s only apartment community in Tennessee.

Image via wyndchaseaspengroveapts.com

Centerline Arranges $10M Loan for 210-Unit Antioch Community

31 Mar 2014, 6:41 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Centerline Capital Group, a provider of real estate financing services for market-rate and affordable multifamily housing recently provided a $10.4 million Freddie Mac conventional loan to refinance Cedar Pointe Apartments, a 210-unit multifamily asset in the Greater Nashville Area. Borrower Cedar Pointe Properties, LTD will use the loan for capital improvements that will raise the asset’s collateral.

Located in Antioch, TN the garden-style low-rise apartment complex was built in 1988 with financing from $9.5 million in tax exempt bonds issued in 1985. Cedar Pointe Apartments comprises 11 two- and three-story residential structures and a leasing/clubhouse building. The community offers studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom apartments featuring 750, 800, 1,200 and 1,500 square feet of space. Rents start at $690 for studios and go up to $975 for three-bedroom two-bathroom units. All apartments feature walk-in closets, wood burning fireplaces, full washer and dryer connections, enclosed patio or balcony, high speed Wi-Fi and dishwashers. Community amenities include 365 open parking spaces, car care center, fitness center with personal trainer, tanning booth, lighted tennis court, outdoor swimming pool and hot tub, sun deck, barbecue grilling station, picnic area, walking trailers, playground, dog park, ping pong table, business center, coffee bar and movies.

According to Keith C. Morris, vice president, Mortgage Banking Group at Centerline the property enjoys a very stable occupancy rate. Cedar Pointe has been under the management of Alexander Properties Group, Inc. (APG) since 2003. APG currently manages 12 multifamily properties in the Southeastern US, totaling 1,934 units. In the Greater Nashville Area APG has a 580-unit managed portfolio which includes the Wynstone apartment community in Nashville.

“Cedar Pointe is located in a market that consistently supports demand for multifamily housing and offers a diversified economic base including healthcare services, professional services, and entertainment,” Morris added.

According to PropertyShark.com the 18-acre community’s market value was $9.2 million for 2012.

Image via cedarpointnashville.com


Walmart, Green Manufacturing Announced for Nashville Metro

24 Mar 2014, 2:00 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Retail giant Walmart will open another store in Metro Nashville, announced the city leaders of La Vergne, where the store is set to open.

Although not many details of the development have been released, the site of the store has been identified as the corner of Murfeesboro Road and Fergus Road. The La Vergne Planning Commission will vote on March 25 on subdividing the 45.15-acre lot into three parcels. If approval is received, Walmart will present a site plan to the commission. Walmart is expected to spur commercial activity in the area, attracting other retailers and restaurants. Furthermore, the store will create 400 new jobs. La Vergne, a town of just over 33,700, has been courting Walmart for three years.

According to wkrn.com, the store, a Walmart Supercenter, will open in the winter of 2016.

In other news, Vintage Heartland, a lingerie and apparel brand, is considering Nashville for the site of its first manufacturing facility. Set to open before the year is out, the eco-friendly facility will feature state-of-the-art automated machinery, digital printing and innovative design and patternmaking technology that will result in lower production costs. “There is only a 10%-20% price difference between manufacturing here and manufacturing overseas—with the right business model,” declared brand owner Kate Liegey.

Although the location and size of the new manufacturing facility has not been released, it is known that it will be energy-efficient and feature amenities such as an on-site wellness center and a garden with flexible hours. Vintage Heartland will hire over 100 workers, who will receive salaries higher than the industry average plus incentives. The company will also offer jobs for Nashville “Wounded Warriors.” The project has met with the approval of Bill Hagerty, the commissioner of Department of Economic and Community Development for Tennessee, the Nashville Mayor’s office and Start Up Tennessee.

Image via lavergnetn.gov


Viking Partners Pays $16M for Suburban Shopping Center

16 Mar 2014, 3:17 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

Cincinnati-based private equity real estate firm Viking Partners LLC has announced the acquisition of two high-potential shopping centers: Bluebonnet Parc in Baton Rouge, LA and Jackson Downs in Nashville, TN, spending $37.35 million.

Both properties are in accordance with Viking Partners’ acquisition strategy that targets value-add real estate assets in the $2 million to $50 million range in Midwest or Southeast locations. Furthermore, both locations are situated in affluent suburban areas with feasible demographics and stable or growing, high traffic areas.

Nashville’s Jackson Downs, purchased for $16.1 million, integrates well into this strategy. According to a company news release, Viking will seek to add value by implementing aggressive management and leasing, as well as renovating the property. The almost 135,000-square-foot shopping center could also be expanded, with development on an adjacent parcel. Located on 16 acres off Lebanon Pike, Jackson Downs is shadow-anchored by Target and Kohl’s. Its own tenant roster includes Marshall’s, Office Max, GameStop, Party City, Pier One, CATO and Dollar Tree.

The 135,367-square-foot Bluebonnet Parc in Baton Rouge was picked up for $21.25 million. As previously reported, Bluebonnet was acquired from an affiliate of Retail Properties of America Inc., a national self-managed REIT.  According to The Tennessean, Viking affiliate Viking Partners Fund II LLC  picked up Jackson Downs from entity Jackson Downs II E&A LLC.

Viking Partners has acquired, developed, leased or managed over four million square feet of commercial retail properties valued at over $450 million.

Image courtesy of Viking Partners

Luxury Assisted Living Project Proposed for Franklin

10 Mar 2014, 3:30 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

The Villas at Canterfield

Atlanta-based Medical Development Corp., a family-owned development and management company specializing in senior housing and hospitality, is eyeing Franklin for a luxury hotel-style assisted living center, reported the Franklin Home Page.

The $15 million facility is being proposed for Moores Lane, on an 18.35-acre site previously zoned for such a development. Dubbed Canterfield at Franklin, the development will comprise 71 assisted living units in a mostly three-story structure, with the 20-unit memory care department located in a one-story wing. Five one-story independent living villas and 8,000 square feet of commercial retail space are also included in the developer’s plans.

Although set to be developed on an appropriately zoned site, Canterfield at Franklin still has to be reviewed and approved by the Franklin Municipal Planning Commission, as it substantially differs from the project proposed in 2007, reports the Franklin Home Page. Canterfield would comprise 8,000 square feet of commercial retail space and a 67,000-square-foot assisted living facility, occupying a total of 6.5 acres with commercial development. By comparison the previous plan site consisted of a 97,000-square-foot assisted living facility and 40,000 square feet of commercial and retail space.

Most of the site, except Medical Development Corp’s project and a one-acre retail outparcel, will be left undeveloped as open space.

The developers have recently completed two similar centers: The Villas at Canterfield in Cumming, Ga and Canterfield of Oak Ridge, in Oak Ridge, TN. Both facilities offer independent living, as well as assisted living, including memory care. Both developments are 67,000 square feet in size offering 91 total units with 20 or 18 memory care units. Apartments range from studio to one- and two-bedroom units. Community amenities include fitness room, theater, beauty salon, library, formal dining room, game room, lounge, multi-purpose room and landscaped grounds.

Image courtesy of The Villas at Canterfield via Facebook

Belk to Spend $12M on CoolSprings Galleria Renovation and Expansion

3 Mar 2014, 4:05 pm

By Eliza Theiss, Associate Editor

CoolSprings Galleria

Charlotte-based Belk, Inc. has announced plans for a grand $12.6 million renovation and expansion project for one of its Nashville stores, which will turn the location into the brand’s flagship in the metro Nashville region. The project will focus on Belk’s CoolSprings Galleria store in the Nashville submarket of Franklin.

Kicking off in October 2014, the first phase of the project will include the construction of a new 50,000-square-foot men’s and children’s store on the first level of a former Sears building at CoolSprings Galleria. Set to be complete in March 2015, the move will increase selling space and merchandise variety. Phase two will kick off in February 2015 and will entail the complete renovation and upgrade of the main store. Set to wrap up by October 2015, this phase will also entail the relocation of Belk’s home merchandise department, currently set up in two separate stores in the mall. The home merchandise department will take up 18,000 square feet in the main store’s second floor. The relocation of the menswear and children’s department will also free up a significant amount of space in the store’s main location, which in turn will allow for expansions and upgrades at the women’s apparel, accessories and cosmetics department. Upon completion, Belk, the mall’s anchor tenant, will boast a total of 185,000 square feet at the mall. Belk acquired the CoolSprings Galleria store in 2006.

CoolSprings Galleria is owned by CBL & Associates Properties, Inc. and TIAA-CREF and features 1,117,125 square feet of gross leasable area in a catchment area of over 891,000. Opened in 1991, the mall underwent renovation in 2006. CBL also purchased the former Sears building in mid-2013 with the intent to redevelop and expand the space for high-end retailers. The deal included two Sears stores: one at CoolSprings Galleria in Franklin, TN and one at the Fayette Mall in Lexington, KY, two of CBL’s most profitable malls.

Photo courtesy of CBL Properties via Facebook