Thursday, March 31, 2011

West Nashville Farmers Market opens this weekend

The West Nashville Farmers Market is set to begin it's second full season at Richland Park. Everything from fresh veggies and meats to homemade pies can be found under the tents that crop up every Saturday between the Richland Park Library and the playground.

This Saturday, April 2nd is the first weekend of the market. Be sure to stop by and support local businesses!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Revised site design for West Precinct gives Richland Creek a lot of breathing room

When Metro Nashville decided to purchase the Bob Frensley Ford dealership on Charlotte Ave. for its brand new West Precinct police station, there were many who voiced opposition to the decision. What caused most of the angst was the proposed site plan, that many felt did not include an adequate buffer for Richland Creek. But when the great flood of May 1 transformed Richland Creek into a raging river which washed right through the abandoned property, it made the planners think twice about how to site this new police station.

One voice that shouted louder than most, was that of RCWA (Richland Creek Watershed Alliance). And while the flood probably did enough to persuade the planners to build responsibly, RCWA was there every step of the way to be sure they followed through. In RCWA's latest newsletter, the Creekvoice, details of the revised site plan show that the proposed stream buffer is now set at an average of 94 feet wide with a total length of 575 feet. This buffer is more than what RCWA had hoped for when they initially suggested to return the buffer to a minimum width of 75 feet.

While it is unfortunate that it took a catastrophic flood to persuade the planners to build sustainably, it is great to see that a portion of Richland Creek's natural stream buffer will be restored.

You can read the whole story here.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Charlotte Avenue will be a major link in Music City Bikeway

The long awaited Music City Bikeway – a bicycle route that will connect Percy Warner Park to Percy Priest Dam – lacks construction on just a small portion of its 30 mile stretch before it reaches completion.

From the Public Works website:
The planned bicycle route will utilize a combination of greenway trails, bike lanes, park roads, and signed-shared roads to create bicycle connections between major parks, densely populated neighborhood areas, and downtown Nashville. When complete this bike route will cover a total distance of approximately 30 miles. Currently, bicycle facilities exist on about 2/3 miles of the route. The next major phase to be constructed between White Bridge Road and Percy Warner Park will begin in 2011. Upon completion, the route will be designated by special Music City Bikeway signs to direct users.

According to the site, Charlotte Avenue is included on a significant stretch of the bikeway under the currently proposed route. As the bikeway approaches downtown Nashville before crossing the Cumberland, the planned route will hook up with Charlotte Avenue at 46th Avenue North. The plan calls for bike lanes along the entire stretch of Charlotte (which currently do not exist), and then becoming a signed shared roadway at 15th Avenue. From there, the route turns right on 11th Avenue and takes riders towards Demonbreun to eventually cross the Shelby Street bridge over the Cumberland River.

The Public Works website states that construction bids are to be solicited this spring for the section between Percy Warner Park and White Bridge Road, which includes mainly bike lanes and signed shared routes. No word on when and if plans are in place to add a dedicated bike lane to Charlotte Avenue in the wake of the bikeway's completion.

To learn more about this project, click here.

Monday, March 14, 2011

The future of Charlotte Avenue's medical district

While it isn't officially referred to as the "medical district", the stretch of Charlotte Avenue from I-440 to 18th Avenue, is housed predominately by health care entities. Nashville's major hospitals are in close proximity as is health care giant HCA. As reported earlier, some new developments are in the works that will further solidify this stretch of Charlotte Avenue as the destination for health care in Nashville.

While no detailed plans have been released, they are currently in the works, and below is just a glimpse into the areas that will be affected by these new projects.

As a result of the recent land swap between HCA and Nashville, a new public health center to replace the aging Lentz Health Center will be built on the tract of land between 25th and 26th Avenues on the north side of Charlotte. According to reports, the new health center will be LEED certified. As of yet, there is no news on when this project is supposed to break ground.

On a larger scale, Healthcare REIT completed a 16 acre tract of land with the purchase of the vacant office building that sits at 3000 Charlotte Avenue. Plans are in the works for a mixed use development that will sit very near the proposed 28th Avenue Connector. Nashville based Civil Site Design Group is working on plans for the mixed use development. Also no news on when this project is supposed to break ground.

Friday, March 11, 2011

H.G. Hill poised to make impact on Charlotte

H.G. Hill Realty, who has been one of Nashville's most visible developers of late, could one day make an impact on Charlotte Avenue. H.G. Hill has developed Hill Centers in Green Hills, Belle Meade and West Nashville and is soon to break ground on a mixed use development on Broadway and Division.

H.G. Hill owns two prominent parcels of land along Charlotte:

Charlotte Avenue & 40th Avenue North

H.G. Hill owns all of the vacant land as well as the abandoned warehouse in the background and last year purchased the car wash and cash advance location to complete the parcel. Total area is approximately 8 acres. In a published online Q&A with CEO Jimmy Granbery, he states this about the property at 40th Avenue:

"We've assembled a piece of property on Charlotte on the west side of Nashville near the old car wash (40th and Charlotte), maybe 8 acres. It would probably be commercial with maybe some residential behind it, maybe single-family, maybe some condos or apartments."

Charlotte Avenue & White Bridge Road

With the near completion of the TDOT project at White Bridge and Interstate 40, this major intersection is prime for some redevelopment. H.G. Hill owns the real estate on the northeast corner of the intersection, which currently houses another cash advance location and a tire shop. In a recent article in the Nashville Business Journal, Mr. Granbery suggested that it may be time to move forward with something else on the property once the lease expires on the current tenants in 2012. The article can be read here in its entirety.

While none of this news is of anything concrete or current, it is good news that a prominent developer such as H.G. Hill is present and sees the potential for Charlotte Avenue.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Crosland to be a player in North Gulch?

Yesterday's business news brought yet another sign that developers are showing interest in Charlotte Avenue.


"According to Davidson County property records, North Charlotte Avenue Holdings has purchased a 0.4-acre commercial site at 1100 Charlotte Ave. for $1.3 million. North Charlotte Avenue Holdings is a land fund created by Crosland and equity partner Northwestern Mutual."

Crosland has been slowly scooping up property over the past few years in what has been called the "North Gulch". As of now, there are no details coming from Crosland on what they plan to do with the more than 30 acres of land they now own in the area. However, Senior Vice President of Crosland Tennessee, Burgin Dossett stated that they do not plan to sell the land, but rather develop it in the next five years or so.

Below is a screen shot of the property, which includes the temporary Greyhound Bus Station.

To read the rest of the article, click below:

After long break, Crosland buys another site near the Gulch | Nashville Business Journal

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Rumor mill...

Lavender Motors (4408 Charlotte Ave), one of the many used car lots that sit on Charlotte Avenue, recently closed up shop and went on the market. As of last week, there is now a SOLD sign in the window.

Let me preface this by saying it is only a rumor, but there is speculation that the property is going to be rehabbed and a restaurant could be going in. If that is the case, it would no doubt set a tone for the rest of the corridor; that there is success to be had along this stretch of Charlotte. Folks living in nearby Sylvan Park and Sylvan Heights are looking for other options for watering holes, and the Charlotte/46th Avenue area is the place to get the ball rolling.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Shaking off the dust...

It's been almost two years since our last post.

And there are plenty of reasons as to why this blog has been abandoned for so long...

First off, I am the sole author, and playing dad to two baby boys and running a design business out of my home has not allowed me to devote the time I once did to this effort.

Secondly, as a result of the stagnant economy, there hasn't been much development or investment along Charlotte, or anywhere else for that matter. But slowly and surely, progress is starting to crop up like the daffodils that are just starting to peek through the thawed ground.

There is much to discuss - and while most of this may be old news to most, I find it important to recap the progress that's been made thus far as well, as a few set backs.

Here are some of the biggest stories affecting Charlotte Avenue over the past two years...

The catastrophic flood of May 1, 2010 will live in the memories of Nashvillians for a long time to come. Lives were lost and countless homes and businesses were devastated in what was probably Nashville's worst natural disaster to date. Richland Creek, which crosses Charlotte Avenue near 53rd Avenue, swelled well beyond it's banks and even filled a stone quarry in a matter of hours a few miles north. Many homes and businesses along the creek's floodplain were pummeled by the flood waters. Thankfully, most businesses along Charlotte have since recovered and the hope is that the flood will be a sign to any future development near the creek to be thoughtful and sustainable.

Anchoring the far west side of Charlotte, Nashville West continues to thrive with the addition of a new Hill Center that includes a Publix and Bank of America. A new park, and a plethora of new restaurants and retail shops have opened up including, Buffalo Wild Wings, NY Pie, IHOP, and Firehouse Subs to name a few. Chik-Fil-A plans to open a location along Annex Avenue by late summer, which would be the first stand alone location of the popular fast food chain to set up shop in Nashville proper (There are "mini-Chik-Fil-As" in the AT&T building downtown as well as on the campus of Lipscomb University).

Nashville made the police at the West Precinct happy when it purchased the former Ford dealership at 5500 Charlotte Avenue with plans to build a new and improved headquarters and DNA lab. Unfortunately, the May flood inflicted damage on the property which will more than likely delay the initial grand opening of September 2011. A demolition permit was recently issued, and work has begun on the site. However, as a result of the flood and the property's proximity to Richland Creek, the revised plan no longer includes the DNA lab.

The Charlotte Avenue Church of Christ lot at the corner of 46th and Charlotte Avenues now sits vacant as the dozers finally descended upon the historic structure and left nothing behind. The property is still for sale and whatever happens on this corner will no doubt define the future of the corridor.

The Great Escape, long a favorite haunt for comic book collectors and vinyl purists, recently left its home in Midtown and took up space in the Richland Creek shopping center. The space is much larger and I have to imagine the rent is much better as well. Definitely a positive development for the area.

One negative development (in my opinion), has been the unwelcome arrival of Ava's Adult, an adult oriented retail shop that opened up in a strip center across from Morrow Road. The owner has every right to be there (however it is rumored that the Council will try to revise city codes to prevent such a business from opening up so close to schools/churches/parks in the future), but it's the eye sore billboard that sits above Charlotte that has really drawn the ire of many neighbors. Neighborhood efforts to lease at least one side of the billboard with a "Welcome to West Nashville" message were unsuccessful.

The long awaited 28th Avenue/31st Avenue Connector that will link West End and Charlotte Avenues made it into Mayor Dean's budget for this year. The concept plans call for a "complete street" that includes sidewalks, a planting strip and bike lanes. Also included in the plan is a storm water park and gateway monuments. For more details on the plan, you can visit the page that Public Works has created here. There have been no indications of when this project will begin and how long it will take to complete.

However, there is speculation that this overdue project will jump start the revitalization of Charlotte Avenue. (see related stories from Nashville Business Journal here and here.)

In the wake of the Connector announcement, development in the medical district continues to show promise. Some buildings that have already been completed are Charlotte 2300 Professional Center (pictured above) and 1914 Charlotte Medical.

Health Care REIT recently secured a total of 16 acres adjacent to the planned connector and plans to construct a multi-building, mixed-use development. See story from Nashville Post here.

Around the same time of this announcement, local health care giant HCA made headlines in a land swap with Nashville that will result in a brand new public health center along Charlotte.

From Nashville Post:

"Under the agreement, HCA will finance and supervise the construction of a new 104,000-square-foot public health facility to replace Metro’s outdated Lentz Health Center. When the development is complete, HCA will turn over the new building and its 3.5-acre parcel of land to the city in exchange for the Lentz Center property, which is located adjacent to HCA’s Centennial Medical Center."

Read rest of story here.

The West Nashville Farmers Market will be entering its second full season this May after a pilot program started at Richland Park in the summer 2009. The popular market runs from May through October and is every Saturday from 9-12 pm. It is definitely a positive force for change as it has breathed new life into Richland Park and maybe been a sign to potential developers along Charlotte, that if you build it...they will come.

There are a few other things on the horizon that could spell a bright future for Charlotte Avenue. I'll do my best to keep you informed as more details emerge. Thanks for reading.