Friday, December 14, 2012

OneC1ty to break ground next spring

The massive healthcare development OneC1ty, which is to be sited on the western edge of the newly opened 28th/31st Ave connector, plans to break ground on it's first building next spring. The 100,000 SF building would be the first of the planned total of 1,000,000 SF.

A local practice-type group is said to be the tenant, and the building should be complete by the end of 2014.

Healthcare REIT continues to seek more tenants to anchor the development.

You can read the entire story at The Tennessean here.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Nashville Ledger: Developers see Charlotte corridor as the next hot spot

 The Nashville Ledger recently interviewed a number of architects and developers in Nashville, and most agree that the Charlotte corridor is poised for a renewal.  Read the article here.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

M.L. Rose open for business!

The owl is lit!

M.L. Rose opened up their doors yesterday. Be sure to welcome our newest neighbor! I plan to sample a burger and brew(s) very soon. Will be sure to report details soon after.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Jack's BBQ opening third location at Charlotte & 16th

This news appeared today in The Nashville Post:

Meanwhile, a little farther east on Charlotte, one of Nashville’s best-known barbecue joints has announced plans to open a new location in an up-and-coming area on the outskirts of downtown.

Veteran Nashville barbecue man Jack Cawthon will launch the third Jack’s Bar-B-Que location this spring at the intersection of Charlotte and 16th Avenue North.

Cawthon’s best-known restaurant is the popular Jack’s Bar-B-Que at 416 Broadway downtown. There’s also a Jack’s at 334 W. Trinity Lane.

The new restaurant will have 80 seats indoors and a 36-seat patio. We’ll see if it heralds more development in the Midtown portion of the Charlotte Avenue corridor, what with the new 28th/31st Avenue Connector linking North Nashville to Charlotte to West End, and some other big projects under way in Midtown.

This is the building that will house the new Jack's BBQ...the banner on the outside says that a Nuttin' But Wings is coming soon, but this image is from Google Streetview and could be dated.

Also some news on Headquarters offerings...looks like they'll be ready to open on Tuesday.

Headquarters, a charming little coffeehouse on Charlotte Avenue across from Richland Park, is opening its doors soon, perhaps as early as Tuesday.

Owned and operated by Louisa Green and her husband James, Headquarters fills a renovated storefront that James, a professional carpenter, has stylishly outfitted using reclaimed wood. 

Headquarters will serve coffee from local roaster Roast Inc., along with pastries.
East Nashville’s Dozen bakery will supply some of the treats; another local bakery, Vegan Vee, will provide vegan and gluten-free versions.

Louisa Green said she’ll be serving up a signature espresso drink spiked with chocolate and cayenne, and a similar sweet-and-spicy flavor profile can also be found in the house roast that Roast Inc. created specifically for Headquarters. In addition, you can look for teas and herbal infusions from another local company, High Garden.

The Greens will open their coffeehouse early in the morning to supply morning java to folks heading down Charlotte to work. It will operate Monday through Saturday, and at least at first, it will close in late afternoon. Headquarters is at 4902 Charlotte Pike.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Nuvo Burrito & Headquarters open for business - ML Rose just around the corner

Nuvo Burrito opened it's third location in Nashville this week in the former Krystal across from Bobbie's Dairy Dip. Haven't made it in myself, but a few neighbors I spoke with who have already eaten there, say it's great. And for a limited time they are offering free queso and guacamole with your order.

Headquarters, the small coffee shop that has steadily been preparing it's space, is now ready to open it's doors to the caffeinated public. A grand opening celebration is taking place tonight (Friday, the 26th) from 6-9pm. Headquarters is located at 4902 Charlotte Ave, across from Richland Park.

No official date on ML Rose's opening, but they seem to be hinting that they're close. After this photo (above) went up on their Facebook page, there were inquiries as to when they will be opening. They're response was "last week of the month...exact date to be announced soon."

While Headquarters had their grand opening Friday, they are unfortunately not ready to open full time due to permitting delays. But they promise to be open very soon.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Nashville IKEA rumors ramping up...again

How many times have we heard this story?

Once again, everybody's favorite Swedish furniture store has Nashville buzzing with hope that a big blue building displaying the words IKEA will take up residence in Music City.

This time the rumor stems from ModerNash, which is Nashville's version of IKEA-lite. The folks at ModerNash make weekly trips to IKEA in Atlanta to purchase and assemble products for Nashville customers who don't feel like driving eight hours round trip. The cost of ModerNash's services are minimal compared to IKEA's expensive shipping prices.

In this month's newsletter, ModerNash had this to say to it's customers:

"Word around IKEA Atlanta is that IKEA may open a Nashville store in the fall of 2015. IKEA is tight-lipped for now and hasn't made any official announcements, but we'll keep our ears to the ground!"

So what does this have to with Charlotte Avenue you ask? Well for those of you new to this blog, the most recent speculation on IKEA coming to Middle Tennessee came on the heels of the news that Boyle Investment Co. would be the developer of the highly anticipated North Gulch (centered on Charlotte & 11th Avenues) development owned now by Northwestern Mutual. At that time, there was speculation that Target, Publix and yes IKEA were in the running for being one of the major anchor tenants of the yet to be announced project. If IKEA is in fact seriously considering Nashville, it's a good bet the North Gulch is where it will end up. You can read more about it here.

Nevin Batiwalla over at NBJ scooped this story. It can be read in it's entirety here.

NewsChannel 5 also did a piece on this and their story claims that Nashville is in the running for a 2015 IKEA store and is competing with Miami and St. Louis.

Friday, October 5, 2012

CRUMBLE running this weekend only at the Darkhorse Theatre

The Darkhorse Theatre is a venue that gets little recognition among Nashville's thriving art scene, and this blog is just as guilty. I was notified by a friendly neighbor about a quirky show at the Darkhorse that is running this weekend only. It opened last night and continues through Sunday.

Details on the performance can be found below:

The Sideshow Project @ Actors Bridge will open the regional premier of Sheila Callaghan's CRUMBLE (Lay Me Down, Justin Timberlake) tomorrow. CRUMBLE is a quirky little piece about a family recovering from a calamity and their relationship to their anthropomorphized, murderous apartment.

The weekend event features nightly celebrity costume contests, dance-offs and video-karaoke. Select scenes and videos featuring Justin Timberlake and Harrison Ford, both characters in the play, (including “Sexy Back,” SNL’s “D**k in a Box,” Indiana Jones and The Temple of Doom, and Star Wars) will be projected on the big screen.

The audience team that best performs their own interpretation of the muted clip will be crowned as nightly winners. Prizes for best costume and top video-karaoke team include tickets to see Rufus Wainwright with Ingrid Michaelson and The Temper Trap.

Tickets are $15, or $10 if you come dressed as a celebrity! Go to to purchase.

Contact info
Jessika Malone | | 615-460-5503

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Climb Nashville hosting a meeting to discuss new gym

Climb Nashville does in fact have plans to construct a new climbing gym on Charlotte Avenue, on the vacant lot near 37th Avenue (yes!!). They are hosting a meeting this Sunday at 2pm at their current facility in Sylvan Heights (3630 Redmon St) to discuss their plans.

They are currently seeking a zoning variance that will allow them to build an urban focused building that will pulled up to the sidewalk.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Boyle executive says announcement on North Gulch project coming soon

Nashvile Post editor Geert De Lombaerde and reporter J.R. Lind recently sat down with Wood Caldwell of Southeast Venture, Ashlyn Hines Meneguzzi of Bristol Development, Thomas McDaniel of Boyle Investment and Michael Rankin of Crain Construction to discuss Nashville's recent surge in commercial real estate. As you may or may not know, Boyle is the developer on the much anticipated North Gulch project (centered on Charlotte & 11th Avenues). Some excerpts from their discussion:

DE LOMBAERDE: Michael, do you see any other emerging markets?

RANKIN: One that’s coming back that may not be on everyone’s radar is the Crossings, that Southeast corridor around Hickory Hollow and Cane Ridge. There’s good opportunity, there’s space, infrastructure. I think in the next decade, you’ll see some great growth there. HCA just made a big investment out there with their data center.

HINES: What will naturally happen with housing — apartments in particular — is that, when you can’t do sites in the Gulch, then you move down to 11 North. Then you have 1700 Midtown [near Baptist Hospital]. So that opens up Charlotte Avenue.

DE LOMBAERDE: Right. HINES: You’ve got Germantown, too, so it kind of opens up little areas that you’d never think. All it takes is one person
to do something of any size in an area like that and it starts to turn the whole area. DE

LOMBAERDE: It’s a real domino effect.
HINES: I mean, who would have ever thought the backside of Division would get developed? Look what is happening there and how that segues into Eighth and 12th.

MCDANIEL: You know, the 11 North project you mentioned was a big surprise to me. DE

LOMBAERDE: How does that influence what you want to do with the land you’ve assembled on the other side of Charlotte?

MCDANIEL: We’re trying to figure out what to do with this North Gulch land. It’s a great assemblage and has great proximity to everything, but it was not the first thing on everybody’s development radar. Then these guys come in with this significant apartment development right there that has garnered some of the top rents in the city...

HINES: That’s a classic example of somebody from out of town in my opinion looking at Nashville with a blank slate. They can come in and look at that and say wait a minute this is a good site and they hit a home run. It’s a great project.

RANKIN: You know I have sort of a weird affection for Charlotte and 11 North sort of opened up Charlotte here. I think we all kind of perceive Charlotte in a certain way and I think it has a lot of character. I think it’s sort of —

HINES: Very quirky.

LIND: I think Charlotte just got branded as a way to get from Bellevue to downtown and that’s all it was.

RANKIN: Yeah. Could we go that way? Is Charlotte the next big corridor?

CALDWELL: We’ve got the 28th Avenue Connector. That sat on Purcell’s desk for eight years and all a sudden...

HINES: When that opens, everything from that connector into the North Gulch and Germantown will become prime development opportunities.

CALDWELL: Yeah, it’ll all come together. That’s another big prime opportunity. DE

LOMBAERDE: Thomas, what’s your all’s time frame for the North Gulch project? Is it a matter of finding the right
tenants or do you look at other benchmarks along the way?

MCDANIEL: We have completed the assemblage. We finally got the last piece that we didn’t own. We’re demolishing everything now to have a clean slate and we have had surprisingly high interest from users of all types. It’s a little different site. It’s not a pure office site in the middle of The Gulch. It’s not the first apartment or condo or hotel site you think of, but we have seen some great interest. It’s a large land assemblage right where it is and I think we’re going to have an announcement soon on a good part of that and hopefully more to follow. We’ll see.

DE LOMBAERDE: Do you want it to be mixed-use?

MCDANIEL: It will be mixed use to some degree and we have an idea of we want for it. But at the same time, the users may push us in one direction or the other.


MCDANIEL: I was going to mention Charlotte, honestly. I think the whole corridor is going much more westward than the site we’re talking.

DE LOMBAERDE: That’s a good point about Charlotte. You think the connector is a good way from downtown, but it really isn’t.

MCDANIEL: No, it isn’t.

CALDWELL: It’s 10 or 12 blocks. You know it’s a short strip that can really get built up.

MCDANIEL: And HCA is already developing that corner in conjunction with Metro.

CALDWELL: Yeah, because that’s the only downside with a lot of other areas that we’ve mentioned. With the 12 Souths and your Eighth Souths of the world, there’s only a narrow strip of commercially zoned property. So for there to be any magnitude of commercial critical mass, you need something that’s bigger. There are large land sites on Charlotte that are hard to find on any other accessible arterial with that proximity to town.

28th/31st Connector Grand Opening October 2 - 11:00am

From the Mayor's office - grand opening next Tuesday, October 2 with a ceremony and inaugural crossing.

Monday, September 24, 2012

28th/31st Connector to open Oct 2

It's been 16 months since the groundbreaking ceremony took place on the long awaited strip of asphalt that will finally connect 28th Avenue and 31st Avenue. And next Tuesday, you'll finally get a chance to drive (or bike or walk) over that bridge.

Public Works plans to have a grand opening ceremony on October 2. Details will be posted here as soon as they're announced.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Climb Nashville on Charlotte?

More great news for Charlotte Avenue!

The vacant lot that sits across from 37th Avenue could be the new home for Climb Nashville who currently resides on Redmon Drive in Sylvan Heights.

There is a zoning variance sign on the lot regarding building setback. Word is that Climb Nashville will be constructing a new climbing facility on the lot.  Climb Nashville also has plans to expand to East Nashville.

Details to come soon!

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

HG Hill making streetscape improvements at White Bridge/Charlotte

Nashville real estate giant, HG Hill owns the property on the northeast corner of White Bridge Road and Charlotte Avenue. The property currently houses a TitleMax and the other building (formerly NTB Tires) is currently being renovated for a Family Dollar (meh...). I believe that the TitleMax lease expires this year, just as NTB's did.

While I'm not jumping up and down about a Family Dollar going in, I am however pleased to see that HG Hill is investing in greening up the streetscape at that corner. Attached is a site plan of what HG Hill plans to do to spruce up the prominent corner of West Nashville.

According to the contact at HG Hill, there are still no current plans for HG Hill's other Charlotte property near 40th Avenue.

UPDATE: I was correct in saying that TitleMax's lease did expire this year, but I have been informed that the just signed on for another five years at this location.

Friday, September 14, 2012

NUVO Burrito hopes to open on Charlotte mid-October

The rumor that started a few weeks ago on this blog, turned out to be true. (A special thanks to the anonymous tip, whoever you are.) Nuvo confirmed on their Facebook page today that they are in fact opening a new location in the abandoned Krystal building at the corner of 53rd and Charlotte across from Bobbies.

They also plan to open another restaurant in the Peabody Markerplace downtown. Nuvo's original location on the east side will remain open. Nuvo is known for their unique spin on the burrito, stuffing them with ingredients you don't typically find in the kitchen of tex-mex restaurant.

Nuvo also has a slew of creative cocktails for the thirsty grown ups out there as well as an ever changing beer list that is sure to please even the most discerning beer nerd.

An article in The Tennessean today states that Nuvo hopes to open it's west side location by mid-October.

Welcome to Charlotte Avenue!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

NUVO Burrito vehicle spied at Krystal property

A poster on the Nashville Urban Planet forum snapped this shot yesterday of a NUVO Burrito branded SUV that was sitting in the parking lot of the former Krystal property across from Bobbie's. Another sign that the rumors may in fact be true.

Stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

What BRT on Charlotte could look like...

I'm no transportation planner, but I designed this based on MTA's current East-West Connector. Charlotte BRT would start at Davidson Road where a fairly large Park & Ride could be sited (plenty of land for sale here and easy access to I-40) and continue along Charlotte going through West Nashville neighborhoods, passing through the medical district and then approaching the North Gulch before making a loop in the downtown core, going north around the Capitol and then swinging south on 4th Avenue, then Demonbreun, then 8th. The line would then pick back up on Charlotte before you cross the Cumberland where the route would remain unchanged. Adding the downtown core loop allows for access to businesses, entertainment, and of course the convention center without cutting down Broadway and disrupting pedestrians and the honky tonk scene.

Here is MTA's proposed East-West Connector

Here is what a BRT system could look like on Charlotte Ave:

Monday, September 10, 2012

BRT construction impact & ridership

Here's a couple of more arguments for Charlotte BRT that I feel hold water...

Imagine you're driving towards downtown on West End around 7:45am on a weekday and the BRT project just broke ground a few months's the commute?  Little sluggish?  Well maybe you'll just pull into McDonalds here and grab a biscuit...wait, can you get over there? Argggghhhh!

Now imagine that you're driving downtown on Charlotte around 7:45am on a weekday and the BRT project just broke ground on Charlotte a few months ago....oh wait, you don't drive down Charlotte to get downtown?

Let's face it - the impact on traffic and businesses will be far greater on West End than on Charlotte. Charlotte has fewer traffic signals (between White Bridge & 13th Ave), fewer vehicles traveling on it, and fewer established businesses that people frequent.

And let's talk about ridership...

Here's a list of west side neighborhoods a West End BRT would directly service:

• Cherokee Park
• Whitland
• Whitworth
• Richland/West End
• Hillsboro/West End
• Vanderbilt

A list of west and north side neighborhoods a Charlotte BRT would directly service:

• West Meade (northern portion)
• Hillwood
• Croleywood
• Beacon Square
• Charlotte Park
• White Bridge
• Urbandale/Nations
• Sylvan Park
• Sylvan Heights
• College Heights/Clifton
• Hadley/Washington
• Watkins Park
• Hope Gardens

Which route do you think would produce the most ridership?

I don't know if we have a chance of changing the plan - I doubt MTA is going to listen to some blogger. But if you think this is a solid argument, then let them know about. Spread the word and help this idea build some momentum - get Nashville talking about BRT on Charlotte Avenue!

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Making a case for BRT along Charlotte

Over the past few months, I've been following the news regarding what should be the crowning achievement of Mayor Dean's second term: BRT (Bus Rapid Transit). While I would've preferred to see a trolley line or light rail, after reading more and more about the proposed BRT project, I've grown to like it mostly for it's resemblance to light rail but with a much smaller price tag.  

The BRT project, dubbed the East-West Connector, will run along Nashville's "main street", primarily West End/Broadway. Starting on the west side near the White Bridge Rd. intersection the dedicated BRT lane will stretch 7.5 miles along West End/Broadway/Main St and terminate at 5 Points in East Nashville. This major artery is comprised of 25,000 residents and 120,000 jobs - it was the goal of MTA to choose a route that "would be embraced by the residents along the proposed line and those who work in businesses as well". Another goal was to "connect the core of the city without having to continue to rely on automobile travel". MTA sought a system that would "connect residents and visitors alike to East Nashville, LP Field, Vanderbilt University and Medical Center and the other medical centers nearby".

There is no doubt that the proposed route accomplishes those goals. If you had to pick a main street in Nashville, West End/Broadway is obviously the clear choice. But one other positive influence that BRT brings to a city is increased economic development along the corridor. In a recent study of various BRT project across the US, the GAO (Gov't Accountability Office) found that "although many factors contribute to economic development, most local officials we visited believe that BRT projects are contributing to localized economic development."

The article also cited that "while most local officials believe that rail transit has a greater economic development potential than BRT, they agreed that certain factors can enhance BRT’s ability to contribute to economic development, including physical BRT features that relay a sense of permanence to developers; key employment and activity centers located along the corridor; and local policies and incentives that encourage transit-oriented development."

Sounds like a win win doesn't it? Not only does the city get a fancy new form of mass transit, but the corridor it serves benefits from added economic development. Now let me ask another question. If you had a to pick a major corridor in Nashville that needed some help in the economic development department, which would you choose? I'm willing to bet Charlotte Avenue would get that vote more often than not. Which leads me into my argument for developing the BRT route along Charlotte Avenue rather than West End.

Let's start with the basics:

Charlotte Avenue for the most part, runs parallel to the proposed route and still touches most of the major institutions within the proposed corridor footprint (Charlotte and West End are separated by less than two miles at the widest point, with a majority of their separation distance being less than a mile).

• Charlotte BRT would be closer to campuses in North Nashville (TSU, Fisk)
• Charlotte BRT would be closer to the medical district (including Metro General)
• Charlotte BRT would avoid going through pedestrian choked Lower Broad, but still close enough to walk to/from
• Charlotte BRT would retain the same route as the current proposal once you cross the Cumberland
• Charlotte BRT would have potential Park & Ride sites that are closer to I-40 (on the west)
• Charlotte BRT would still go through the main bus terminal, Music City Central (it’s ON Charlotte!)
• Charlotte BRT would still marry up with Woodland St./Main across the river
• Charlotte BRT would go past the Legislative Plaza and state office buildings
• Charlotte BRT would go past the new Public Health Center (Lentz being constructed at 26th Ave)
• Charlotte BRT would go past Nashville West and adjoining retail (West End lacks a retail destination this size)
• Charlotte Avenue is full of vacant properties - you could practically have a plethora of choices of where to put your Park & Ride sites, as opposed to cramming them into already congested areas along West End (White Bridge & Elmington Park).
• You could potentially go FURTHER WEST along Charlotte and capture more ridership among residents in Hillwood and Bellevue. West End route will stop at White Bridge - do you honestly see Belle Meade letting a BRT line come through?
• BRT along Charlotte would also better serve the communities it bisects. The population that lives along the Charlotte corridor would be much more open to using mass transit than the demographic that lives in the West End corridor (read middle class vs. affluent). I wasn't able to find any statistics, but I'm willing to bet that the ridership on the current Charlotte MTA route is much higher than that of routes along West End.

So my question is why not Charlotte Avenue?

Friday, September 7, 2012

Nashville Ledger does story on Charlotte Avenue's revitalization

Nothing new to report, but some good press for Charlotte Avenue.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

NUVO Burrito all but confirms new location coming to Charlotte Ave.

Nuvo Burrito who is rumored to be opening a location on Charlotte Avenue at the abandoned Krystal on 53rd Ave (across from Bobbies) all but confirmed on their Facebook page today that they are in fact planning to open on Charlotte Avenue. Stay tuned for details!

Monday, August 27, 2012

M.L. Rose on Charlotte hoping for an early October opening

The neighborhood pub formerly known as Melrose, hopes to be opening it's west side locale in early October. An interview with ML Rose owner Austin Ray was published in today's Nashville Business Journal. And while that particular article was for subscriber eyes only (I am not one of them), I was able to glean an opening date from whoever operates the ML Rose twitter account. Recent peeks at the progress at the former Lavender Motors property reveal the new pub to be very spacious with most of the exterior work close to wrapping up. Very little interior work has been done, which makes me a little skeptical of an early October opening. But whether it's early October, or late November, you better believe I'll be one of the first ones through the door.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Former TDOT property sells for $1M

As reported in the Nashville Post yesterday morning, a Tennessean article today states the state property at 2200 Charlotte Avenue has indeed been sold to developer Holladay Properties.

Read the full story here.

Allen Arender, VP of development for Holladay says there are no concrete plans as of yet for the decrepit property, but that they'll be "spending the next few months analyzing the best reuse of the site..." The operative word in that quote being "reuse".

Holladay was the developer on the Sawtooth complex that houses Apple accessory giant Griffin Technology. See photos and links below.

Another win for Charlotte Avenue, as it progresses onward. We'll be watching this one closely. Stay tuned for details.

Some snippets from the web on Holladay's noteworthy renovation job on the Sawtooth building off Wedgewood:

Here is a blog on the renovation process.

An article from the Scene.

A great video on the rehab process from Griffin

And some photos...

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

New gymnastics center opens on Charlotte Avenue

I had noticed the opening of a new gymnastics center at the old Suddath/United Van Lines building at 35th & Charlotte, and recently stumbled upon a great article by freelance writer Claire Gibson. You can read it here.

Abandoned TDOT property rumored to be sold to developer Holladay Properties

A few months ago, the state of Tennessee decided to put the former TDOT site on the real estate market. The collection of dilapidated buildings that have been rotting at 2200 Charlotte Avenue have been an eyesore for some time and have attracted some negative attention in the local media. Since the property has been on the market, the state has seen some "very poor" bids, but there is word today that a developer may be close to purchasing one of the tracts.

Indiana based Holladay Properties is rumored to be offering $1 million for the tract that contains the buildings, which is less than half of the appraised value of $2.5 million. The adjacent tracts, which are across 23rd Avenue are parking lots and are not part of the transaction. The state hopes that whatever Holladay develops will help increase the value of the unsold tracts. There is no word on what Holladay has planned for the site, who is currently renovating two warehouses in the Nashville area.

For more details on the story, read it at the Nashville Post here.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Rumor Mill - Nuvo Burrito opening on West side?

Popular East Nashville burrito joint Nuvo Burrito might just be opening a location in the vacated Krystal building (5209 Charlotte Ave) across from Bobbie's Dairy Dip. An anonymous reader submitted this comment yesterday:

Anonymous said...

I've heard from good sources the Krystal will be home to a Neuvo (sp?)Burrito. Their second location.

Haven't seen any news of it in permit reports - but he/she claims to have good we'll keep our eyes on it. According to Nuvo Burrito's website, they are about to open a small location in the food court of the Peabody Corner Marketplace downtown. We'll wait to see if their expansion will continue further west.

Friday, August 17, 2012

28th/31st Connector spurs new wayfinding signage

Caught a glimpse of this today. New wayfinding signage in lieu of the soon to be open 28th-31st Avenue connector. Looks as if there are a few more going up closer to 25th Avenue.

Coffee shop coming to Charlotte Avenue in the heart of Richland Park Shopping District

These days, it seems that the tipping point is inching ever closer for a revitalized Charlotte Avenue. In the wake of increased construction on the new M.L. Rose location at the old Lavender Motors site, comes another new business serving drinks - only this one will serve coffee.

Directly across from Richland Park in a tiny nook tucked in next to Cool Stuff Weird Things, is where Headquarters will soon be opening their door. This shop was formerly home to B.O.A., and is currently undergoing renovations for a grand opening sometime this fall. I had a quick chat with the owners, Louisa and James Green who are very excited about their new adventure. Here is some of what they shared with me.

CAISU: Tell us a little about yourself and your husband and why you decided to open Headquarters.
Louisa: My husband James and I were visiting our friend, Sam, who owns Boa Clothing which occupied the space at 4902 Charlotte. She mentioned that she was relocating her business, and James and I both thought that location would make an amazing coffee shop. The inside, while very small, has great features, including exposed brick walls and space for a garden in the back. We live in the neighborhood, and know firsthand the need for a community coffee house.

While James is a native West Side Nashvillian, I hail from the Bay Area in California. We moved to the Nations four years ago. I've really enjoyed living on the West Side and love our community. There are so many exciting things happening in this part of town and we feel so lucky to be a part of it. The local community has been so supportive.

CAISU: Is this your first endeavor into the restaurant biz?
Louisa: I was a bartender off-and-on for years, but this is the first time either James or I has struck out on our own. Everyday is a new adventure and we are learning so much; we knew it wasn't going to be easy, but are enjoying the adventure.

CAISU: When do you plan to open your doors?
Louisa: As one can imagine, there are many factors in this process that are out of our control. Things that are scheduled to take a day take a week, permits/codes need to be properly considered, equipment is backordered... I could go on and on. We hope to be open in late September, but we don't want to open the doors until everything is right and all i's have been dotted and t's crossed. It's very important to me that this project be beautiful and perfect, because I think the neighborhood deserves it!

CAISU: Will you be serving only breakfast, or will you be open later in the day?
Louisa: I will definitely be open in the morning serving a variety of food. I also plan on staying open for lunch. I will determine our set hours once we're open and I get a better feel for what the neighborhood wants/needs.

We are merely 500 square feet, so there is no space for a kitchen. I am meeting with vendors and plan to provide grab-and-go options for any time of day. I've had a lot of people request healthy options, so I'm hoping to provide a variety of foods, that include gluten-free, vegan, protein rich, salads... we also plan on having a meat-lover option or two. Most of the vendors I am speaking with live and work in the immediate area, and it's really important to me that Headquarters supports and represents the community, which means a variety of food options.

CAISU: Why did you decide to open Headquarters on Charlotte Avenue?
Louisa: The location really spoke to us. That is a great block, too, with so many interesting and cool businesses on it. There's Rhino Books, Harmony Yoga Studio, and Cool Stuff Weird Things, which are all great. It's also right across the street from the park, the library and the West Nashville Farmers Market, which happens to be my favorite farmers market in town.

CAISU: Where did the name "Headquarters" come from?
Louisa: James and I have daydreamed about having a space to house all our creative endeavors for years. We've always referred to this theoretical place as "Headquarters", so when we started this project it really just FIT. I love to think of people in the community saying, "meet me at Headquarters". Further, the space and how we are designing it (think old-school detective agency meets industrial warehouse) FEELS like a headquarters. I'm hoping that it becomes the headquarters for all things good and fun in the neighborhood.

CAISU: What are some of the highlights of your menu?
Louisa: We are going to TRY to offer as many options as we can. Vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian, big yummy salads, healthy sandwiches... As someone who lives in the neighborhood, I know what I want to eat and know that a lot of it is impossible to find, especially as a grab-and-go option when I'm in a hurry. I hope to fill that void. That said, I am still (and always will be) taking suggestions from the community about what they want and what our neighborhood needs. 

I want to thank Louisa for taking the time out of her hectic schedule to share this information with us. I know a lot of people who have been waiting for something like this to open up in this part of Charlotte, and I have no doubt it will be a smashing success. You can keep up to date with Headquarters's progress on their Facebook page.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

More demolition activity in North Gulch

Now that Greyhound is no longer using the old Hansen dealership on Charlotte & 11th, a few dozers have been knocking down buildings in what could be a sign of things to come. The almost 30-acre site in the North Gulch owned by Northwestern Mutual and being developed by Boyle has a lot of folks wondering what's going to happen at the site.

Late last year, there was speculation of an IKEA in the plans. This spring a report was released on the three most suitable locations for a new Sounds stadium – the North Gulch site was one of them. Neither NW Mutual or Boyle has shown their hand, but my guess is a Publix will end up being the anchor for whatever mixed use development rises from the ground. Stay tuned, something is just over the horizon.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Nashville West sells for $73M, looks to add more retail in 2013

From the Nashville Post today....

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Some briefs...

Not a lot to report on lately, but here is a round up on all things Charlotte Avenue over the latter part of this spring...

• OneCity has Earl Swensson Associates working up the designs on the first two buildings while they try to lure two anchor tenants to their highly anticipated healthcare campus at the newly constructed 28th/31st Avenue Connector. Read here.

• They're pushing dirt around and tearing down the old Hansen dealership that served as Greyhound's temporary bus depot over in the North Gulch (11th & Charlotte). Northwestern Mutual owns a large chunk of land in this area and there have been rumors of tenants such as Publix and Target anchoring a major retail project here. Read about the speculation in earlier posts on what could happen here.

• Well, Bobbie's Dairy Dip should be happy...for some reason or another, the Krystal located right next door to the famous burger/ice cream joint has boarded up its windows and closed down. Another decrepit abandoned building to add to Charlotte's luster.

• The Stone Fox, while not directly on Charlotte Avenue, should be a welcome business once it opens it's doors. Read about West Nashville's newest (and only?) live music venue here.

That's all folks!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

RUMOR MILL: Abandoned Church's Chicken could house new bakery

There is a rumor floating around that the former Mrs. Winners/Church's Chicken establishment that sits on Charlotte Avenue directly across from Richland Park could become a bakery. No details yet on who is looking to open up shop, but there has been a little buzz about it. Stay tuned for updates.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Stakeholders along Charlotte organizing their efforts towards revitalization

Over the past month or two, residents of Sylvan Park, Sylvan Heights and Historic West Town (the neighborhood formally known as The Nations) have been meeting in an effort to build some momentum for Charlotte Avenue's revitalization. This grassroots effort is still in it's early stages, but has already seen a huge interest among people in the surrounding communities that want to see positive change happen along the Charlotte corridor. The ultimate goal of the committee is to find ways to attract positive/sustainable development up and down the Charlotte corridor. The group is primarily focused on the section between I-440 and White Bridge Road.

A meeting was held earlier this week with several people who own property along Charlotte Avenue in an attempt to discuss the group's vision and also receive feedback. Among the topics discussed were:

• Formulating a vision for the group
• Possible re-branding of the Charlotte corridor (give it a cohesive name, i.e. 12South, 5 Points)
• Seeking grants for visible improvements like streetscape enhancements, crosswalks, etc.
• Consult with Metro Planning on the possibility of doing proposed site plans for specific parcels along Charlotte. (like the corner of 46th & Charlotte)

Another separate meeting was also held this week in an effort to bring together the businesses along Charlotte Avenue and form a Charlotte corridor business association. It was well attended by new business owners as well as old ones. Ellen Gilbert, director of the Global Education Center, along with the Neighborhood Resource Center and the MNPD West Precinct have been united in this effort to strengthen the community of businesses along Charlotte and should be lauded for their efforts thus far.

The business group will soon begin setting priorities for small beautification projects along Charlotte Avenue and will seek to engage community members to volunteer for these efforts. The group also plans to develop a new image by a joint marketing effort.

All in all, this is very good news for Charlotte Avenue. Not only are the residents of the surrounding neighborhoods banding together, but the businesses are as well. Please stay tuned for more updates as more and more progress is made by these two proactive groups in our community.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Charlotte Ave is now on Twitter!

In this day and age of instant information at our fingertips, it seems inevitable that this blog should have it's own Twitter account. Follow me to receive the latest updates on everything Charlotte Ave. as well as links to stories on this blog.

Click the link below to follow!

5/3 Bank being constructed near White Bridge/Charlotte

Not much to report here. Just a new bank at the busy intersection of White Bridge and Charlotte. At least it's not a TitleMax.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

190-unit apartment complex planned near Nashville West

More development on the fringes of Charlotte Avenue. This time, Murfreesboro based developer TDK Construction has plans to build a gated apartment complex on Charlotte Ave, just west of the River Road split, and roughly a mile from the Nashville West shopping center.

The $20M development will be called The Summit and is scheduled to break ground in October of this year. Rent is projected to be in the range of $1/SF.

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Melrose Pub now ML Rose, releases few tidbits on new location

Austin Ray, dropped an "E" from Melrose to become ML Rose, since his storied pub will now have a little brother on the west side in an area not named Melrose.

Roughly a month ago demolition began on the old tudor style building which housed Lavender Motors (which was at one time the West Nashville fire hall). The building has been hollowed out, leaving only the exterior walls and not much of a clue as to what the final structure will look like.

However, with the announcement of the name change, a few details came forth on the new watering hole.

• Same menu as original location
• Opening this summer
• Seating capacity of 175
• Plenty of HDTVs and there will be a patio

Stay tuned as more details emerge!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Melrose Pub owner confirms new pub coming to Charlotte Ave

We can now officially say that the former used car lot at 4408 Charlotte Avenue will soon be a restaurant/bar for nearby neighbors of Sylvan Park and Historic West Town. William Williams submits this brief report in the Nashville Post:

Nashville-based restaurateur Austin Ray announced Wednesday his company has purchased the former Lavender Motors site at 4408 Charlotte Ave., on which he plans to operate a neighborhood bar.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Ray is best known for his involvement with the long-closed and very edgy nightclub BarTwenty3 in The Gulch and his popular Berry Hill bar The Melrose. For this latest project, construction has begun on the renovation and expansion of the Tudor-style brick building that was originally a 1920s service station and more recently a used car lot.

In March 2011, 4408 Charlotte Pike Partners bought the property for $400,000, with George Spiva as the lone listed general partner. Spiva has fronted a number of hip retail and restaurant projects, including The Melrose.

“I’m excited to bring my newest project to West Nashville and I’m confident the neighborhoods nearby, including Sylvan Park and Historic West Town, will welcome new business to the area and the revitalization of a vacant building,” Ray said in a release, adding he is still finalizing plans for the project.

The stretch of Charlotte Avenue from 44th Avenue on the east to White Bridge Road on the west has garnered media headlines the past few years as it continues to be redeveloped. Mainstays include Bobbie’s Dairy Dip, Rhino Books, Las Palmas, Southern Thrift and the Darkhorse Theater. Among the relative newcomers are Miel Restaurant, the West Nashville Metro Police Precinct, The Great Escape, Stone House BBQ, Harmony Yoga and Boa Clothing.

This is great news for the corridor.