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Davidson East: East Nashville, Inglewood, Madison, Donelson, Hermitage, Old Hickory


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14 hours ago, Bos2Nash said:

New imagery for the 1105 Fatherland Street Redevelopment (former Martins Grocery Store). Handsome face lift to the exterior. Will be interested to see if the two future tenant slots hold true. Southeast Venture is the Architect and Doster Construction is the General Contractor.


Current exterior façade.


Phasing plan shows a Community Center and Canvas Restaurant being located in the other tenant slots, but they are not part of the current permitted build-out.


Not the plans submitted to the next door neighbors when needing a zoning change on the parking lot. 

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I hate to rock your world, but here is the building permit.

REHAB, 1105 FATHERLAND ST. $2,704,767.00

Permit #2020078114

Permit Type DescriptionBuilding Commercial - Shell

Permit Subtype DescriptionMedical Office, Professional Services


Date Entered12/15/2020

Date Issued09/30/2021

Construction Cost$2,704,767.00





Subdivision / LotPT LOT 85 E. EDGEFIELD ADDN.


Permit TypeCACH

Permit SubtypeCAE04B016

IVR Tracking #3906118

PurposeThe rehabilitation of an existing single-story masonry building on a 0.97 acre lot. Project scope includes limited demolition of the existing building in preparation for new openings and roof. The project also includes exterior improvements and associated site work for a multi-tenant shell building. There will be four tenant build-outs within the building's existing footprint under separate permits. In association with Grading Permit #2020073799 POC KEVIN LIEGBEL 615-250-8678


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1 hour ago, Bos2Nash said:

What was presented?

Looks like the Fatherland frontage has changed a bit. The pharmacy was also never mentioned as an independent entity but rather as an internal function of the clinic. They also said it would all be done together, but now it’s phased. I know this sounds nitpicky but it’s different and not what was sold to the neighbors to support the rezone.

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1 hour ago, CandyAisles said:

Looks like the Fatherland frontage has changed a bit. The pharmacy was also never mentioned as an independent entity but rather as an internal function of the clinic. They also said it would all be done together, but now it’s phased. I know this sounds nitpicky but it’s different and not what was sold to the neighbors to support the rezone.

Gotcha. It does appear that the pharmacy is integral to the clinic as it doesn’t have its own entrance. Maybe from a business/insurance standpoint is how it is separate.

With regards to the phasing I wonder if the pandemic has had anything to do with leases or the matter. 

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On 9/28/2021 at 10:44 AM, bwithers1 said:

The notion that neighborhoods originally developed density only gradually in the early 20th Century as populations gradually increased and that it was relatively affordable for most people to build or buy houses or add commercial buildings serving the neighborhoods is a fantasy that is not supported by historical research.

Most housing in the urban historic neighborhoods was built by investor landlords on spec close to the streetcar lines. The population was relatively dense because few people could afford to own property themselves, few owned cars, and in the pre-Nuclear Family era extended families tended to live together all in a 2- or maybe 3-bedroom house or apartment and they were lucky if there was indoor plumbing. Even Ross Elementary School on Ordway had outhouses, for instance.  Women in most cases could not own property in their own name. And with significant barriers to employment and income, many widows took in boarders into their homes to help pay bills and survive. It is far too easy to paint rosy pictures of what life was like in the past when urban population densities were at their peaks.

While it may not always be the case, Council District 5 is a prime example of gentrification leading to larger houses with fewer occupants, That is literally what is happening there.

Only small areas of the Maxwell and Greenwood neighborhoods have Conservation Overlays that prevent demolition of historic houses. so there aren’t any zoning restrictions on any sizable portion of the area that require renovation rather than building new.

Instead, property owners are free to tear down the overwhelming majority of housing units in District 5. And in the last ten years they have torn down smaller houses that had sheltered larger, extended families and replaced them with much larger houses that shelter a single person or a couple maybe with one child.

The Census data shows the effect of gentrification on District 5, which is much more pronounced than in District 7, for instance. District 7 has had a more stable overall population density even while home values have increased significantly.  But District 5 has seen a more dramatic population decline, even as new construction has increased and even as the 2011-2019 District 5 Council Member supported a record number of zone changes to increase housing supply opportunities there.

Almost the entire District 5 area was downzoned to single-family not by some effort to stop integration early in the 20th Century, but fairly recently by then-District 5 Council Member Pam Murray. The purpose of this downzoning was to stop the perceived social and property devaluation issues that occurred in multifamily or what was called at the time “boarding house zoning” when houses were divided up into multiple apartments that mostly served as SROs or where landlords allowed deferred maintenance to occur to a point that housing conditions were substandard and where in many cases tenants with criminal activity issues affected safety and  quality of life for the majority African American neighborhoods that she represented. Drug dealing, prostitution and gun violence plagued parts of District 5 until fairly recently through majority African American neighborhood groups working with the East Precinct to address safety concerns.. When those issues were brought under better control, then suddenly the young professionals started moving in.  

Zoning was not a major factor in the gentrification in District 5 - the area has had multiple overlapping subsequent upzonings over the last decade. The issue was a newfound and sudden desirability of East Nashville caused by significant reductions in crime, particularly gun violence, paired with significant openings of restaurants, bars and amenities in neighborhoods that were relatively affordable through prior devaluations and that had relatively complete existing sidewalk networks to support walkability.

I do not argue that multifamily zoning necessarily leads to property standards issues and crime. It is that in East Nashville several overlapping issues exerted themselves to make a once desirable area undesirable, and therefore affordable.

Actually, we read that the construction of the railroads in East Nashville was fought by property owners because they were concerned that it would bring noise and air pollution to their properties, and when they lost the lawsuits and the railroads were built anyway, many of those property owners subdivided their properties for sale and left the area.

Another factor was that in the days before mortgages people had to pay cash for houses, and so with no subsequent mortgage payment to deal with many owners of older houses  moved away and either divided up their houses into apartments, subdivided them for platted street blocks or simply sold them for development (as happened with the houses along Gallatin where also, a Kroger, etc are located).  The widening of Main/Gallatin and Dickerson caused many buildings that had been constructed to the street to be demolished. Interstate and Ellington construction. Lack of Codes at all or enforcement of what may have existed led to poor building maintenance and proliferation of businesses that degraded quality of life. In some cases, property owners or the city itself demolished large portions of neighborhoods as part of Urban Renewal efforts that disrupted intact neighborhoods. In other cases, property owners or the city itself used areas of urban neighborhoods as construction and demolition landfills, etc. More ink has been spilled about redlining, racism and white flight than I could repeat here.

This is all to say that historic urban neighborhoods in the early 20th Century Nashville did not become dense, walkable and complete mixed-use communities through the supposed benevolent forces of an efficient market until zoning got in the way and ruined everything. And it is not necessarily the case that simply rezoning everything to multifamily or mixed use solves all housing supply and social issues.

Most of lower East Nashville actually had multifamily zoning that coincided with (but was not the cause of) declining property standards and community quality of life. Then efforts were made to downzone and increase the specificity of zoning to create the conditions that would attract people to choose to live here again and to make it possible to obtain a mortgage on a home here. Today there is a need for more housing supply and the Metro Council has passed a large number of zone changes to increase density throughout District 5 in particular. But the real estate market is not efficient and there will be lag times until that supply-demand balance catches up. Who knows when the housing market may achieve balance. Then subsequent external factors could cause that housing supply to become oversupply, which would lead to affordability again. Repeat.

Thanks for the response Brett. Your historical context is always interesting, but as ever, I feel like something simple keeps being made more complicated. The historical plight of women, renting vs owning, indoor vs outdoor plumbing, etc. all add interesting color, but are unrelated to the very basic fact that historically, houses were converted to townhomes as demand rose. Townhomes were converted to flats, flats into mid-rises, etc. Supply increased organically to meet demand. The rising price of land was shared across more homes. In our neighborhoods today, that is just not allowed. The only thing we do allow is to buy houses and turn them into bigger and more expensive houses. So that's what we get.

I'm not sure why you would hold up District 5 as a counter-example. The majority of District 5 is, as you mentioned, base-zoned for single family detached housing (RS5, etc.). This isn't about historical rules that dictate style and materials. It's about whether you are legally allowed to put more homes on a given piece of land. In Lockeland 50' x 150' lots (empty ones, post-tornado) are going for $500K+. Historically, a developer would have looked at that kind of demand and easily made the call to put four townhomes, or eight flats. Their motivation would obviously be to make more money, but the result would be more housing with more families, at a lower price point, instead of depopulation. There's a building like that near me behind the church on 17th & Fatherland. Or somebody just posted on twitter the other day the nice old 1930 12-apartment building below on Russell St. If we didn't lock down our neighborhoods now to make this kind of thing impossible, is there any debate that these would be dotted all over the place?

If they were, we'd have some much-needed diversity of housing options in our neighborhood for those that can't afford a $ million house. And instead of depopulating, resegregating, and becoming rich enclaves, our inner neighborhoods would be evolving , gaining population, and more inclusively sharing the highly sought-after benefits and opportunities of living in an inner neighborhood with easy access to a thriving metropolitan city center in the modern economy.

You can straw man me as some kind of deluded, rosy, pro-outhouse density-ophile if you like. :) I'm sure the conversation is tiresome, and I should probably shut up about it. But I keep sitting on the front row watching as our inner neighborhoods are reserved for an ever smaller, richer slice of the population. And  it seems worth debating.


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1 hour ago, Edgefield D said:

I’m not here to get into any type of discussion or debate on whether it’s better to build single family homes or multi family apartments on city lots. But, this caught my eye because I live in that house right next to the apartment building in this picture. I think about the fact that when we bought this house in 2008 the rent on these 800 sq ft apartments was $550. It’s now $2000/mo….with coin laundry in the basement. They are always rented though, because people move to Nashville and want this sort of apartment and there are few of them. So, supply and demand. When we first bought this house most of the people that lived in the apartments had lived there for years. When the old man died that owned them, his kids sold it to a huge company. They did a little sprucing and jacked the rent up. Now, it’s a revolving door of tenants from places like Chicago, Denver, Ohio….etc. I used to know the people that lived in them and they looked out for us. I remember one neighbor calling me if he saw anything out of the ordinary while I was at work. Now, most people next door barely acknowledge you if see them out front. I guess it doesn’t matter….but it just kind of struck me as odd seeing this picture and thinking about how much has changed since 2008. As I said….my post really has nothing to do with the debate on whether developers should be able to build multi family units on city lots. But, I don’t know that I would call these apartments affordable and I’m not sure I can honestly say it’s an advantage, for me, to have them next door. It IS a cool building though.

Quite well informed commentary on the issue. Thanks for sharing your knowledge and thoughts on this subject!

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4 hours ago, markhollin said:

916 Main Hotel (5 stories, 20 units) update: Painting bricks white.

Looking SE from Main St., 1/4 block west of Mcferrin Ave:

916 Main Hotel, Oct 3, 2021, 1.jpeg

Looking SW from intersection of Mcferrin Ave. and Main St:

916 Main Hotel, Oct 3, 2021, 2.jpeg

The black on white trend I feel has run its course. It is nice on smaller houses, but once we get it on bigger buildings like this I feel like it will date itself quite quickly. This is not a trend that improves at scale.

All I can think about is the Americana Apartments in Midtown


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19 hours ago, AronG said:

gaining population

Granted that in the later stages of gentrification the depopulation trend typically reverses due to increased housing density (MF along corridors for example). But it is true that if an area is base zoned for SF only, those density increases are less likely to occur. 

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2 hours ago, Bos2Nash said:

The black on white trend I feel has run its course. It is nice on smaller houses, but once we get it on bigger buildings like this I feel like it will date itself quite quickly. This is not a trend that improves at scale.

All I can think about is the Americana Apartments in Midtown

Like I said before the yellow brick was fine.  The development units up by The 5 Spot...same deal.  Paint it white.  It actually had some nice brick too.

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1 hour ago, markhollin said:

10th & Woodland (1 story retail) update: fencing up, equipment on site.

Looking SE from intersection of Woodland Ave. and South 10th St:

10th & Woodland, Oct 3, 2021.jpeg

If I remember correctly, that site is actually going to be two restaurants, one of which is Edley's. They will be relocating from their Main Street location once complete.

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