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markhollin

Elliston Place Holiday Inn Express, 8 stories, 168 rooms, internal garage

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What’s most ignorant to me isn’t necessarily tearing down old buildings (still functional, that is) for development, but the fact that they’re being targeted long before much more logical locations. I’m not completely against it if the time comes, but for now, developers should set their sights on undeveloped sites, parking lots, etc.

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Activists fight the rezoning bill in Elliston Place area for the possible Triumph Hotel. 

"The truth is that this property is already zoned for a hotel," said Tom White, the land use attorney hired by the property's ownership group. "And there's nothing now that would stop the buildings from being torn down."

White said the main goal of the rezoning bill is to get rid of the setback requirements currently in place. Although the owners could build a hotel now, they would have to institute a wedding-cake style design that gets more narrow as more stories are added.

This is going to get sticky trying to save the Louise Apartments.  But there have already been over 5,300 signatures on a petition to save them and protect other structures in the neighborhood.  If you would like to sign, you can go here:

https://www.change.org/p/metro-nashville-council-save-the-rock-block

More coverage at The Tennessean here:

https://www.tennessean.com/story/money/2019/08/19/rezoning-bill-nashville-redevelopment-rock-block-music-venues/2019109001/

 

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Update from last night's Metro Council Meeting. Councilman Ed Kinadall heard the protests and the Bill 2019-1568 to officially rezone the site for the Triumph Hotel to be built.  So it was withdrawn for consideration....at this time.  But Ed made these comments:

We had a community meeting last Thursday, which we had maybe 10 or 15 people who attended, but it was a very informative meeting, a very spirited meeting. When we left there, the owners [of the Louise Douglas Apartments] have requested, and I concur with — I’d like to read a letter that they sent me through their attorney. It says:

‘We are requesting that you withdraw this zoning bill. We attended the community meeting which you held this last Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019. It was obvious to my client and to you that a great deal of misinformation had been circulated to the public as well as to the Metro Councilmen. The only purpose for the zone change for the proposed hotel was to allow a better configuration of the hotel site. Some of the opponents claim that a hotel could not be built on the site. But the current zoning clearly allows a hotel. My clients will continue to circulate correct information, and appreciate all the time and effort you have put into this.’

I concur with this. I hope that in the future, whatever project is built at this site, or whatever happens to this site, that we will have full participation by the community. And that’s my reason for asking to withdraw at this time. I don’t know what the future of the project will be, and can’t say.

But one thing I do want to be clear about: There were some communications that this bill actually would allow the owners to demolish the structures there. They can already do that under the current zoning. It also stated that some people believe that it would allow a hotel to be built there. They can already build a hotel there under the current zoning. The difference is — I think at the time they applied to planning, they asked — it was understood they might build a 15-story building. And my understanding is they had agreed to build only an eight-story building.

I can’t speak to the future of this project, but I would encourage the public — those for and those against any project, be it housing, retail — of course I would encourage the housing, workforce housing. But I don’t know if that can happen. But if it can happen, certainly I would support that.

So, we haven't heard the end of this. I suspect the developers are going to keep trying to figure out a way to raze those apartments and build a hotel, whether it be 8 stories, or 15 stories.

More behind the Nashville Post paywall here:

https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/article/21083442/rock-block-rezoning-bill-withdrawn-from-council

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The buildings are toast. They will slow walk this, counting on public interest to wane, as it likely will. There is no economic incentive or upside to keeping them, as much as I’d like to see it.

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Unless CM Ed Kindall loses. He’s a terrible CM. One of only 4 incumbents challenged forced into a runoff. Hoping he loses and the new one tries to save the buildings. Not sure if they can actually stop the developers though.

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JV Hospitality is apparently moving forward with ideas for a 6 story, 165 room Holiday Inn Express with 3,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space at this location.variance from the 139 parking spaces required. Jay Patel of JVH is seeking a 90-space garage, which would be a variance on the 139 spaces required by Metro Codes for that size hotel.

Despite objections from neighbors and historians, Metro has determined that the site is properly zoned for a hotel, so the pre-WW II 3 story Louise Douglas apartment buildings seem doomed. 

No renderings available yet.

More behind the Nashville Post paywall here:

https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/article/21111847/details-emerge-for-hotel-planned-for-elliston

And the NBJ paywall here:

https://www.bizjournals.com/nashville/news/2020/01/22/developer-tees-up-six-story-hotel-for-midtowns.html?iana=hpmvp_nsh_news_headline

 

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25 minutes ago, markhollin said:

JV Hospitality is apparently moving forward with ideas for a 6 story, 165 room Holiday Inn Express with 3,000 sq. ft. of ground floor retail space at this location.variance from the 139 parking spaces required. Jay Patel of JVH is seeking a 90-space garage, which would be a variance on the 139 spaces required by Metro Codes for that size hotel.

Despite objections from neighbors and historians, Metro has determined that the site is properly zoned for a hotel, so the pre-WW II 3 story Louise Douglas apartment buildings seem doomed. 

 

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It totally sucks to be losing another historic (95 yr old) apartment building in this part of town.   Infuriating, in fact.     However, a frequent refrain on this board is that "Metro does nothing" to prevent this kind of thing from happening.    Before that gets started, let's just look at it and admit this is a classic example of a case where there is nothing the city can do, besides ask the property owner to consider preservation.      This particular property contains no protective zoning overlay, like conservation or preservation zoning.     Metro cannot force a zoning overlay on a property without the property owner's consent (and overlays are rarely if never used on commercial properties or individual parcels - see, eg, the failed struggle to try and get Music Row property owners to support an overlay).      This property did not require rezoning to allow for the proposed hotel use of the property, so Planning and Council did not have to approve it.     Whoever owned the property would be legally allowed to do what is now being proposed.         

Had the property been acquired by a buyer who recognized the value in restoring and upgrading the existing buildings, we (not all, but many) would be rejoicing.      But where, as here, the land value doesn't support the economics of restoration, you end up with a buyer like Jay Patel, who doesn't see a charming early 20th century apartment building, but sees a mid-town parcel he can scrape and redevelop.     I hate it, but this is the very unfortunate side of being a booming city with escalating land values.       

 

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Reading the comments to this Facebook posting by Historic Nashville, one understands where the nickname "Hysteric Nashville" is rooted! Thank you for your reasoned reply to the madness. 
 

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2 hours ago, Baronakim said:

While I agree that a Holiday Inn Express replacing these is an abominable tragedy, I still was compelled to post a reply in very , very confrontational  Historic Nashville exchange.  I don't know how I ended up there, but the fervour of the folks against ANY further demolition of old buildings in Nashville compelled me to  add my opinion.   As my response was initiated by the proposal for these apartments, here is what I replied.....

'The Rock Block, one of Historic Nashville's 2019 Nashville Nine endangered neighborhoods, could soon lose the century-old Louise Douglas Apartments to make way for a Holiday Inn Express.  According to the @[188223221188050:274:Nashville Post], Dickson-based JV Hospitality LLC wants to build a six-story, 165-room hotel where the trio of historic apartment buildings now sits. The team behind the planned hotel will seek a parking variance from the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals allowing them to build a 90-space garage instead of the currently required 139 spaces. If that's approved, the Louise Douglas Apartments likely would be demolished soon afterwards.  https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/article/21111847/details-emerge-for-hotel-planned-for-elliston'
Allison Lund " Kyle O'Connor please show me in this city where any old building has been saved"
Well, I'm an architect (for 50 years) and the first example is the Lee apartments right next to these apartments. Secondly almost ALL of Second Avenue. Yes, the tearing down of these apartments is disappointing to say the least, but updating them for contemporary fire safety and handicap accessibility, to not even adequate parking is not viable from either a cost or design analysis. Where were you when the really historic Governor's Mansion (now Caterpillar) on West End was demolished (at night) for a G...D Popeye's? Now if the fine Gothic church next door was on the hit list, I would be in there fighting. It is painful that that particular block of Elliston is being chewed up, but the value longtime Nashvillians have for it was NOT the buildings, but for the businesses that were there. Tony G. is in process of saving the soda shop and the Goldrush is now a memory. The delightful Old English Pub is long gone and so is Elder's Books. The businesses that replaced them are IMO pretty crappy. These older structures, especially the one stories are doomed whether you like it or not as Nashville grows into a vibrant metropolitan city. Would you rather save everytrhing older than 50 years old and have the city sprawl for 10 miles in every direction?  I wouldn't. I for one don't miss the rotting warehouses of the Gulch, the no man's land that was McGavock and Demonbreum, or the sea of surface parking lots everywhere in the core. I am 72 years old and am excited to see the vitality of this city. I remember the huge demolition of city BLOCKS in this city back in the 60s & 70s and I am sure that many commenting on this post would moan and bewail the loss of them too. Old buildings are great IF they are in repair, compliance and usefully OCCUPIED. Are you upset with the demolition of the soviet block dorms on West End now? I worked for the firm that designed them at the time they were built and even the principal architects (Street & Street) thought they were horrendous, but Vanderbilt U wanted cheap. Thank heavens it has come to its senses and is replacing them with beautiful new structures. On that subject, the dorms they built at 21st & West End replaced ones designed by an internationally renowned architect. Tell me, would your architect husband really have wanted to save those boring Edward Durell Stone dorms just because some folks though they were historic? Nashville is on the way to becoming a great city and avoiding a lot of the flaws of Atlanta. We can't save everything just because it is old. CHERISH THE MEMORIES BUT LIVE IN THE NOW.

Thank you for posting your response and bringing some perspective to my views on this with your expertise.  You're right that this building was probably so far gone that there isn't any way it could be brought up to current standards in a multitude of ways, and I agree with you on much of what you say.   For example, I agree that we should take these issues on a case by case basis and not (like many in the Historic Nashville circles) just reflexively oppose any development that replaces an older structure simply because it is old, because sometimes, a more modern development represents an objective improvement to the community, and I think most of us here are reasonable enough to recognize that.  But that doesn't make this any less painful, and it's the context of it all that is the most severe punch to the gut of them all, ya know?  Replacing this graceful beauty with a generic six story chain motel is akin to trashing your grandmother's one-of-a-kind antique ornate oak coffee table in order to make room for a piece of plywood held up by two milk crates... when you already have six other pieces of plywood held up by milk crates in the same room.  And I know our complaining won't make any difference, but damn... it just... well... it just sucks.  

Edited by BnaBreaker
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I honestly wouldn't have an issue with these structures being gone...but I would hope for them to be replaced with "Elliston Place" type structures that fit in with the rest of the area...with retail / venues similar to what's there.  Keep the "kitsch".  It would be new...but within 20-30 years, it would all "grow together" and keep the Elliston vibe.  A hotel won't do that.

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This would be my compromise...if I had a choice:

1. If they're adamant about building this hotel...it first has to be built using basically the same brick color / style of the apartments.

2. Entrance to the hotel...parking garage...etc must face Hayes St on the south side of this block...furthest from Elliston Pl.

3. Tallest part of the building must be on the south side (Hayes St)...and should not be much taller than the current apartments.

4. Building should stair step down to one or two stories by the time it gets to Elliston Place.  The portion that faces Elliston Place must be pure retail / entertainment and match the structure and style of the other "rock block" buildings (but can still be attached to the hotel).

Edited by titanhog
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The hotel will be called Holiday Inn Express Elliston Place, and will be 8 stories tall, with 168 rooms, and an internal garage.  They will go before theMetro Board of Zoning Appeal on May 21st for a parking variance.  The site is already zoned for a hotel.  Sadly, the old-school masonry Louise Douglass Apartments, built in the 1930s, are going to be razed.  A fall start is being planned for the project.

More behind the Nashville Post paywall here:

https://www.nashvillepost.com/business/development/article/21130305/fall-start-eyed-for-rock-block-hotel

 

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Why shouldn't Nashville be like any other city where every block looks the same? Right?  Thank goodness the streets aren't laid out in a grid (outside the core) or else that'd make for a very boring streetscape. 

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This hotel is not exciting at all, but I also doubt very many people drive by the current apartments and think, “wow look at those historic prewar structures with their beautiful window units hanging off the side! What a beautiful city.”

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15 minutes ago, Craiger said:

This hotel is not exciting at all, but I also doubt very many people drive by the current apartments and think, “wow look at those historic prewar structures with their beautiful window units hanging off the side! What a beautiful city.”

They look at it and think crap ugly and old.

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I wish the city would at least demand the developer build an appropriate structure facing Elliston.  It should look like it belongs...not some brand new, suburban-ish looking structure.

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