Written by Robert Looper III with Guest Contributor Andy Zhu.

The Nashville Real Estate market remains one of the strongest in the country; a position held even prior to the pandemic.  Comparably, Nashville is also home to some of the best design firms which range in size from boutique to large corporate firms.  The volume of new development projects has also brought in both national and international firms, many which are opening offices here locally.  While a lot of attention is often given to the tallest and most expensive developments; this article will cover the stick frame and podium construction projects that are shaping neighborhoods throughout Nashville.

Once a staple in sprawling suburban areas, stick-framed buildings are now implemented in city centers throughout the country. In this article, stick-frame construction refers to wood and metal stud-framed buildings which are supported by a concrete slab-on-grade or with a podium as the concrete base. There are different building codes which allow you to rise between 3-5 levels of wood structure depending on the concrete base or the height of the podium. There are also engineered systems which allows a development to raise even higher.

It’s important to note that this list is not a ranking, and the projects are listed alphabetically. The intent is to showcase a sample of projects that are pushing what’s possible with stick-frame and podium construction in the Nashville urban core.  The projects included in the list were selected based on meeting two or more of the criteria established by NashvilleNowNext which includes:

  • Creating, enhancing, or extending the safety and infrastructure within the pedestrian realm.
  • Bold design and detail that contributes to the city’s urban fabric and scale.
  • Filling in the gaps (i.e. development densities, reduced parking, accessibility, neighborhood activation)
  • Contributing to the urban living experience (i.e. proximity to transit, walkability, consideration of the build-to line).
  • Placemaking & precedent setting.
  • Creative use and diversity of materials.
  • Building form.

At the end of this story, you can also find shareable social media graphics for the projects included in this list. Also, stay tuned for next month’s feature which will showcase upcoming affordable and attainable developments in the area. Here’s a look at 20 Multifamily Designs Using Stick Frame & Podium Construction In Nashville.

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ALTA Riverwalk

Alta Riverwalk is a new garden style development located steps from the Cumberland River Greenway. The design of the buildings are characterized by its monitor-barn roof style. The raised center is typically used to circulate air or provide added space for feeding chutes for barn houses. However, it creates great architectural interest in its application of multifamily buildings. The project’s signage creates a true sense of arrival as well.

The project is one of the first new developments directly adjacent to the Metro Center Levee Greenways trail offering direct access to Downtown Nashville, Germantown, and destinations Northwest of Downtown. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 9. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Artists’ Lofts

Artist Lofts is a new mixed-use development by up-and-coming design firm Comma Design Works. Artist Lofts breaks the mold by rounding the corners of the building as it steps back from the property line. This subtle but impactful design cue offers a character trait only found at Artist Lofts. The indoor/outdoor pool deck and courtyard is located slightly above the sidewalk level, hence, breaking up the mass of the buildings from the sidewalk. The underground parking deck allows the design to maximize the number of units in the building as well. 

In addition to building amenities, the project also features street level retail, wide sidewalks, and easy access to the Cumberland River Greenways trail. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 9. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Cleared Lot
  • What’s Next: Mixed-Use Development
  • Developer: Greenpointe
  • Architect: Comma Design Works
  • Capacity: 210 Residential Units, Retail, & Parking
  • Status: Under Construction
  • Location: 1217 2nd Ave North

Athena

Athena is a new condo development designed by Smith Gee Studio. The 4-story building has a unique exterior defined by walls of windows and access to outdoor space. The exterior also features a variety of high-end finishes and tones that creates a first-class architectural aesthetic.

The project fills a gap by offering multifamily condos in the established West End area of midtown. The project is two streets over from Centennial Park and minutes to Vanderbilt University and Downtown Nashville. The street level is activated with multiple residential units with patios that have direct access to the sidewalk. The project additionally has easy access to the 440 Greenway and WeGo Public Transit Route 77.   Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Vacant Lot
  • What’s Next: Mixed-use Development
  • Owner: Parthenon Investments
  • Architect: Smith Gee Studio
  • Capacity: 42-Units (For sale Condos) Parking & Amenities
  • Builder: Richland Building Partners

Ballpark Village

Ballpark Village is a new mixed-use development located directly adjacent to the Nashville Sounds Ballpark. Designed by Dynamik, the building does a great job with creating the scale that you’d expect for a mixed-use stadium district. One unique way the scale is created is by positioning the exoskeletal structures at key corners of the building and using storefront and punch windows in-lieu of double hung windows. The open retail plaza also helps with scale and provides a direct view to the outfield.

The project sits directly adjacent to a segment of the Cumberland River Greenway trail with access to Bicentennial Park, the Tennessee State Museum and the Farmers Market. This segment of Greenway is typically blocked off as it runs within the limits of the stadium. As part of the Ballpark Village development, the trail will shift out of the stadium right-of-way and will soon feature one of the most activated segments of Greenway. The also project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 9. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Building Stats

  • 359 Units
  • 578,747 SF
  • 16,000+ SF of Retail/Restaurant Space
  • 420 Residential Parking Spaces
  • 54 Retail Parking Spaces
  • 7 Stories + Loft/Mezzanine Level

Chartwell At Marathon

Chartwell At Marathon is a new transformative mixed-use development In the Marathon Village area. The design commands attention as it occupies nearly the entire block on 12th Avenue North. The modern aesthetic of the building plays on geometric form throughout its many facades. The street level is activated with live/work units and commercial retail which is carried through its open plaza. 

The project contributes to the urban scale with its double height storefront glazing at the Southeast corner of the building and its situation along the property line. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Routes 19 and 88 and has direct access to dedicated bike lanes.  Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Union Brick Co.
  • What’s Next: Mixed-Use Development
  • Developer: Chartwell Residential, LLC
  • Capacity: 390 Residences, 4,000 SF Retail, Parking & Amenities
  • Location: 801 12th Ave N
  • Architect: David Baker Architects/JJCA

Emblem Park

Emblem Park is a new mixed-use development situated between Wedgewood-Houston & Chestnut Hill.  The project features 346 luxury apartment units and the adaptive reuse of an existing industrial building into 13,000 SF of creative retail and office space. Inspired by the former building’s form, the pitched and undulating roof pattern plays off the retail framework while elements from the existing warehouse can be seen through use of the corrugated metal skin system on a majority of the facades and portions of the roof.

Emblem Park enhances the public realm with a new public park, infills missing pedestrian infrastructure, and activates the neighborhood with a new commercial marketplace. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 52.

Development Rundown

Finery

The Finery is a new mixed-use district located in Wedgewood-Houston. The development is centrally located and will anchor the community. The design of the project contributes to the urban scale with its application of materials. One of the prominent design cues are the V-shaped forked columns which support the concrete podium. Other creative material applications on the 3-building project include diagonal seams in the metal systems, its container inspired green facade, and contrast against the dark colored brick.

The public realm is enhanced by an open plaza and new pedestrian infrastructure all activated with a mix of creative office, commercial, retail, and restaurant uses. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 75. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Previous Vacant Lot
  • What’s Next: Mixed-Use District
  • Developer: Hines / Cresset Real Estate Partners
  • Address: 622 Merritt Avenue
  • Design Architect: Hastings
  • Record Architect: The Preston Partnership
  • Landscape: HDLA
  • Interiors: Niles Bolton Associates
  • Civil: CSDG
  • Contractor: Archer Western
  • Retail Leasing: OJAS Partners

HYVE

HYVE is a new mixed-use condo in Pietown by local developer CA South.  With a design aesthetic modeled after the Edition in Los Angeles, the project is characterized by its continuous landscaped balconies and bold color. Designed by Alex Pettas Architecture and Barnett Design Studio, HYVE offers unique new-to-market condos to the Nashville market. 

The project is the first major multifamily investment in Pietown and will activate its frontage with retail and commercial space. HYVE is also a short walk to the downtown central business district as well as other downtown subdistricts such as the Gulch.  The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Routes 8 and 93. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Livano Nations

Livano Nations has taken the traditional garden style apartment development and evolved it into a type of mixed-use district. The site will serve as the first and only development on this side of the street on Walter S. Davis Blvd. While the design is more suburban in nature, there are hints of urban elements. 

The campus-style development enhances its key amenities by creating separate buildings for its coffee house, coworking, and pet boarding. Those are three functions which typically require a car trip which now located on site. These services are great for entrepreneurs and people who work from home. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 19 and is close to R.H. Boyd-Preston Taylor Park.

Development Rundown

Modera Gulch 

Modera Gulch is a new multifamily tower in the Nashville Gulch. The development is a great example of engineered metal framing above a podium garage structure. Designed by Cooper Carry, the project maximizes the possibilities of this style through a highly active street level, pedestrian scale along the 5-story garage podium liner, and the 10-story engineered metal stud tower. The project uses a mix of tones, window styles and configurations to create visual interests at different angles.

The street level retail activates nearly all sides of the building with more than 17,000 SF of space. The project has direct access to dedicated bike lanes, and WeGo Transit Routes 8 and 93. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Parking Lot
  • What’s Next: Multi-Family Development
  • Developer: Mill Creek Residential
  • Architect: Cooper Carry
  • Capacity: 376 Apartments, 592 Parking Spaces
  • Status: Under construction
  • Location: 810 Division Street 

Modera Germantown

Modera Germantown is a new mixed-use development along the Cumberland River in Germantown. The project prioritizes density, with the two-phase development adding nearly 800 units of new multifamily to Germantown’ inventory. Phase 2 of the project will front Adams Street and will feature 14,000 SF of street-facing retail activation. Phase 2 features a modern “old town” design above its retail plaza.

The project enhances the pedestrian experience with enhanced sidewalks which continue onto Van Buren Street and opens to a new park overlooking the river and the East Bank. It also features a new segment of the Cumberland River Greenways trail with access to Downtown Nashville. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 9. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • Owner: Mill Creek Residential
  • Architect: Cooper Carry
  • Featured Brokerage: OJAS Partners
  • Rentable SF: +\-14,000 SF
  • Shell Space Ceilings: 20 Feet
  • Minimum Lease Term: 10 Years
  • Lease Rate: Triple Net
  • Location: Ground Floor
  • Parking: 59 Total Dedicated Stalls
  • Delivery: 2024

Building Stats

  • 6 Stories
  • 800 Total Units
  • Above Grade Parking Decks
  • Surface Parking
  • Public Plazas

Modera Nations

Modera Nations is a newly proposed mixed-use development located in the popular Nations neighborhood. Designed by Cooper Carry, the design of Modera Nations brings a more established character to the area. The tone and arrangement of the bricks, windows, as well as its contrasting colors all play a part in its urban scale and character.

The activation of the public realm emphasizes walkability, enhanced landscaping, and open plazas. The project also activates the riverfront with a segment of Greenways trail. This section of trail along the riverfront includes mural artwork on the parking garage screen, art and music patios, proposed bike shop and 12-foot-wide sidewalk. The closest WeGo Transit service is Route 19. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Industrial Site
  • What’s Next: Mixed-use Development
  • Developer: Mill Creek Residential
  • Address: 1650 54th Avenue North
  • Architect: Cooper Carry
  • Landscape: Hawkins Partners
  • Civil: Kimley-Horn
  • Capacity: 398- Units, Apprx. 5,000SF Of Retail, Parking, & Amenities.

Parachute

Parachute is a new mixed-use development located along the 8th Avenue South corridor developed by CA South Development. The project introduces a West Coast aesthetic and energy to the area. The project features a dynamic stepped design which undulates depending on the level and unique floor plans throughout.

The project will activate 8th South with 2,314 SF of retail. It is also walking distance to the Gulch, a short distance to dedicated bike lanes.  The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Routes 8 and 93. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Park Commons

Located at the Nashville Fairgrounds, Park Commons is a new mixed-use development between Geodis Park and the Fairgrounds Speedway. Designed by Smith Gee Studio, the project has the urban scale and design details expected for a stadium district. It features a large retail and events plaza at the front of the building. The residential units above the retail level features expansive stacked windows, further contributing to the urban fabric.

The phased mixed-income development will create new pedestrian infrastructure with access to transit, public parks, trails, dedicated bike lanes, the Browns Creek Greenway, and entertainment venues. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Routes 77 and 52. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Queens Mixed Use

The Queens Mixed-Use Development is located within the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood. The property formerly housed a tree nursery maintenance shop and will soon bring 220 multi-family rental units across three buildings. The design of the project introduces character through bold color to create a vibrant living environment. Signature design elements includes glazed green brick along Hamilton Street and kinetic accents using mural designs and color blocking.

The project enhances the pedestrian zone with new sidewalks, landscaping, outdoor plazas and transforms the dead-end of Moore Avenue into a dog park. The project also activates Hamilton Avenue with 5,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space and includes live/work, live/make, or live/retail units. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 77. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

River North Phase 1

River North is comprised of more than 100 acres of former industrial and warehouse uses which is being transformed into a mixed-use development district. In partnership with Creek Lane Capital, MRP has acquired 12.7 acres to develop 1.1 million square feet of Residential, Retail, and Office alongside the upcoming Oracle Campus on the Northside of the Cumberland River. Phase 1 of the project will include two mixed-use residential buildings, Oxbow and The Wayward. The scale and positioning of the residential buildings, stacking, exterior materials, and glazing contributes to the urban fabric of the city.

The project includes major investments in new utility infrastructure, enhanced landscaping, and an emphasis on multimodal and pedestrian connectivity to surrounding areas. Major public amenities for River North include a 4-acre Riverfront Park and planned Pedestrian Bridge over the Cumberland River connecting to Germantown and the Downtown Central Business District. The project falls along WeGo Public Transit Route 41. Here’s the quick rundown:

Development Rundown

Building Stats

  • 817,070 square feet of mixed-use space
  • 651 residential apartment units
  • 8,000 square feet of office
  • approximately 80,000 square feet of retail space

Skyliner

The Skyliner is an inclusive, mixed income apartment community in the heart of the historic Dickerson Pike corridor. The Skyliner pays homage to the architectural and cultural importance of Dickerson Pike’s lost Mid-Century motels originally constructed along this route connecting Nashville to Louisville. The design of the building uses bold accents on the different faces of the balconies which changes color as you approach the building from either side.

Enhancements surrounding the project also creates a more pedestrian focused experience along the Dickerson Pike Transit corridor. The project has direct access to WeGo Public Transit Routes 23.

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Empty Lot
  • What’s Next: Residential Development
  • Developer: Urban Housing Solutions/MDHA
  • Architect: Southeast Venture
  • Engineering: Thomas & Hutton
  • Location: 2996 Dickerson Pike
  • Capacity: 147 Residential Units, Parking, & Amenities

Standard Assembly

Located in the heart of Wedgewood-Houston, Standard Assembly is another mixed-use development in partnership with EOA and Manuel Zeitlin Architects. The design pulls from the neighborhood’s past industrial context through a modern interpretation of the steel warehouse window combined with industrial inspired materials such as brick, metal, and exposed steel bridge connectors. Wood accents provide a warmth to the overall industrial palette.

Outdoor enhancements include a ‘living alley’, green space/active park between the two buildings, an outdoor dog park as well as two internal courtyards. The project will also create new pedestrian infrastructure and is near WeGo Public Transit Routes 8 and 93. Here’s the quick rundown.

Development Rundown

Building Stats

  • 241,913 SF Building
  • 5 & 6 Stories
  • 310 Units
  • 363 Parking Spaces
  • 12,193 SF Retail / Flex Space

Taylor Place

Smith Gee Studio is leading the master planning and architectural design for the 14-acre mixed-use redevelopment of the 100-year-old industrial site between Nashville’s historic Germantown and Salemtown neighborhoods. Phase 2 of the development includes two multifamily buildings which which flank the parking garage.  The design of the buildings does a great job seamlessly integrating within the historic community even with its large scale.  Multiple facades add to the character of the project as it each pulls from the character of the surrounding neighborhood. 

The property connects to the Magdeburg Greenway running through Germantown.  It is also accessible to WeGo Public Transit Routes 9, 42, and 22.

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Empty lot
  • What’s Next: Multifamily Residential Development
  • Developer: SWH Residential Partners
  • Architect: Smith Gee Studio
  • Engineering Design: Catalyst Design Group
  • Location: 602 Taylor Place
  • Capacity: Approximately 350 Residences with Amenities

Westerly House

The eight-story development takes advantage of the sloped topography with an underground garage accessed from Hamilton Avenue and Ft. Negley Court.  The design of the Westerly House features warm woods and the incorporation of bold graphics and art murals. The double-height breezeway is a central focus of the design that brings guests from the Hamilton Avenue drop-off, through the lounge space, and into the courtyard.

The project will also create new pedestrian infrastructure and is near WeGo Public Transit Routes 8 and 93. Here’s the quick rundown.

Development Rundown

  • What’s Now: Previous Industrial Park
  • What’s next: Mixed-Use Development
  • Developer: WEHO QOZ2 LLC
  • Architects: EOA / Manuel Zeitlin Architects
  • Landscape: Hawkins partners
  • Contractor: Hardaway

Below is the image gallery of developments included in the list. Be sure to subscribe for more on this and other developments In & Around Nashville.

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