Metro Nashville has issued a Notification of Intent to Award the Master Developer contract for the East Bank Central Waterfront: Initial Development Area. Boston based developer, The Fallon Company (Fallon), has been awarded nearly 30 acres of Metro-owned land, identified within the Imagine East Bank plan.
Fallon partnered with locally based firms, all with the expertise to execute their plan. Some of its partners also have connections to the construction of the new Titans Stadium and the potential relocation of TPAC to that area (not included in the RFP). Considering the complex phasing of the plan between the East Bank and those two anchor projects, the synergy of the selected team could improve that process. Proposed partners in The Fallon Company’s submittal include the following firms:
- James Corner Field Operations
- Holladay Ventures
- Pillars Development
- EOA Architects
- Barge Design Solutions
- Turner Construction
- Polk & Associates Construction
The proposal goes into detail on the team’s approach to the use and flow of the public realm. The plan details 4 major elements which will define the pedestrian experience and includes Music City Mile, South Stadium Plaza, Water Finger Park, and the Transportation Hub.
The RFP was intentional in its commitment to Affordable housing for Metro-owned parcels. To the degree that it would remove parcels from the Master Agreement if the goals were not met. The proposal offers insight into the developer’s affordable housing strategy, which shows an ambitious commitment as detailed in the RFP. In comparison, revenue collected over 30 years by the planned affordable housing strategy is projected at $629.8 Million vs. all market rate housing at $1Billion. That results in a difference of $370 Million in revenue from real estate taxes and ground lease payments, according to the plan.
The notice of intent to award moves The Fallon Company forward into contract negotiations with Metro, pending the standard 10-day protest period which ends on September 22, 2023. The initial development area is divided into 3 phases with construction anticipated to start Q2 2025 through Q2 2034. Separately, but equally important the new Titans stadium is anticipated to start mid-2024 and be completed in 2027. The plan notes that to stay on schedule, a Master Development Agreement should be executed with Metro by November 2023. Here’s the quick rundown:
Key Elements Of Phase 1
- 60% of all apartments will be Affordable/Attainable.
- The new transportation hub is included in this phase.
- The Titans will continue to play at Nissan Stadium during construction.
- Both the New Titans Stadium and Phase 1 anticipate a 2027 completion.
Over the next 4 years, Nashville will realize one of the greatest development opportunities the state of has ever experienced. With over 1.7 million SF of new development, phase 1 will showcase the beginnings of downtown’s newest sub district and newest from-scratch neighborhood.
Phase 1 will include a structured parking deck located on the east side of Parcel C with direct access from Interstate Drive. The 600-spaces in this garage will be fully allocated for the parking needs of the stadium on event days and will provide a direct connection to the South Stadium Village Plaza, retail offerings, roof deck tailgating options, and the south stadium entrances. The developer will coordinate with the Titans with future phasing parcels and structured garages during the phasing process. Stay tuned for more on the parking plan as details become available.
Music City Mile
The Music City Mile (MCM) will create a new skywalk which will extend from the existing John Seigenthaler Pedestrian Bridge. Once complete, the MCM will stretch from the Walk of Fame Park Downtown, over the Cumberland River, across the East Bank, and to the new South stadium entrance, which is exactly one mile (according to the proposal). The MCM is pedestrian -centric and is lined with retail and direct access to the Parcel F multifamily building ,Parcel D hotel and one of the Parcel C Hotels. The elevated plaza extends above the future East Bank Blvd as well as S 2nd Street before opening to the South Stadium Village. Slide the images below for context.
Parcel F Multifamily
Crossing at East Bank Blvd
Below the MCM and across from the Parcel F is the proposed location for TPAC. This relocation is not final and not included in the initial development area. Slide the image below for context.
The MCM will add Nashville to the list of cities that have benefitted from such an attraction such as the High Line in New York and Navy Pier in Chicago. These projects create a sense of place that both locals and visitors can enjoy. The proposal envisions the MCM as a space that embodies the energy of Downtown, however, experienced with a pedestrian centric backdrop of new sights and sounds from its residential towers, hotels, cultural centers, and curated retail that will line the MCM’s edges.
South Stadium Plaza
At its far end, the MCM is anchored by the South Stadium Plaza which is directly adjacent to the new stadium. The MCM “cascades” to form a monumental staircase connecting to the south stadium entrance, and public green space for the surrounding apartments and hotels. The stairs also double as an outdoor theater. The South Stadium Plaza is anchored by 3 hotel towers with direct access to the new Titans stadium. It is designed to serve as a central hub for retail, activation, “tailgating”, community concerts and movie nights, a splash pad for kids, and programming that complements both the stadium on event days and the new neighborhood on non-event days.
Dedicated retail buildings (highlighted in red above) extend the pedestrian activation east along Korean Veterans Blvd (KVB). Currently an auto-centric connection, this area will be transformed with a vibrant mix of uses and will provide convenient, safe access to the East Bank, and to downtown Nashville. The multi-story retail buildings have access from the street level on KVB as well as from the MCM above. This creates a dynamic retail experience that will increase foot traffic and is highly visible for future tenants. Slide the image below to view the retail buildings from the MCM.
Phase 1 includes residential developments in Parcels A, G, and F includes a mix of both affordable, attainable, and market rate developments. Slide the map above for context. Parcel A and a portion of Parcel G will be designated for affordable housing units. The plan notes that it will meet the requirements set out in the imagine East Bank plan which outlines 40% of all units at 60% AMI or below (including deeply affordable), 20% of all units at 61-80% AMI, and 40% of units being market rate.
The affordable housing on Parcel A is located within a transit oriented development. The future WeGo Transit Hub is located on the ground floor with a mix of office and retail uses. Slide the image below for context.
Market-rate units are also crucial to the overall success of the East Bank, and are located at Parcel F. The plan notes that the market rate offerings are important to daily foot traffic and energy to support the retail and to contribute to activity along the Music City Mile, riverwalk, Cumberland Park, and other neighborhood amenities. The plan touches on the challenges with constructing market-rate multifamily projects given current market conditions. However, the ability to avoid a large upfront land payment via the proposed 99-year ground lease structure allows for the creation of an iconic waterfront apartment development.
The Parcel C hotel (closest to the interstate) and Parcel G multifamily will begin in phase 2. Located on the North Side of the stadium, the Parcel B hotel is in phase 3. The proposal further explains how the affordable developments each target financing from sources that have a finite amount of annual funding. Therefore, the two projects cannot compete against each other for the same funds in the same year. The development team believes that a staggered filings between Phases 1 & 2 will comfortably allow for funding to be available for both projects. The staggered start can ensure achievement of the significant number of committed affordable housing units in Phase 1.
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