August 25, 2017

Greenways attract Nashville home buyers, developers

Victor Wilson looks forward to eventually riding his bike on a greenway from his home in the Nations on Nashville’s west side to events downtown or to a public transit stop on nearby Charlotte Pike without ever having to be on a street with cars and other vehicles.

“We could ride our bikes and go to (Nashville Sounds) ballgames in Germantown or Live on the Green” musical performances at the Metro Courthouse, he said.

“If we could get there on a greenway, I’d do it,” said Wilson.

As Nashville’s system of greenways grows, it will make the city more walkable and bikeable and become an alternative means of transportation connecting parks, neighborhoods and the transit system, said Mark Deutschmann, founder of Village Real Estate Services and Core Development Services. He also is chair of Urban Land Institute Nashville and board president of Greenways for Nashville.

Connecting corridors in Nashville

“I believe connecting corridors and connecting important neighborhood commercial districts like 12South and Melrose creates tremendous impact. People want to live in walkable neighborhoods and need opportunities to get to our transit system,” said Deutschmann.

“Walkability allows an opportunity for affordable living, since transportation is typically the number two expense of a household. As the chair of the Urban Land Institute Nashville District Council, we have identified transportation, healthy corridors and affordable living as our top priorities,” he said.

Homeowners want more greenways

Homeowners are increasingly attracted to neighborhoods near parks and greenways. Village Real Estate is marketing homes in a number of communities including East Greenway Park, a 62-unit cottage subdivision adjacent to Shelby Bottoms in East Nashville; Poston on the Park, a high-end 27 unit condominium at Centennial Park; and Alloy, a new condo development near the Fairgrounds and the soon-to-be-built Browns Creek Greenway.

The company is also marketing City Lights, a condo building on Rutledge Hill with access to the Rolling Mill Hill Greenway and the growing urban greenway system, Deutschmann said.

Mike Berry, whose family was the first to move into Ole South’s new Vista subdivision in Whites Creek, believes being near Beaman Park adds value to their new home. He and his wife, CaTyra, enjoy spending time with their young children in the 1,700-acre park. The city is expanding the nearby Whites Creek Greenway.

“We like to walk the trails. And to have greenways so close to Whites Creek is definitely a great selling point,” he said.

Employers, developers hopeful

Major employers with offices in the new Capitol View mixed-use development downtown have expectations that growing numbers of workers will commute on their bicycles.

HCA, which has 430,000 square feet of office space, and HealthStream, which has 67,000 square feet of space in Capitol View, both included bicycled racks in their buildings, said Jeff Haynes managing partner of Boyle Nashville.

Boyle is developing the 35 acre mixed-use community just north of the Gulch on Charlotte Avenue. Capitol View includes offices, retail, restaurants and hundreds of residences.

Boyle provided land for the extension of a nearby greenway and for development of a 2½-acre urban park. The company gave the city one acre and sold another acre and a half at a bargain price, said Haynes.

“We see the opportunity to create a place-making district that’s different from just a collection of buildings,” he said.

MiKen Development, which is developing homes in the Nations and nearby Charlotte Park, is donating land to increase accessibility to greenways.

“That’s the luxury of it. Once the connection is made, just walk out your front door and walk to a restaurant without ever touching a sidewalk. You’ll be strolling along a creek,” said Michael Kenner, the company’s founder.

MiKen is developing Treaty Oaks, a 62-cottage neighborhood in the Nations, and The Rows @ the Annex, a development of townhomes, single-family homes and condo flats along James Avenue nearby.

On the greenway, “you can get from point A to B without interacting with crazy drivers,” said Kenner.

Originally Published in The Tennessean

By Bill Lewis