June 23, 2017

Mixed-use developments offer one-stop living

Living in the suburbs used to mean getting in your car if you needed a carton of milk or wanted to go shopping. Now in growing numbers of mixed-use neighborhoods, you can ride your bike or walk to the store next door.

Ken Sloane enjoyed living just steps away from the shops and restaurants in Lenox Village, the mixed-use development along Nolensville road on Nashville’s south side where he and his wife, Bridget, lived for seven years.

They look forward to that same level of convenience in Carothers Farms, the new Davidson County subdivision near Nolensville being developed by Regent Homes. The neighborhood will have up to 3,400 homes when complete as well as 200,000 square feet of office and commercial space.

“That was one of the amazing things for us in Lenox Village,” Sloane said. “We really like that. It was nice to know you had places in walking distance and people you know.”

Demand is strong in both neighborhoods. After they became empty nesters, the Sloanes’ first choice was to buy another home in Lenox Village. That proved to be impossible.

“Lenox Village was selling so fast,” Sloane said. “If you didn’t see it the first day, you missed out.”

When they discovered Carothers Farms a few miles away where several homes were under construction, just one was still unsold. Single-home prices there range from $224,900 to $439,900.

They signed the contract immediately and sold their Lenox Village townhome just as quickly.

“We put it on the market Wednesday morning. Sixteen people looked at it and by the end of the day we had four offers over asking price,” Sloane said.

In two popular mixed-use subdivisions in Williamson County, residents can shop at a full-sized grocery store without having to leave the neighborhood. A Publix store opened earlier this year in Berry Farms on the south side of Franklin. Westhaven, the master-planned community on Franklin’s west side, has a Kroger.

Both neighborhoods have a variety of shops, dining establishments and service providers. When complete, Berry Farms will have 3 million square feet of Class A office space and 1.8 million square feet of retail space.

Mixed-use communities have a number of advantages, said Kristin Cales, spokesman for Boyle Investment Co., the developer of Berry Farms. Workers might live near their offices and can walk or ride a bike. They can also walk to restaurants for lunch.

“From a retailer’s perspective, they benefit from both an on-site daytime population, office, and nighttime population, apartment residents and hotel guests,” Cales said. “From a resident’s perspective, everything they could want or need is at their doorstep, including gathering places (and) parks.”

Capitol View, a mixed-use neighborhood being developed by Boyle along Charlotte Pike in downtown Nashville, will have 1.1 million square feet of Class A office space, 130,000 square feet of retail, 600 multi-family residences and several hundred hotel rooms.

Nearby, the oneC1TY development will offer 1 million square feet of office space, 170 hotel rooms, 600 apartments and 100,000 square feet of retail space.

In Westhaven, there are more than 20 retailers and service providers in the Town Center as well as restaurants. Some are operated by Westhaven residents.

Sisters Erica Reynolds and Noelle Holland, who own Hollie Ray Boutique, estimate that 80 percent of their customers are Westhaven residents.

“When we began looking at our retail space, the streets were always busy with people walking their dogs, talking with their neighbors or taking in the scenery at the lake,” the sisters said in a joint email.

Regent Homes, the company developing Carothers Farms, is also developing two additional mixed use neighborhoods. In Spring Hill, Petra Commons will feature 40 townhomes priced from $200,000 to $250,000 and 37 single-family homes with prices ranging from $260,000 to $290,000. The neighborhood will have 15,000 square feet of commercial space, including a bank and a restaurant.

In Nolensville, Regent is launching Burkitt Commons, a 200-residence subdivision with condominiums, townhomes and carriage houses. The subdivision will have 38,000 square feet of retail space.

“Residents enjoy the convenience of neighborhood retail at their fingertips,” said Regent Homes President David McGowan. “You don’t have to get out on the road and travel. People value their time now more than ever.”


Originally Published in the Tennessean

By Bill Lewis