Traffic jams in Nashville’s Green Hills neighborhood may be worsening over the next year… but, it may be worth it in the end.
A new, 14-story mixed-use development is in the works at thecorner of Richard Jones and Hillsboro Road. We blogged about this development a couple of months ago, but more information has been released about the changes that this development will bring to the Green Hills neighborhood.
Along with a couple of new developments, Metro Nashville has plans to remake the Green Hills area, a traditional 1940s neighborhood, into a modern, urban village by following along with the concept of Urbanism. Urbanism (or New Urbanism) is a concept of city planning that strives to “create livable, sustainable communities that are pedestrian and bike friendly, offer stores and services in close proximity to residents, and have higher density in residential population, all of which is designed to reduce traffic congestion,” according to this article found in the Nashville Ledger.
The construction necessary to construct the new mixed-use development and an urban district may create more traffic woes for an already already stricken by commuters and shopper traffic that was only worsened by the additional of Nordstrom at the Mall at Green Hills. (According to one study, a full 30 percent of traffic in Green Hills can be attributed to shoppers moving from store to store.) When finished, though, the project is supposed to help relieve the traffic problem that residents have grappled with over the past couple of years.
The development is being built by Southern Land Co., who plans to spend nearly $40 million to build 265 apartments, 5,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, and 24,000 square feet of offices and structured parking on just more than two acres of land at the corner of Richard Jones and Hillsboro Roads. The Green Hills Service Center, The Well Coffeehouse, and an office building will be razed to make way for this development. The project is slated to break ground in late 2013, with leasing possible to begin in spring 2015.
As it stands, the closest thing to this type of urban village in Green Hills is The Hill Center, a strip shopping center that underwent a huge, multi-million dollar renovation five years ago before reopening as a high-end retail area, with its own streetscape and office space on upper floors. The success of The Hill Center helped pave the way for new thinking in the Green Hills area of Nashville.
City planners have given the developers design guidelines, including mandatory 8-foot sidewalks adjacent to ground-level retail space, with pedestrian and crosswalk signals at crucial locations. Also expected are improvements to bike lanes to make it easier for residents to get from place to place without the use of a car.
This new mixed-use development holds special interest, too, because of its inclusion of apartments – something the Green Hills neighborhood has not seen in a while, due to zoning, land cost and lack of available sites.
The efficiently, one- and two-bedroom apartments at the site do not have set rents yet, but they are expected to end up around $2 per square foot, a price comparable to new residential projects located in The Gulch.
We will keep you updated on the latest from this development as it unfolds over the course of the next year.