Nashville’s first prefab condo complex opens on industrial hill

    Source: Tennessean 

    July 9, 2018

    Sam Blackman recently moved into a new home overlooking The Fairgrounds Nashville in the city’s first prefab condo complex, Alloy on Tech Hill.

    Modern and pristine, the studio off Nolensville Pike looks nearly identical to new apartments built from the ground up in the heart of trendy neighboring Wedgewood-Houston.

    But it was crafted on an assembly line inside a Pennsylvania warehouse.

    The 28-year-old medical software specialist said he can’t tell the difference between the factory-built community and more traditional construction.

    “I really didn’t want a house. I don’t require a lot of space,” Blackman said. “This brand-new construction, for the price point and location, was too good to pass up. It’s going to be a straight shot to work.”

    The 82 individual condos arrived on trucks in July. They were nearly complete, with glass shower doors, finished cabinets and stainless steel appliances already in place.

    Once stacked into a four-story complex, siding and electrical hookups were added. This was the slowest part of construction, since it relied on local workers in high demand with limited schedules.

    Core Development Vice President Kent Campbell used modular construction for the 5-acre site to side-step local labor shortages, permitting requirements and weather interruptions.

    “Everybody knows that Nashville is booming,” Campbell said. “We’re seeing a shortage of labor, and construction schedules are getting longer and longer. The biggest advantage here is the ability to control the schedule.”

    Developers are increasingly adopting the modular option to build affordable housing in areas with high land and labor costs.

    A nationwide housing-supply shortage is fueling the industry and inspiring new companies. For example, Phoenix-based startup Katerra recently raised more than $1 billion for its streamlined, technology-enhanced system of factory home building.

    Modular units are built inside climate-controlled warehouses to exact specifications that reduce waste and increase efficiency.

    “Everything was pre-planned, pre-sized, pre-assembled,” said Mark Deutschmann, whose Village Real Estate lists Alloy properties. “They were constructed in nine days, from start to finish.”

    Prices at Alloy start just under $200,000 and top out at $350,000, while new construction in the area generally starts at more than $350,000.

    The 82 individual condos arrived on trucks in July. They were nearly complete, with glass shower doors, finished cabinets and stainless steel appliances already in place.

    Once stacked into a four-story complex, siding and electrical hookups were added. This was the slowest part of construction, since it relied on local workers in high demand with limited schedules.

    Core Development Vice President Kent Campbell used modular construction for the 5-acre site to side-step local labor shortages, permitting requirements and weather interruptions.

    “Everybody knows that Nashville is booming,” Campbell said. “We’re seeing a shortage of labor, and construction schedules are getting longer and longer. The biggest advantage here is the ability to control the schedule.”

    Developers are increasingly adopting the modular option to build affordable housing in areas with high land and labor costs.

    A nationwide housing-supply shortage is fueling the industry and inspiring new companies. For example, Phoenix-based startup Katerra recently raised more than $1 billion for its streamlined, technology-enhanced system of factory home building.

    Modular units are built inside climate-controlled warehouses to exact specifications that reduce waste and increase efficiency.

    “Everything was pre-planned, pre-sized, pre-assembled,” said Mark Deutschmann, whose Village Real Estate lists Alloy properties. “They were constructed in nine days, from start to finish.”

    Prices at Alloy start just under $200,000 and top out at $350,000, while new construction in the area generally starts at more than $350,000.

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