Tennessean: Affordable condos lure buyers to Nashville’s urban core

    Source: Tennessean 

    Jill Molteni was simply looking for a new, affordable condominium, but she’s happy to be part of a wave of home buyers returning to neighborhoods in Nashville’s urban core.

    “I knew it would be a good investment, and it’s an area that’s up and coming,” Molteni said of her new condo at the Park at Melrose Heights, located along Nolensville Pike close to I-440 and the Fairgrounds. She will move in after closing on her new home this

    The first 80 condos at the Park at Melrose Heights sold so quickly that developer HND Realty built 72 more. The company began writing contracts in February and the condos were sold out by September, said Realtor Maria Creecy.

    “Some people bought them when there was nothing to look at,” she said. Buyers in the second phase have been attracted by the location and the price, which ranges from $115,000 for a 510-square-foot studio to about $209,000 for a 918-square-foot two-bedroom condo.

    More affordable condos are on their way to the area around the Fairgrounds and to other neighborhoods in Nashville.

    Core Development is launching Alloy in a neighborhood known as Tech Hill because of the nearby technology businesses along Nolensville Pike. Prices will begin in the $180,000s. The neighborhood is between the Fairgrounds and the campus of Trevecca Nazarene University, which is located along Murfreesboro Pike.

    In addition, Bruce McNeilage and his partners, whose Solo East condos are nearly sold out in East Nashville, are planning similar developments in other parts of the city.

    jill-molteni
    Photo source: Tennessean

    Prices are expected to start at $199,000 for a one-bedroom unit, but McNeilage promises that 15 percent of the condos in the new development will be priced at $99,000.

    There is a growing need for workforce housing at prices teachers, firefighters, police officers and others can afford, said McNeilage, who hopes to inspire other developers.

    “If I’m successful, others will do it,” he said.

    Demand has been strong and he expects to repeat the success of Solo East in other parts of the city. Ninety percent of that development’s 121 condos have been sold.

    The remaining one-bedroom condos at Solo East are priced at $185,000. They originally were $140,900. The price of two-bedroom condos started at $189,900 and rose to the $260,000s by the time the last one was built.

    Solo East, located at 1110 Litton Ave. in a redeveloping neighborhood along Gallatin Pike, has been a good investment for its condo buyers, said McNeilage.

    When residents begin moving in after the first of the year, they will already have thousands of dollars in equity, he said.

    “I don’t see an end to the need for this kind of housing. I’m going to south, west and north Nashville and doing it again,” said McNeilage.

    Core Development sees similar demand for affordable residences on Tech Hill, said Mark Deutschmann, a founder of the company.

    “Alloy on Tech Hill, represents the beginning of what will become a significant walkable urban neighborhood. With 50 percent of our units starting at under $200,000, Core is offering an affordable opportunity to own,” he said.

    Alloy will feature 82 condos including studio flats, one-bedroom, one-bedroom-plus-den and two-bedroom units. The community will have an outdoor entertainment venue, a dog run, a club room, a pool and an on-site Bongo Java Roasting Co. coffee shop.

    The nearby Brown’s Creek Greenway offers walking and biking connections to the Melrose neighborhood, the 440 Greenway and eventually to Rolling mill Hill and downtown, said Deutschmann.

    alloy-herron

    The surrounding area is rapidly redeveloping, said Jessi Sgarlata, managing broker of Village Real Estate and team leader of the Southbound Group.

    “There are big things coming to the Fairgrounds even though the plan is not 100 percent finalized yet. With Tech Hill to the east and Wedgewood Houston to the north of the Fairgrounds, the redevelopment, growth and revitalization of this area is inevitable,” she said.

    Molteni, whose condo at the Park at Melrose Heights is nearby, believes redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhood will gain momentum as restaurants and retailers open their doors.

    “As demand grows,” she said, “it will prompt more growth.”

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