EJF Capital, Chartwell to Invest $80M in Nashville OZ

The two-phase development will be located on the former Watkins College campus.
Nashville. Image by Tanner Boriack via Unsplash

EJF Capital and Chartwell Residential have formed a joint venture to invest $80 million in a two-phase multifamily development in Nashville. The two communities are to be situated on a 13.6-acre parcel certified as a Qualified Opportunity Zone.

The first phases of the 750-unit development will include approximately 375 apartments in a five-story structure with an above-grade parking garage. Slated to start construction in early 2022, the development will deliver two years later. The second building, also featuring about 375 units, will start construction after the first is completed.

The two structures will be located on the former Watkins College campus, which is among the last remaining sites in the 850-acre Metrocenter submarket.

Job hub

Nashville’s first master-planned mixed-use business community, Metrocenter more recently responded to the growth of the urban residential market by pivoting to become more of a residential enclave. Including the forthcoming Amazon and Oracle urban campuses, more than 17 million square feet of office space exists within a 10-minute drive of the submarket. Cigna, Aegis Sciences Corp., Postmates and other finance, health care and insurance employers in the hub employ more than 15,000.

Nashville is the state’s most populous city, with more than 668,000 residents. The Nashville metropolitan area is home to more than 1.9 million residents and is one of the nation’s 10 fastest-growing large metropolitan areas.

Residents of the planned project will have waterfront views, with the site of the development being located next to Amulet Lake, a 40-acre lake just north of downtown Nashville, and near the Amulet Lake Overlook, an oasis of greenery that is part of the Cumberland River Greenway. Watkins College merged with Belmont University and moved last year to the university’s campus.

Earlier this year, EJF Capital raised $280 million in subscriptions and commitments to close its first Opportunity Zone fund.