GBT Brings Needed Workforce Housing to Nashville

The $20 million Belcourt Park community will offer 76 units of affordable housing in one of Nashville's fastest-growing neighborhoods.
A rendering of Belcourt Park in Hillsboro Village

A rendering of Belcourt Park in Hillsboro Village

Nashville, Tenn.—GBT Realty Corp. is helping provide much-needed affordable workforce housing in Nashville with its plans to develop a .68-acre site in Hillsboro Village into a 76-unit multifamily community. Named Belcourt Park, the community is being built on Belcourt Avenue in one of Nashville‘s fastest-growing neighborhoods, targeted to the city’s workforce population.

“Hillsboro Village is in need of affordable workforce housing to cater to that sector of the population. There are approximately 20,000 students from Vanderbilt University and Belmont University in the area as well as nurses, teachers and retail workers,” Ben Owenell, managing director of the Diversified Development Division at GBT, told MHN.

The $20 million development will replace the former home of Belmont Nursing Home, which closed last year. Largely known for its retail developments, GBT created its Diversified Development Division last year to focus on non-retail opportunities in markets primarily in the Southeast. The division concentrates on development opportunities in the multifamily, hotel, office and medical sectors, and it acquired this site last year for $3.4 million. The city’s planning commission approved GBT’s application to rezone the parcel to specific plan (SP) zoning in March, and while the city offers financial incentives for these housing types, GBT said it isn’t seeking public funding or concessions for the community.

“Belcourt Park is a very positive, first step by Nashville’s private developer community to address the needs of our market,” Owenell said. “Not only is this residential community consistent with the City’s T4 Neighborhood Plan, it also sets the tone for future market-rate development throughout the region. We are creating walkable neighborhoods…that are consistent with the Nashville Next initiative that has been shaped by our city’s progressive leadership and vital community input.”

Owenell explained that the T4 Neighborhood Plan “brings an urban feel to an area in a variety of ways, including offering different types of housing, mixed-uses for conveniences and needs of residents, open spaces, walkability and close proximity to commercial centers. Belcourt Park is supporting [the plan] b y creating a true live, work,  play community that integrates with other area amenities.”

Belcourt Park will include an onsite leasing and management office, with studio, one- and two-bedroom units above an 84-space concealed parking structure. Units will feature Google Fiber and NEST Learning Thermostats, while common amenities will include an espresso bar, Wi-Fi, a fitness center, and a patio with cabanas and fire pits.

Monthly rental rates are significantly lower than the area’s current housing options and the community offers 40 percent more onsite parking than the city’s planning guidelines require, according to GBT. However, the community will also have resident-only and public bike racks to encourage using other forms of transportation.

“We expect most of our residents to leave their cars in the garage and walk or bike to school and work,” Owenell said. The company also plans to extend and improve sidewalks, and has already added landscaping and street-level connectivity between sidewalks and front doorways.

In addition to Belcourt Park, GBT is  developing a $45 million mixed-use community called Village 21 at Regions Park at the corner of 21st Avenue South and Wedgewood Avenue. The community offers more than 22,000 square feet of commercial space, including a new Regions banking facility, and 101 apartments. Commercial leasing is underway and residential pre-leasing is expected to start in early 2017.

“Our $65 million combined investment really validates our belief in the energy of Hillsboro Village,” Owenell said. “The neighborhood has long been one of Nashville’s most desired urban areas because of its eclectic appeal and convenient location between Vanderbilt and Belmont campuses…We plan to manage and maintain our investment for a mid- to long-term stake in the community.”

The development team includes EOA Architects, Littlejohn Engineering Associates and Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis LLP.

Rendering courtesy of GBT Realty Corp.