Soon, midtown Nashville will be home to a major mixed-use development project — and the traffic and construction that such a project merits. Buckingham Companies has announced that construction will begin on the two acre site at the intersection of 21st Avenue South, Broadway and Division Street, adjacent to the Vanderbilt University campus. The project, temporarily called “Buckingham Midtown,” will bring an eclectic mix of residences and retail opportunities that will advance the area as an energetic, walkable district.
Site preparation is underway now and will make way for vertical construction, to start later this year, of a 17-story, 600,000-square-foot, mixed-use development that will include 350 apartments, a 180-room full-service hotel and 35,000 square feet of ground level retail space.
Additionally, the project will bring 630 parking spaces and, through the hotel, approximately 6,500 square feet of meeting space to the area. Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants will operate the full-service hotel. The guest rooms will include roughly 17 suites with special amenities; many rooms will have an unobscured view of the downtown area.
Scott Travis, vice president of development at Buckingham Companies, said the goal of the development is to create a unique, mixed-use community that compliments and serves the thriving and eclectic Midtown neighborhood through its amenities and design.
“The project’s design has evolved and is intended to be reflective of and responsive to the creative and passionate feel of the Midtown area,” said Travis. “I think it will be an improvement to the area. The city is investing money in reconfiguring the intersection at 21st and Broadway. If you’ve ever travelled that intersection, I think you know that turning in that intersection is a roll-of-the-dice situation. So the traffic light will certainly be an improvement there. Especially because students transfer onto the college campus at that corridor, I think it’s critical that it happens.”
Kimpton Hotels and Buckingham Companies are working together closely to envision a hotel custom and unique to the Nashville market.
“Buckingham’s investment in Nashville is further validation of our city’s attractiveness and vibrancy,” Mayor Karl Dean said. “I commend the company for addressing the sensitivities of neighborhood residents by incorporating design elements that blend with the area.”
Local engineering firm Littlejohn is involved in the design and engineering of Buckingham Midtown, bringing first hand knowledge of the city to the project. Additionally, Crane Construction — a Nashville fixture since 1933 — will handle the construction of the 17-story building.
“It is very important to us to bring in people who are familiar with the context and understand the culture of Nashville. We want that familiarity with the traits of the city,” said Travis.
Buckingham Midtown’s various components will open in phases with the completion estimated to be early 2017. With an already congested flow of traffic and pedestrians, the project is sure to heighten these inconveniences for the time being; however, precautions and careful planning will hopefully alleviate some of the problematic aspects.
“We’re doing everything we can to mitigate the impact [of construction in that corridor]. Of course, with construction to the property line, there will be some lane closures. There’s one right now on 20th street, but to make sure that flow continues, there have been a lot of considerations.”
Buckingham Midtown is intended to be LEED certified upon completion. Currently, retail attention in the project has been strong, with considerable interest coming from those with distinctive concepts that may be new to the local market, including restaurants and clothing boutiques.
“Metro Nashville will be improving the 21st Avenue South and Broadway intersection with enhanced sidewalks, lighting and traffic improvements. These investments by the city in public infrastructure paired with the addition of the mixed use components of the Buckingham Midtown project have been designed to thoughtfully mesh with the vibe of Midtown,” said Travis.