A Look at Cool Springs After its 30th Anniversary

Cool Springs was the brainchild of Southeast Venture founders George Volkert and Dick Sorenson. It’s almost unbelievable to think that it’s been 30 years since ground was broken for the Cool Springs interchange in 1987. The official anniversary was on November 12, 2017, which was serendipitously Dick Sorenson’s birthday.

The Cool Springs area has come a long way in 30 years, from thousands of undeveloped acres of open fields to 7.5 million square feet of office space – a close second to downtown Nashville.

Once the interchange was approved by the Department of Transportation, the partnership sold property to CBL & Associates from Chattanooga to develop the Cool Springs Galleria. That put us on the map as the company responsible for the original master plan and beginning execution of Cool Springs.

A Nashville Post article, published in conjunction with the November anniversary, revealed that the development once was known as Park65, but the name Cool Springs was chosen instead for a nearby landmark, the Cool Springs Farm, which included a historic home, now relocated to Crockett Park.

Former Southeast Venture President George Volkert promised at the groundbreaking that the 1,150-acre Cool Springs project would create 16,000 jobs and more than $200 million in city and county tax revenues over 20 years, and that promise has surely been met.

Breaking ground on the interchange set the stage for a major regional hub outside of Davidson County. Developments have now expanded to both sides of Interstate 65 in Cool Springs, including several luxury hotels, shopping centers (in addition to the mall), business parks, office buildings, big box retailers, low-rise apartments, condominiums, restaurants and car dealerships.

It has become a regional center, drawing people from across Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama.

One of our first large-scale projects, we never could have imagined the explosive growth that has taken place in Cool Springs. We look back at this development fondly and are excited to see how the area continues to expand for years to come.


Silo Bend Development Helps The Nations Neighborhood to Thrive

Last year we broke ground on Silo Bend, a mixed-use development on a 37.7-acre site in the rapidly growing neighborhood of The Nations. Located at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and New York Avenue, Silo Bend is named for the 200-foot-tall abandoned concrete grain silo that sits on the property, which is located at a bend of the Cumberland River. 

Groundbreaking ceremony at Silo Bend

In October 2016, we officially announced plans for the Silo Bend Project and unveiled the name of the new development at the Light the Night 615 festival in The Nations. The excitement for the development was huge, and it was featured in publications across town, including the Nashville Post, the Tennessean, the Nashville Business Journal and more.

In March 2017, we broke ground on the flagship structure at the site, The Flats @ Silo Bend, a 193-unit apartment building with 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and plenty of surface-level parking. Along with the apartments, Silo Bend will have single-family homes, office space, retail buildings and other apartments.

One feature of Silo Bend you can’t miss is the 200-ft-tall silo, on which we commissioned a mural to be painted. Created by acclaimed Australian artist Guido van Helten and finished in September, the mural features 91-year-old Nations resident Lee Estes. It has garnered significant attention and was even named best mural of the year by the Nashville Scene – and we think it is safe to say that it is the most recognizable landmark in The Nations.

Silo Bend in The Nations

Photo credit: Brian Siskind, Those Drones

The Flats @ Silo Bend the apartments will be available for rent mid-summer 2018 in the booming neighborhood where restaurants, retailers and boutique businesses are setting up shop. We have many other developments underway at Silo Bend as well.

South Carolina-based The Flyway Cos. is converting a lumber mill and a boiler room building into office and restaurant space. The project, Silo Studios, spans 65,000 square feet along Centennial Boulevard. Also part of that project, they are renovating a 40,000-square-foot bow truss building and a 5,700-square-foot structure made up of three coal furnace buildings.

We are also excited about new developments that are to come, including a 103-unit condominium building by Evergreen Real Estate. It’ll be the first Silo Bend building positioned north of the CSX railroad tracks that dissect the 37-acre site. They are planning to break ground in summer 2018.

Silo Bend started as an empty space in early 2016 but has quickly become a thriving neighborhood of its own thanks to our wonderful team of developers and designers. Stay tuned to see what else is in store!

2017 Year in Review

In 2017, we celebrated a momentous and busy 35th anniversary while working on many exciting projects. From Silo Bend to Hillsboro Village, we continued our trailblazing efforts across Nashville, to develop the latest and greatest spaces for people to live and work. Here are a few highlights from the year:

Silo Bend

One of our most noteworthy projects in 2017 was a mixed-use development in the booming neighborhood of The Nations. The development, Silo Bend, was named after the 200-foot abandoned silo that towers over the area and the property’s location across from a bend of the Cumberland River. We broke ground on the 37.7-acre site in March and began constructing The Flats @ Silo Bend, a 193-unit apartment building – which will later be joined by single-family homes, office space, retail buildings and additional apartments.

Silo Bend in The Nations

Photo credit: Brian Siskind, Those Drones

We also partnered with the Nashville Walls Project to commission internationally known Australian artist Guido van Helten to paint a large-scale mural on the silo itself. The mural features monochromatic portraits of local residents – capturing the essence of the community – and can be seen from almost a mile away.

Eastside Heights

East Nashville is a growing community just minutes away from downtown. This year, we developed Eastside Heights, a beautiful new mixed-use apartment building located at 5th and Woodland. The building includes 249 state-of-the-art apartments and 8,000 feet of ground-floor retail space.

It also boasts a resort-style swimming pool with an in-pool sun deck, two landscaped courtyards, a pet spa and dog walk, fitness and yoga facilities, a cyber café, a multi-level parking garage and a two-level sky lounge with an outdoor patio and a stunning view of downtown Nashville.


Photo credit: Aerial Innovations

The Nashville Walls Project helped us to commission a mural here as well. Four local artists contributed to the large “EAST” mural, which covers over 4,500 square feet of the property’s western-facing exterior wall. Since it faces I-24, it is estimated that over 100,000 vehicles see the piece every day.

We worked closely with Hardaway Construction to complete this project, and residents began moving in this fall.

Belcourt Village

We also provided architectural design services for Elmington Capital Group’s Belcourt Village, a 23,900-square-foot, mixed-use development situated across from the historic Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village. It will offer 25-28 apartments and ground-floor retail space that is adjacent to Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Altar’d State.

Belcourt Village Rendering

Located between Belmont and Vanderbilt universities, this modern living and retail space is sure to attract college students and young families, who make up a large portion of the neighborhood’s population. We’re excited to be adding another great stop in one of Nashville’s most walkable neighborhoods.

35 Years in the Making

For the last 35 years, we’ve been dedicated to building strong relationships with people companies across Middle Tennessee. Through those partnerships, we’ve helped develop the city of Nashville into what it is today: a growing and thriving metropolitan area that is home to 1.75 million people and counting.

2017 was a busy year filled with growth, and none of it would have been possible without our clients and hard-working team members. We’re excited for 2018 and look forward to another year of success!


Neighborhood Spotlight: Hillsboro Village

Located between Belmont and Vanderbilt universities, Hillsboro Village is an urban neighborhood that features a variety of bars, restaurants and boutique stores.

The neighborhood began to develop in the early 1900s when streetcar lines were extended out to Belmont, which attracted city residents to move to newly  developed homes away from the overcrowded city. By the 1920s, it had become a booming suburban area that was a short and inexpensive ride away from downtown.

Hillsboro Village is considered one of Nashville’s most walkable neighborhoods, making it a great place for residents and tourists to visit the many Nashville dining staples located there, including Pancake Pantry, Provence Breads & Cafe and Fido. It’s also home to the historic Belcourt Theater, where visitors can see independent films, live music and theater productions.

Belcourt Village Rendering

Because of its proximity to Belmont and Vanderbilt, college students and young adults make up a larger portion of the local population. It’s also a family-friendly area with a larger selection of single-family homes than many surrounding neighborhoods, as well as being home to Fannie Mae Dees Park, which features a playground, walking paths, picnic areas and, of course, the famous Dragon sculpture.

Real estate is on the rise as young adults, families and businesses look to move to the bustling neighborhood. Southeast Venture is currently working with Elmington Capital Group to develop a mixed-use space – to be called Belcourt Village – on Belcourt Avenue across from the historic theater. It’s slated to have ground-floor retail, nearly 24,000 square feet of office space and two residential floors with approximately 25-30 apartments.

The development will be next door to Elmington Capital’s other recently acquired real estate in Hillsboro Village – the former location of Sam’s Sports Grill and Boscos Restaurant & Brewing Company at 1803 21st Ave. S. A boutique clothing store, Altar’d State, and the Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar opened in these spaces earlier this year.

Southeast Venture is also helping food truck staple Bare Naked Bagels set up a permanent location in Hillsboro Village by the end of this year.

As with many of Nashville’s neighborhoods, Hillsboro Village is a hub for new developments, businesses and residents – and we’re excited to be a part of its continued growth.

Neighborhood Spotlight: Green Hills

One of Nashville’s most affluent communities can be found just a few miles south of downtown. Nestled between the 12 South and Belle Meade neighborhoods, Green Hills is a bustling community that welcomes both natives and newcomers to share in its many shopping, dining and recreational opportunities.

Green Hills began as a small community in the 1930s. After World War II, it grew significantly as people began building houses in anticipation of new business activity throughout the area.

The neighborhood is most widely known for its upscale shopping, such as the Hill Center – an open-air shopping concept – and the Mall at Green Hills, which opened in 1955 as a strip mall. Since then, the mall has undergone major expansions and renovations so that it now holds more than 100 stores and restaurants combined. Green Hills is also home to an iconic music venue, the Bluebird Cafe, which opened in 1982 and welcomes more than 70,000 visitors each year.

The community is located just a short distance from Nashville’s three major universities – Belmont, Lipscomb and Vanderbilt. College students and families alike can be seen at the local movie theater and nearby restaurants.

Radnor Lake State Park rests on the outskirts of Green Hills and boasts abundant wildlife, scenic hiking trails and numerous photo opportunities.

Real estate in the area is booming as more people and businesses look for places to reside within Davidson County. Southeast Venture’s architecture team is currently designing a new multi-family development in the heart of the shopping district with plans for a LEED-certified “green” roof.

At the Hill Center, Southeast Venture helped Endodontic Associates find its new home and provided interior design services to arrange the space according to its needs. A local foster care organization, Monroe Harding, also recently enlisted Southeast Venture to sell its property and use the proceeds to expand its youth services.

Green Hills is a popular neighborhood that will experience sustainable growth as new developments and renovations take place. And areas like this are sure to increase in value as demand for space in and around Nashville continues to rise.

Neighborhood Spotlight: East Nashville

Nashville is home to many different neighborhoods, each with its own sense of style and personality. One of the city’s many fast-growing districts is East Nashville—a diverse corner of Music City that, over the past five years, has changed tremendously and continues to develop, welcoming new urban restaurants, eclectic shopping and a blossoming real estate market.

From the dainty Shoppes on Fatherland to the Beer Works scene on Trinity Lane, East Nashville has something for everyone. Its creative vibe sets the area apart from the rest of the city, and its charm has caught the attention of tastemakers around the country, including Vogue Magazine, which calls East Nashville our city’s “coolest neighborhood.”

Development is flourishing, and one of the newest buildings to pop up in the district is Southeast Venture’s Eastside Heights. With nearly 250 units, this apartment complex offers a sky lounge with a view of the city, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor movie theater, retail space and more. Just across the bridge from downtown, Eastside Heights is only a five-minute bike ride to some of the city’s most popular attractions.

Most notably, a massive yellow and black mural of the word “EAST” covers over 4,500 square feet of the property’s western-facing exterior wall. Thanks to its prime location next to I-24, the mural welcomes about 100,000 vehicles each day.

East Nashville

Image: Aerial Innovations

Southeast Venture again enlisted the help of the Nashville Walls Project to commission the artwork. Founded by Brian Grief and Eva Boros in 2014, the Nashville Walls Project sought to expand street art beyond major cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, and introduce building murals to Nashville.

“Nashville is a great arts city,” said Brian Greif. “It’s known mostly for music, but there’s also a strong graffiti scene. The Nashville Walls Project has helped add to the visual dialogue of the city and opened up new opportunities for both local and international artists.”

East Nashville

Image: Aerial Innovations

Southeast Venture collaborated with local artists and design firm Sideshow to develop the concept, which was painted by Jon Buko and Meghan Wood of Nashville’s “I Saw the Sign” artists group.

“The Eastside Heights mural really captures the essence of East Nashville,” Grief added. “We’re thrilled with how it turned out and know that it will stand as a gateway to the community for years to come.”

Neighborhood Spotlight: 12 South

From its vintage charm to its modern-chic vibes, 12 South is a popular dining, shopping and people-watching hub for Nashville natives and visitors alike.

Before it was carved out as a separate neighborhood in the 1990s, 12 South was considered part of the Belmont – Hillsboro neighborhood, which was previously known as Waverly Belmont – a community that developed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries in response to the advent of the streetcar, which allowed Nashville to expand into the surrounding farmland. The large farms that once occupied the Granny White Pike area have since been replaced with commercial retail and residential buildings. Evidence of Waverly Belmont’s rich history can still be seen in its traditional churches and foursquare homes.

In the 1990s, an alliance of Hawkins Partners, 1221, MDHA and others, including real estate brokers Joel Solomon and Mark Deutschmann, created and implemented a plan to designate 12 South as a separate neighborhood. The vision of these urban pioneers led to 12 South becoming the thriving community it is today. Now, boutiques and quaint restaurants line the streets, drawing in the business of tourists and locals alike.

12 South Flats

12 South Flats

The 12 South Farmers’ Market is held on Tuesdays in Sevier Park – at the south end of the district – and food trucks, vendors and music acts line the park as visitors enjoy the sights and sounds of the event.

Sevier Park is also home to the historic Sunnyside mansion, a home built in 1852. The home was most notably owned by Mary Benton, whose husband Jesse is known for holding a pistol fight with President Andrew Jackson. During the Civil War, Sunnyside sat between the Union and Confederate sides. Over 150 years since its foundation was laid, the yellow house still stands atop a hill inside the park for visitors to see.

12 South Flats

12 South Flats

Real estate here is highly sought after, and Southeast Venture’s 12 South Flats is a prime example of the charming residential spaces available in the area. The modern property is a mixed-use building featuring nearly 10,000 square feet of ground-floor retail space and 90 residential units. The property offers a variety of floor plans with a luxurious loft experience, and the location can’t be beat.

The rising popularity of the 12 South district has made the secret of its charm impossible to keep, but the charismatic neighborhood will forever remain one of Nashville’s greatest treasures.