Kathryn Stevens and Charlie Warner could have purchased a home in the suburbs. Instead, they joined growing numbers of homebuyers of all ages who are returning to the city and buying newly built infill homes in Nashville’s urban core.
“The thing I like best about living in the city is the sense of vibrancy you get. There’s movement all the time,” said Stevens.
The couple purchased their home last year in East Nashville’s Shelby Hills neighborhood, close to downtown, restaurants and parks. Their neighborhood also offers diversity that can be missing from suburban locations.
“It was important for us to pick a community where people from all walks of life lived and one that included those young and old and everywhere in between. East Nashville, including Shelby Hills, really is a melting pot of folks,” said Stevens.
Allure of city living
Infill homes are revitalizing neighborhoods across the city, said Britnie Turner, founder and CEO of Aerial Development Group, the company that built Stevens and Warner’s house. The company is active in East Nashville’s Shelby Hills, East Hill, Rosebank and Lockeland Springs neighborhoods, as well as Salemtown, West Trinity Lane and 12 South.
Baby boomers and millennials are attracted to city living, said Turner.
“Both generations are enjoying the walkability to restaurants, bars and shows, both enjoy proximity to parks and greenways, and the tight-knit community that is being forged in these communities as they are becoming safer and more community focused,” she said.
“People are being drawn to Nashville from all across the world. As Music City grows and becomes more diverse, we get to build beautiful homes while making healthier and stronger neighborhoods that absorb new residents and will be sustainable over a long period of time,” said Turner.
Homebuyers are returning to cities “all over the world,” and Nashville is no exception, said Mark Deutschmann, a founder of Village Real Estate Services and Core Development Services, which are active in infill development.
“They want access to our city, which is getting more exciting every day, and the vibrancy of gathering places that are creating community and contact,” he said.
Core’s current projects include Gentry Way, a 10-home development in East Nashville; Chester, 17 townhomes in south Inglewood; Twelve 60 Martin and Six 10 Merritt in the rapidly redeveloping Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood near the Fairgrounds; and Richland Station, 40 cottage homes in West Nashville’s Sylvan Park neighborhood.
Village Real Estate is handling sales for East Greenway Park, which is Aerial Development’s new wellness-oriented community featuring 62 cottage-style homes and a coffee shop in East Nashville’s Rosebank neighborhood with a direct connection to the Shelby Bottoms Greenway.
Village is also selling homes at Treaty Oaks, MiKen Development’s health-oriented neighborhood of 60 cottage homes in the Nations on the city’s west side.
As Nashville grows — 1 million people are expected to move to the region in the next 20 years — urban neighborhoods will continue to redevelop, said John Brittle, founder of the Infill Nashville Team at the Parks real estate company.
“As people come from out of town and people in town get more frustrated with travel, they want to live where they don’t have to deal with traffic. It’s about how you spend your time and how you live,” said Brittle.
Live, work and play
Infill buyers are looking for a lifestyle they can’t find in the suburbs, said Turner.
“Infill buyers are looking to live, work and play within a very close proximity,” she said. “These people are busy. They have found value in community and being active in their work, play and travel. These buyers are willing to live in tighter quarters and share more as long as it means they can be close to what they enjoy.”
A new, infill home offers features that can’t be duplicated in an older house. Aerial clients Stevens and Warner enjoy their modern kitchen, well-appointed baths and open living space.
“We also love the rooftop deck,” said Stevens. “It has great views of the Cumberland River, downtown Nashville and Shelby Park.”
Originally published by The Tennessean, Sunday July 10 2016