April 11, 2011
The Gulch, a mixed-use urban development center directly south of Broadway and connecting Nashville’s downtown to its midtown, is possibly the hippest place in all of Nashville. What shocks me most is who you see walking around at lunchtime. This is not the same crew that was hanging out in The Gulch, in the daylight, five years ago. The streets are bustling with a mixture of young professionals, those not so young, and a creative, artsy crowd to round out the mix.
Where is The Gulch?
The concept of The Gulch has been around for about 15 years. But, these past couple of years, when the nation has been immersed in the worst economy to hit this generation, The Gulch has continued to expand and improve. The Gulch even has the distinction of being the only southeastern neighborhood to be LEED certified, an award that is paving the way for this exciting neighborhood to positively explode. If I had the money, I’d forgo the farm in the country for my weekend getaway and opt for a condo in The Gulch. I’m that enamored.
In researching condos in The Gulch, I expected the news to be all doom and gloom, as that’s all I have read. Um, no. Not at all. Yes, The Icon and the Terrazzo couldn’t have opened at a worse time, given the economic landscape of the past few years. But, if you take a snap shot of today’s real estate market, both properties are doing surprisingly well. The Icon sold 23 million dollars worth of condos in 2010. The Terrazzo, at 85% capacity, has only 18 units left for sale.
I like what Grant Hammond said in a recent Nashville Real Estate article, “Remember, downtown residential development was forbidden by Nashville building codes from 1963 until 1993. We’re only in the 18th year of development. It’s time to realize that our sleepy little town has awakened and has begun to live up to its billing as Music City USA.” He makes a good point: five new residential projects will break ground this year. Call me crazy, but I’m pretty sure those aren’t the statistics of real estate carnage.
While great restaurants were the initial drawing card that had Nashvillians racing to The Gulch in droves, the retail side is beginning to take hold in similar fashion. When clothing giant, Urban Outfitters, opened in Nashville, it was a huge feather in the city’s hat, but particularly so for The Gulch. Other retail businesses have followed suit, and I know of three more that are seriously considering a move to this part of town.
Even storage, courtesy of A+ Storage, in The Gulch looks good. See, it is possible to have nice looking buildings, no matter what their function. (A big “Eh-hm” to other parts of Nashville.)
And, in case you missed it: Nashville is the 4th most popular city to move to for people over the age of 25 with college degrees, by percentage of population, according to Forbes Magazine. And knowing that living in a vibrant, LEED certified neighborhood within a progressive city matters to this demographic, it sounds like we have this thriving, reclaimed urban neighborhood to thank, in part, for this honor.
Put The Gulch on your restaurant, retail and music radar. You won’t be disappointed you did.
A big THANK YOU to Jo Dee Prichard and Tommy Pierce, of A+ Storage, for giving me a tour of The Gulch. For great pictures and a complete listing of all the fabulous businesses that reside in The Gulch, click here.