It’s no secret that an astonishing number of people move to Middle Tennessee each day. Once they arrive, they have the luxury of many appealing and amenity-filled neighborhoods in which they can choose to live. But how do you know the most suitable area for you, your family and your lifestyle? “Our goal is to make your transition into the area as seamless as possible,” explains Paige Thompson, Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty‘s Vice President of Relocation.
For Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty clients, that begins with an extensive interview to find out their needs and match them with the agent. “We go through a variety of questions including areas of interest, living concerns, price range and timeframe,” continues Paige. “Our realtors are their advocates and are there to help them make the transition process easier.”
This sort of personalized approach makes it more likely that those new to Music City find the perfect place to call home the first time, which is crucial as not all of Nashville’s neighborhoods are created equal. Indeed, some are known for their culinary offerings, while others are attractive for their residents’ active lifestyle or the historical architecture found there. Whether you’re looking to move across town or you’re coming from across the country, Zeitlin Sotheby’s seasoned Realtors offer expertise or grand knowledge of the most popular spots all across the city. Today, we turn to Nathan Matwijec, Alex Sloan, Yvonne Kelly along with Paige Thompson to shed light on some of the most covetable areas people enjoy calling home. Take a look at Nashville’s various neighborhoods and find the perfect place to call home.
Places to Live in Nashville: What Neighborhood Should You Live In?
The now-bustling, half-mile stretch of street that reaches from Sevier Park to Wedgewood Avenue is the main thoroughfare of the 12 South neighborhood. Storefronts beckon neighbors and visitors to shop for stylish wears, custom denim, locally made goods and fashionable finds, while restaurants welcome diners looking for everything from barbecue or bagels to Lebanese fare or sushi. “These neighborhoods offer a culturally expansive set of restaurants,” explains Nathan, who promises us you can’t go wrong at any of the many local restaurants.
Locals live comfortably in single-family, restored bungalow-style homes on streets adjacent to 12th Avenue, within walking distance from everything the neighborhood has to offer, shops and restaurants included. Sidewalks with steady foot traffic make this a pedestrian-friendly community — something the regular walkers, runners and joggers in the neighborhood can attest to. And given its proximity to Nashville’s nearby universities and I-65, life in 12 South/Belmont comes with a quick and easy commute across town.
Sevier Park, which sits on the southern part of 12th Avenue, embodies the neighborhood’s community-centric approach to living through its community and events, including the weekly summer farmers’ market and annual Sevier Park Fest.
Running parallel to 12th Avenue, Belmont Boulevard mimics its neighboring 12 South with restaurants, walkable streets, beautiful homes and active residents. Both neighborhoods attract young families, as well as university students and everyone in between.
“We are seeing a large influx of people moving downtown, especially employees of companies that are relocating to Nashville,” says Paige. “They like the walkability factor of downtown, as well as the amenities. Indeed Downtown has enjoyed tremendous residential growth in recent years and is also a hub of art and culture. Even outside the well-known honky tonk-lined Broadway, Downtown features music venues and art galleries that showcase local, national and international talent. Yvonne Kelly points to the concentration of art galleries found on Fifth Avenue, Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Tennessee Performing Arts Center and Frist Art Museum as main draws for art lovers. For the sports fanatics, Bridgestone Arena, home of the Nashville Predators, and Nissan Stadium, home of the Tennessee Titans, are close by.
The downtown district also houses locals in high-rise residential units. One such example is 505 Nashville on the corner of Church Street and Fifth Avenue. “The luxury high-rise is located in the nexus of the downtown core,” Yvonne explains. In Nashville, high-rise living isn’t typically associated with family-living but as Yvonne assures us, “It is not traditional living, but it is convenient living for anyone, and there are things in place to make it much more family-friendly.” The riverfront Greenway allows space for activity, and Publix and Whole Foods will soon be open near downtown as well.
Alex Sloan draws our attention to the many high-end boutique hotels that have opened, including Bobby Hotel, Noelle, Dream and Fairlane Hotel. “The hotels and the restaurants inside them have created even more places for people to gather after work,” he says. “People are discovering a lot of amenities and options at their convenience, and the changing downtown is opening a new world for Nashvillians.”
“Within East Nashville, there are several key areas the community is built around, Five Points, Riverside Village, Eastland and Porter (shopping and dining districts). These areas are the most widely known, right now,” Nathan Matwijec shares. A neighborhood with the largest geographical footprint, East Nashville is in-demand for creatives and families drawn to the eclectic community, which historically has attracted artists, musicians and entrepreneurs.
Travelers and locals come to East Nashville to sip at local breweries and expand their palette at familiar and recently-opened restaurants. In the aforementioned Five Points, Margot Café & Bar opened in 2001 and soon started attracting folks from both sides of the river. Today, the culinary offerings have expanded to include a local pizza joint, casual bars and upscale eateries the likes of The Treehouse.
Just down the street in Lockeland Springs, homeowners interested in historical homes and preservation find themselves putting down roots. Nathan refers to East Nashville as a mid-density area, with a variety of home styles ranging from bungalows to condo-style properties.
Architecture, new and old, define the Germantown neighborhood. And while it is the old architecture that makes it a historic neighborhood, it is the new that continues to breathe new life into the community. Longtime residents occupy renovated historic homes that celebrate the neighborhood’s storied past, which began in the 1850s when European immigrants established the city’s “first suburb.” Due to its close proximity to downtown, Germantown is no longer considered a suburb, but a part of the city’s urban core (although it remains removed from downtown by about 10 blocks).
“I lived in New York City, and I find [Germantown] very comparable by being able to go out your door and walk around,” Alex Sloan shares. Mature trees shade the walkable streets, which lead residents to buzzed-about restaurants and coffee shops. Within walking distances to the neighborhood’s historic homes and newly built apartments and townhomes, you’ll find an oyster bar, fresh takes on Southern food, modern barbecue and a year-round farmers’ market with seasonal, regional produce.
Active families and young professionals take advantage of Bicentennial Capitol Mall State Park and the Riverfront Greenway. While it is not mandatory to have a dog if you live in Germantown, you’ll likely be one of the few strolling the sidewalks without one!
Green Hills/Belle Meade
“Green Hills and Belle Meade are the most discriminating areas in terms of what they offer for retail and dining,” Yvonne explains. This is one reason the housing is getting to be very competitive, especially in the heart of Green Hills, an area of town with the most mature and sophisticated retail.
The Mall at Green Hills is the largest retail destination in the neighborhood, with a Nordstrom, Restoration Hardware and soon-to-open Crate & Barrel. Hill Center Green Hills also offers a destination for those who enjoy access to high-end shopping. The shopping scene is complemented by new restaurants, like Char, True Food Kitchen and Brixx Pizza, all located at the ground-level of the impressive 27-story Vertis apartment building.
“A destination for food and bars, the Gulch attracts people who are on the go and who enjoy nightlife, eating out every night and hearing music at the Station Inn,” Yvonne explains, of the type of community the Gulch attracts. A hive of activity, the Gulch offers an energy unlike what you’ll find in Nashville’s other neighborhoods. With high-rise and apartment living, the growing neighborhood, a walkable and LEED-certified community, is considered a microcosm of the downtown core. Growth in the trendy neighborhood is showing no signs of slowing, and boutique hotels, chic condos, shops and restaurants continue to open in this hip and bustling area.
Local hospitals and universities attract residents to the Hillsboro/West End neighborhoods. “It is a mid- to high-density area with a lot of residential offerings along the West End corridor,” Nathan explains the residential landscape. “As you transition to Hillsboro Village, and the Richland/Whitland neighborhoods outside of 440, you will find more single-family homes.”
The Hillsboro-West End Neighborhood Association was founded in 1975 and continues to protect the quality of the neighborhood and its historic homes. Hillsboro Village was one of Nashville’s first urban, walkable neighborhoods and continues to charm today with coffee shops, a historic theater and well-preserved family homes. Due to its convenience to area hospitals and schools, the neighborhood is also home to a large concentration of college students and university and medical staff. For a nature fix, Centennial Park is a central attraction for everyone in the neighborhood.
Sylvan Park/The Nations
Two neighborhoods located off of the growing Charlotte corridor, Sylvan Park and The Nations continue to receive increased attention from homeowners and developers. Sylvan Park continues to grow with a mix of historic homes and new builds located on larger lots with mature landscaping. “Homes here are sizable because the lots are larger,” Nathan explains. Healthy lifestyle is also critical for Sylvan Park residents, who eagerly take advantage of the sidewalk-lined streets and Greenway that encircles the 27-hole McCabe Golf Course. Historically considered a family neighborhood for its walkability, Little League field, neighborhood elementary school and family-friendly dining options, Sylvan Park also has a few retail options as well as a nearby library and farmers market during the spring, summer and fall months.
The Nations’ is growing around the central district of 51st Avenue, which is chock-full of dining and retail establishments. “In the Nations, the building envelopes are smaller, so smaller, more affordable homes are being built,” adds Nathan. The Nations is seeing faster growth, too, because the once-industrial area has more options for expansion. Residents skew on the younger side, who enjoy partaking in the neighborhood amenities, which include coffee shops, pubs and easy access to the interstate.
When you’re moving into the city from a nearby neighborhood, from another state or even from across the pond, and you’re ready to find the right expert Realtor who fits your exact needs, contact Vice President of Relocation, Paige Thompson at [email protected]
This article is sponsored by Zeitlin Sotheby’s International Realty.