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Wood Partners Targets MetroCenter for Latest Apartment Project

Published on:
January 28, 2021

Nashville, TN, January 28, 2021 (Nashville Business Journal)-As a slew of apartment projects come to life around the downtown core and its fringes, the Atlanta-based Wood Partners is investing in a less expensive, less dense district to the north.

The firm has secured funds to build Alta Riverwalk, which will house 304 apartment units on land adjacent to the city’s Greenway trailhead in Metro Center, which spans 850 acres in the Cumberland River’s bend. Construction is set to start in a matter of days, said Andrew Steffens, managing director of Wood Partners’ local office. Units should be available by spring 2022, according to a press release.

Nashville is in the throes of an affordable housing shortage, which is luring some young professionals away from downtown’s high price, trendy housing and into cheaper bedroom communities like Bellevue. But to Steffens, Metro Center is the best of both worlds: It’s primed for more affordable development, but also blocks away from some of the city’s most popular districts.

“The size of the developable parcels in Metro Center lends the opportunity for developers like me to build a less dense community, and when we can build a less dense community, it costs less, and when it costs less to build, we can charge less for rent,” Steffens said in an interview.

Metro Center is also much less dense than downtown, which could set tenants’ minds at ease in a post-pandemic world, Steffens said. At over six acres, the Alta Riverwalk property is more spacious than the multistory high-rise parcels that often epitomize city living. But the land isn’t the only Covid-era plus. The development and design teams decided that the project should feature an on-site office rental program to give tenants a change of scenery as they work from home.

Per-unit rent prices at Alta Riverwalk will hover around $1,000 to $2,200 depending on the floor plan, Steffens said. Other planned
amenities include a saltwater pool, club room and dog park, according to a statement. The project is Wood Partners’ fourth project currently under construction in Greater Nashville.

Steffens has been at Wood Partners, which is also the project’s general contractor, for two years. Before, he managed development for Middle Tennessee at Alliance Residential Co. He’s secured construction starts on four deals in the last eight months, with an additional 635 units set for completion by the year’s end.

An entity registered to Wood Partners bought the Alta Riverwalk acreage for $11.4 million, according to newly filed public records. Servis First Bank Nashville appears to have provided a $39.3 million construction loan for the site.

-Drew Hutchinson