480 affordable apartments planned in East Nashville, Old Hickory
One of Nashville’s biggest developers of affordable housing is pursuing a pair of new apartment projects, including one targeting seniors, that could bring nearly 500 new units to two area communities.
On May 3, Elmington Capital Group will go before a city board seeking approval for issuance of at least $43 million in tax-exempt bonds to help fund its purchase of the sites and development of the complexes. The apartment units would target households earning below 60 percent of the areas’ median incomes.
In early fall, Elmington hopes to start work on a 210-unit community on 10 acres at 1205 Robinson Road in Old Hickory that would target seniors age 62 and older. The developer also has 18.25 acres at 2034 Pittway Drive off of East Trinity Lane in East Nashville under contract with plans to start building 270 apartment units in early-to-mid fall.
Those projects plus another 267 apartment units that Elmington plans at its proposed Hermitage Flats community on Old Hickory Boulevard in Hermitage should add much-needed inventory to Nashville’s dwindling affordable housing stock. As of year’s end, the average monthly apartment rent across the Nashville area was a near record $1,114, reflecting largely higher lease rates of the new units that are being built.
“Almost 90 percent of the new supply is in the luxury end of the market and this new supply in the affordable side will help alleviate tightness in that price range,” said Woody McLaughlin, a member of the Greater Nashville Apartment Association’s statistics committee who tracks developments in the market.
The site at 1205 Robinson Road is zoned for apartments or condos. Metro Councilman Larry H. Hagar said Elmington plans to preserve a 30-year-old, nearly 6,000 square foot residence on the property.
“It’s an icon for that area — it’s been there for a long time,” Hagar said, adding that Elmington has discussed using the home of seller Lana Robinson for meeting rooms, an exercise room, a coffee shop and offices.
The site is adjacent to the Old Hickory Towers high-rise apartments for elderly and disabled low-income tenants, and across Robinson Road from the Life Care Center of Old Hickory Village skilled nursing facility.
East Nashville Metro Councilman Scott Davis said he understands that monthly rents for the apartments that Elmington plans for 2034 Pittway Drive would start around $600 for a one-bedroom unit and be between $700 and $750 for a two-bedroom apartment and $800 and $900 for a three-bedroom unit.
“This reinforces mine and Mayor Barry’s commitment to affordable housing,” said Davis, who sponsored a legislation that Metro Council passed granting specific plan zoning for Elmington’s project in his district.
Elmington owns or manages 20,000 apartment units across 13 states, half of which fall under some type of affordable housing classification. That includes 290 units at the Park At Hillside apartment complex at 1501 Hillside Ave. in Nashville’s Edgehill neighborhood, which the developer bought for $20.3 million in October.
Elmington is seeking Metro Health and Educational Facilities Board approval for issuance of at least $18 million in tax-exempt bonds for the Old Hickory project plus another $25 million for the East Nashville project.
The developer is also pursuing approval for issuance of at least $25 million in tax-exempt bonds to fund purchase of land and construction of the 267-unit Hermitage Flats apartments at 5646 Old Hickory Blvd. in Hermitage.
The Health and Educational Facilities Board of the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County issues private activity or tax-exempt bonds for purposes of developing affordable rental properties. A public hearing is required because the bonds are being issued through a public or government agency with proceeds from sale of such bonds to be used for construction of the affordable housing apartments.