LEED-platinum development proposed for East Nashville

Friday, July 31, 2009 at 3:11pm

East Nashville could soon become the home to the first LEED platinum-certified mixed-use development in the history of Davidson County.

A 6,000-square-foot mixed-use residential and commercial development is in the planning stages for the corner of 16th Avenue and Ordway Place. The proposal has received a so-so response thus far from area neighbors, who are concerned about the building’s density.

LEED, which stands for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is the nationally recognized standard for sustainable and environmentally friendly developments. Platinum is the highest-level certification a building can receive.

“That was actually the most important part of it to us,” said first-time developer Richard Amend. “We were just compelled to try to prove that it is a viable way to build, in order to encourage and support the LEED standard so everybody will have to build that way in the future.”

The proposal, which calls for five 1,000-square-foot residential units and two 500-square-foot commercial spaces, is complex because it is in both a historic and urban design overlay. That means the developer must navigate Metro’s Historic Commission, Planning Department and the Metro Development and Housing Agency.

According to Councilman Mike Jameson, whose district includes the development, neighbors were skeptical after the first meeting because of the proposed size of the development on an intersection that is both residential and commercial. But Amend has scaled back the proposal from three stories to two and offered a willingness to address other concerns.

“I’m extremely excited about being the first neighborhood in Nashville to have a LEED Platinum mixed-use development,” Jameson said. “But the neighbors have legitimate concerns about density, mass and scale that need to be addressed.”

A neighborhood meeting was held last week and at least one more is planned. After the first meeting, neighbors opposed the development with a vote of 18 against and two in favor.