The mixed-use tower Brentwood-based GBT Realty is planning for the Elliston Place and West End Avenue split is slated to rise 27 floors — potentially making it an iconic structure for the city’s West End corridor.
According to a document filed with the Metro Planning Department, Nashville-based Gresham Smith will design the future tower, which will include residential units and ground-level commercial space. The main address is 2416 West End Ave.
The art deco structure now at that address — sometimes called the Firestone Building — accommodates a Smoothie King and was previously home to a Rite Aid. GBT paid $8.1 million for the property last December. The company's proposed project also will include the properties home to Rotier’s (which has closed), Emma’s Flowers and Gifts (which is closing) and Gyros Kitchen Greek cafe & Taverna. GBT has those properties, which collectively span 0.87 acres, under contract.
The document notes the tower, if Metro approves, could rise up to 370 feet, a height that would make it the tallest building in Nashville located west of 21st Avenue. For comparison, the Gothic collegiate high-rise nearing completion on the Vanderbilt University campus stands about 300 feet.
The future project, as GBT envisions, would include a small green space at the split, some below-grade parking and vehicular access via a new two-way street connecting Elliston and West End on the east side of the footprint.
GBT will go before the Metro Planning Commission in July to request specific plan zoning for the land, which is currently zoned commercial. The property sits within Metro Councilmember Brandon Taylor’s District 21.
Fiona Haulter, GBT's vice president of development, said the company is “working closely” with Taylor and the area’s business owners and neighbors regarding the plan. No detailed color rendering has been submitted and GBT has not yet disclosed what type of exterior design it might be eyeing for the high-profile site near the VU campus and Centennial Park.
Of note, GBT also plans to address challenges the site currently offers regarding pedestrian and cyclist access.
“Our priority has been on architectural design and pedestrian safety improvements, including upgrades at four surrounding intersections that GBT would fund,” Haulter emailed the Post. “Through discussions with Metro Public Works, the Metro Parks Department, the Centennial Park Conservancy and Vanderbilt, we have identified opportunities to increase safety, accessibility and walkability to and from Centennial Park, Vanderbilt and businesses in the area.”
Haulter said designs are still preliminary and that GBT is seeking “an exceptional and iconic design that is worthy of this gateway location.”
“Along with restaurant space that will activate the bottom floor, we are also in talks with a significant retailer for the second floor that holds tremendous synergies with the area and would benefit the community and neighboring activities. We look forward to sharing more when available.”
Firestone operated from the Firestone Building, which is roughly 90 years old, until 1983 and was eventually replaced by Eckerd Drugs in 1985.
GBT also is developing a downtown Nashville site at 13th and Broadway with high-rise ONE22ONE and is redeveloping a Murphy Road property with a combination hotel, retail and residential building called Parke West. The company is now proposing mixed-use condominium tower Eden House for Green Hills.