Downtown’s historic Starr Piano Building is slated for a major renovation, with the future finished product to potentially offer retail, office, residential and/or hotel space.

And entity affiliated with Nashville-based developer Anderson Jarman earlier this week paid $5 million for the four-story building, which is located at 240 Rep. John L. Lewis Way (Fifth Avenue North).

Jarman, the owner of Jarman Development, said he has hired the Nashville office of STG Architects to handle the reimagination of what originally was constructed to accommodate a piano company.

Jarman said he is considering three options: 1. retail on the first floor with office condo spaces on the top three levels; 2. retail on the first floor with residential spaces on the top three levels; and 3. a boutique hotel. He noted a roof-top skylight will be added.

“We are dedicated to preserving the original architecture, protecting the history of this beautiful building while restoring features of the historic fabric that have been lost over time,” he said.

Believed to have opened in 1889 and featuring a Queen Anne design, the building ranks among Nashville’s oldest. The architect is unknown.

“The main reason I bought the property is the beautiful façade,” Jarman said, adding that Pinnacle Bank (Wes Payne) provided financing for the purchase. The bank will also provide a construction loan.

Jarman said a six- to 12-month construction timetable is eyed, with on-site work to stabilize the building underway. He declined to disclose the cost he plans to spend to upgrade.

Jarman has hired Mike Baggett and Tony Vaughn with the local office of Toronto-based Colliers International to assist in the marketing of the first floor space.

According to the National Park Service, the original occupant of the building was the Jesse French Piano & Organ Company. The building’s façade offers an oversized decorative parapet that includes a central sunburst motif and a cornice that is embellished with dentils. The remains of the words “Starr Piano Starr” are evident.

Of note, the seller in the recent transaction, an individual, paid $200,000 for the building in 1996, according to Metro records.

My Nashville Post role has evolved since 2000 when I joined the now-defunct The City Paper. TCP became a Post sister publication in 2008 (when I began doing some Post work) and folded in 2013. I have been managing editor of the Post since late 2011.

(0) comments

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.