Hotel could replace apartments near Vanderbilt

Three of Nashville’s few remaining pre-World War II-constructed masonry apartment buildings could face demolition, with a hotel developer slated to buy the properties.

Sometimes collectively known as the Louise Douglas Apartments — and considered by many locals as charming and historically noteworthy — the trio of buildings sits in Midtown near Vanderbilt University one block north of West End Avenue.

The addresses are 2221 Elliston Place (pictured), 114 Louise Ave. and 118 Louise Ave. (See here courtesy of Google Maps.) Triumph Hospitality is seeking to buy the properties. Janak “Jay” Patel, president and director of development for Dickson-based JV Hospitality (an entity affiliated with Triumph), said the company has the properties under contract. He emailed the Post “the end use is not finalized.”

The JV Hospitality website shows the company specializes in budget hotels with a portfolio that includes Comfort Inn, Days Inn, Holiday Inn, Home2Suites and Red Roof. Triumph will ask the Metro Planning Commission to rezone the properties on Thursday, Dec. 13.

Hilsea Properties Holding (which is registered in Gibraltar) owns the three properties, having acquired them in July 1992 for $675,000, according to Metro records.

The Louise Douglas buildings join The Lee Apartments, The Mayfair and 2210 Hayes as the last small-scale, old-school apartment houses of such vintage and located within the general Elliston Place area. Similarly, Nashville has few such buildings compared to other Southern cities such as Birmingham, Louisville and Memphis.

Tim Walker, executive director of the Metro Historical Commission, called the possibility of the diminutive residential buildings being razed “sad news.” The buildings — individually called The Louise, The Douglas and The West End — are considered eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, he said.

Walker emailed the Post the following from MHC's Scarlett Miles.

“These apartment buildings represent the westward growth of the city of Nashville, bolstered by the introduction of electric power on the Broadway-Vanderbilt trolley line in the late 1880s. As residential development increased along this line, pre-war apartment buildings would promote their locations in ‘the city's best residential areas’ as well as their proximity to Vanderbilt, Peabody, Ward-Belmont and the streetcar line. Each building also promoted clever floor plans, sun/sleeping porches and modern conveniences (i.e. gas ranges/electric stoves and electric refrigeration). By the 1950s and 1960s, proximity to hospitals would also be a selling point.”

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