VU art

2001 Grand Ave.

Vanderbilt University has paid $55.5 million for eight Midtown properties, including a modernist structure that once housed Methodist Church administrative offices and the Panera Bread building on 21st Avenue South.

The seller was the Board of Disciples of the United Methodist Church.

The properties offer addresses of 2001-2005-2009-2011-2011B-2013 Grand Ave., 406 21st Ave. S. (the Panera site) and 1001 19th Ave. S. The 2001 Grand site is home to the building (pictured) previously accommodating the Methodist Church offices and now houses the UMC Cyber Campus.

The properties span a collective approximately 5.2 acres, valuing the deal at the equivalent of about $10.6 million per acre.

Vanderbilt emailed the Post the following:

"We made the purchase in anticipation of future growth to support Vanderbilt’s teaching, research and educational mission guided by Vanderbilt’s Academic Strategic Plan and FutureVU framework for the evolution of campus over the next 20 or 30 years. We are in touch with the existing tenants and expect that most will remain for the foreseeable future."

Metro property records are unclear as to what the Board of Disciples of the United Methodist Church paid for the eight properties. Its ownership for the 2001 Grand property dates to 1950, with the religious entity having acquired the other seven properties at later dates.  

Somewhat relatedly and since 2015, Vanderbilt has owned a historic religious building located at 1101 19th Ave. S. That structure once housed the Disciples of Christ Historical Society.

Properties located within the full-block footprint and that VU did not acquire in the recent deal include those home to San Antonio Taco Co., Starbucks (which is owned by Nashville’s Lagasse family) and Chipotle.

The Post was unable to determine if brokers were involved in the most recent transaction.  

My position with Nashville Post has evolved since 2000 when I began work with the now-defunct The City Paper. TCP became a Post sister pub in 2008 (when I began some Post work) and folded in 2013. I have worked mainly with the Post since late 2011.

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