Merritt Mansion art

A development planned for Wedgewood-Houston and offering a mixture of uses — including an update to the historic Merritt Mansion — is now seemingly in limbo.

Nashville-based A.J. Capital Partners is seeking to undertake the project with a key address (among others) of 441 Humphreys St. According to documents submitted to the Metro Planning Department, and as the Post reported in January, the development will include eight new buildings sitting on 13 parcels. A.J. Capital, which owns the nearby May Hosiery complex, owns some of the parcels within the 6.13-acre property.

However, Metro Councilmember Colby Sledge, in whose District 17 the property sits, told the Post Tuesday he received an email from the company president Friday morning noting A.J. Capital would no longer be negotiating with the neighborhood organization, South Nashville Action People (SNAP).

“So I informed them I would be withdrawing their rezoning application,” Sledge said.

A.J. Capital, officials for which could not be reached for comment, had been slated to appear before the Metro Council on May 4 for a second reading and public hearing related to the rezoning needed for the project — to offer residential, retail and office space and to include the Merritt Mansion being physically repositioned on the site.

Sledge said an A.J. Capital representative reached out with him this past weekend, noting the company would attempt to resume dialogue with SNAP.

“But, I made sure the practical effect of the zoning application withdrawal is that it kills their rezoning,” he said. “And that the company would have to restart the entire zoning application process.”

Sledge said A.J. Capital had been seeking a comprehensive rezoning that would have allowed a significant amount of mixed-use space, primarily commercial and retail.

“So now, at least for the short term, that's not going to happen,” he said. “And if they want to re-engage with the neighborhood, there's going to be a whole new set of parameters regarding that. That's where things stand right now.”

If it materializes, the development — see more images here — will include residences and address Brown, Houston, Humphreys and Martin streets. Another key address of the overall South Nashville site, which sits south of the warehouse home to Jackalope Brewing, among others, is 1220 Martin St. At least three structures, none of which are architecturally significant, will need to be demolished.

A.J. Capital still needs to acquire the Merritt Mansion property from members of locally based rock band Kings of Leon and some parcels located between Houston and Humphreys and owned by Art Daws.

Chicago-based HPA is the architect of record. Other entities involved include Barge Cauthen and Associates (land planning and engineering), Dryden (architecture) and HDLA (landscape architecture). Each is Nashville-based.

A.J. Capital is also underway on another nearby site with the mixed-use Nashville Warehouse Co. and plans to purchase the property home to Exit/In. (Read more about that here.) The company developed the Midtown site on which now sits the Graduate Hotel and operates from its May Hosiery Co-Op.

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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