Real estate investors from New York, South Florida and Atlanta are among the prospective buyers scouting a 6.4-acre development site that’s newly on the market — near a train station in a fast-growing area.
In an interview, Brandon Plunkett reported that level of interest in the property mainly at 119-121 Donelson Pike, which he part-owns. Metro has approved about 200 apartments and a bit of commercial space for the site, dubbed Donelson Station for its proximity to the Music City Star commuter rail station nearby.
The site is now listed for sale at an asking price of $5.2 million, Plunkett said. He estimated the Donelson Station project, as designed, would cost roughly $20 million to create. Construction could begin as soon as next month, he said.
"We love the site, we love Donelson. We had the full intention of building it, and we started getting inquiries. So we put it out there. We know there’s a lot of money here and a lot of capital from out of town," Plunkett said.
The proposed development is one of several that have cropped up in Donelson, about 7 miles east of downtown Nashville. As the last inbound station before the train reaches downtown, Donelson’s commercial real estate prospects are becoming more visible, not just because Realtor.com rated the area as the nation’s 15th hottest ZIP code in 2016.
The Regional Transportation Authority of Middle Tennessee, which operates Music City Star, is negotiating with a Philadelphia developer to build apartments at the station itself — a project that could trigger a larger redevelopment across the street. Metro Council is vetting a proposed redevelopment district for Donelson that would come with $30 million of public aid to spur affordable housing and infrastructure improvements within that footprint. Advocates of the transit referendum on the May 1 ballot have touted Donelson’s prospects as an example of the economic development transit can trigger.
Plunkett described two buyers in particular as "pretty serious;" he declined to identify them. Whichever suitor emerges, Plunkett said his group prefers to stay on board as the project’s developer — though Plunkett said the group is open to selling the site and walking away. That group, formally named Donelson Station Partners LLC, includes Nick Adler and Ashley Quinn. The group paid $1.9 million for the land last year.
Capstone Apartment Partners is brokering the sale effort on behalf of Plunkett’s group.
Plunkett, a principal with Forbes Plunkett Development, is rooting himself deeper into Donelson. Last month, his firm paid $2.7 million for 9.4 acres at 2841 Lebanon Pike, on the other side of the train tracks from the Donelson Station site. At the newly purchased site, Plunkett said he can build up to 185 residential units under current zoning. If Metro Council approves the Donelson redevelopment district, Plunkett said he intends to try and tap that aid for his project.
Plunkett also said he’s involved in a separate project closer to Briley Parkway. He declined to divulge more details.
As designed, the proposed Donelson Station development would feature a four-story building with 148 apartments and a three-story building with 51 apartments.