Plans tied to a major mixed-use skyscraper that has long been considered for The Gulch remain unclear – nearly 2.5 years after a permit was applied tied to water and sewer availability on the site.
Buckingham Cos., based in Indianapolis, has launched its efforts to develop the site, a surface parking lot with an address of 701 12th Avenue S., seven years ago. The company then put the project on hold before applying for the permit in January 2020.
Buckingham officials could not be reached for comment, and it is unclear whether development has been abandoned.
As last proposed, the 38-story tower would offer 345 residences (231 studio and one-bedroom units and 114 two-bedroom units) and 4,900 square feet of space for a restaurant. If standing as it was originally designed, the skyscraper would rise approximately 450 feet. By contrast, the Icon of Gulch skyscrapers (approximately 280 feet) and Twelve Twelve (approximately 270) are the current tallest buildings in the rapidly changing district.
Buckingham initially announced their plans for the project in August 2015, but later put the project on hold in what resulted in a long-term suspension. Buckingham acquired the Gulch site for $850,000 in 2012, according to Metro records. However, previous media reported that Kent Wood sold the property to Buckingham in 2016 for $3 million.
In the fall of 2015, the Metro Board of Zoning Appeals approved Buckingham’s request for a special height exception to allow a 38-story tower instead of a 28-story structure (which, in era, was the maximum number of floors that site zoning permitted). This approval has since expired.
The vote followed protests from some Gulch residents who feared a 38-story skyscraper would excessively obstruct views and sunlight.
At the time, Chicago-based Skidmore Owings & Merrill was an architect. The company was the first non-local entity to design a skyscraper in Nashville (the William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower).
It should be noted that Buckingham developed the Midtown site that houses the approximately $100 million mixed-use complex. Aertson Town Center building at the convergence of Broadway, Division and 21st Avenue South. Aertson includes a 17-story Kimpton hotel building, a 350 apartment structure and 35,000 square feet of retail space and structured parking.