The West End Building in Midtown Nashville

The West End condo building in Nashville

Many people have been asking me about The West End condo building in Midtown. The questions have ranged from, “is that an apartment building?” to “is that building in foreclosure or something?”. I suppose the lack of activity in the building would cause most to assume the worst, but the truth is the opposite.

The West End is a 12 story, 72 unit, luxury condo tower that only has sold a dozen condos to discerning buyers. This building is one of Nashville’s few true luxury buildings. The average size of the condos is over 2,200 square feet and each unit features very large kitchens, baths and closets that remind me of the executive homes in Brentwood.

So why haven’t more of these condos sold? The answer is simple. This building is a victim of the real estate perfect storm.

1) The developer built this building without pre-selling the condos
2) The economy then turned sharply downward
3) The developer was slow to tell the public what this building is and how great it is
4) The developer and sales team then failed to create a “want and need” for this product in Midtown

The next question people ask me is “I am scared that the developer or project go bankrupt like Laurel Cove”. Don’t worry your pretty little heads…John Coleman Hayes can and will carry this building for years if need be. That being said, no one can carry a building indefinitely, so if the building does not sell out in the next 2-3 years, I would start to worry.

The West End is the perfect building for a couple or family who want to live a truly urban “New York” style of life. It is sexy and fast and convenient all at once. It is a life that includes frequent stops at the symphony and hopping on planes that travel to European destinations. It’s very different for Nashvillians.

The West End is considering allowing owners to rent their units. You might be able to taste the good life without having to pay the price soon and that is great news for Nashville!

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Laurel Cove Golf Course Now in Limbo

With the collapse of Wall Street giant Lehman Brothers, so may one of Williamson County’s largest residential projects. The Laurel Cove project is a 1,120 acre, 800 luxury home, Greg Norman designed golf course and day spa in Arrington, Tennessee. Lehman Brothers holds the $121 million construction loan as well the ultimate authority to pay all vendors and employees. At the moment the Wall Street giant filed for bankruptcy they were already 2 months behind and now sources say it may take more than 6 months to unravel and assume the loan from the bankruptcy trustee.

What does this mean for the project? It literally means that no work whatsoever will be done until this whole mess is sorted out. Residential construction had not begun yet, but the golf course, club house, and day spa were all more than 50% complete and residential construction was to begin in early 2009.

Prediction: With the national economic slowdown, the developers of Laurel Cove will most likely drag their feet as much as possible to allow the economy and financial markets time to turn around. We would not be shocked if construction resumed any time before 2010.

Update: This Nashville Blog has learned that it may take more than 9 months to sort out the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. As predicted a month ago, the national real estate picture has continue to struggle and Nashville real estate is holding rather steady.

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