Nashville’s Skyline Being Reshaped by Building Boom

Nashville’s skyline being reshaped by building boom
Once a run-down industrial area in downtown Nashville, The Gulch is being transformed with new condos, restaurants and shops / Photo: Nathan Morgan

A powerful surge in construction is reshaping the physical character and economy of this 236-year-old river city, and fueling a deepening public conversation about essential civic values that many residents worry could be lost.

More than 100 new projects, together valued at more than $2 billion, are underway in Nashville or planned to start next year, according to city figures. Most of the big projects — four hotels, five office buildings and eight high-rise residential towers with a total value of $1.5 billion — are in the downtown core, a number of them rising on former parking lots, according to the Nashville Downtown Partnership, a business development group.

These include a 30-story, $220 million office building under construction on Fourth Avenue that will serve as the new headquarters of Bridgestone Americas, the United States division of Bridgestone, the world’s largest tire and rubber company. Under construction nearby is 222 Second Avenue S, a 25-story, $100 million, 350,000-square-foot building with 25,000 square feet of retail space.

So many construction cranes are operating in downtown Nashville that they appear on the skyline as a flock of big birds, their extended beaks tugging at steel cables. A 454-room, 27-story, $120 million Westin is one of the high-rise hotels under construction. Just beyond downtown is OneCity, a $400 million mixed use project under construction that encompasses a million square feet of office space, 120,000 square feet of retail space, a 170-room hotel and up to 600 apartments. […]