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VOL. 38 | NO. 16 | Friday, April 18, 2014

Homebuilding giants target Middle Tennessee

By Bill Lewis

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Miami, Charlotte and Fort Worth are a long way from Nashville, but for three of the nation’s largest homebuilding and development companies, the rewards are worth the journey.

Between them, those three companies – Lennar, Crescent Communities and D.R. Horton – will build hundreds of single family homes and apartments from Gallatin to Spring Hill and from Franklin to Mt. Juliet.

“There’s a good bit of national attention on Nashville. It’s the ‘It City,’” says Keith Glenn, vice president of Charlotte-based Crescent Communities.

Crescent, which helped establish Cool Springs as one of the country’s premier addresses for corporate offices and residences, is now turning its attention toward Mt. Juliet, Franklin and Nashville.

The company is working with Brentwood-based Pearl Street Partners to launch Mt. Juliet’s newest master-planned community.

That subdivision, named Nichols Vale, will have 430 home sites on 150 acres.

In Franklin, Crescent is developing Lockwood Glen, a community of 384 single-family homes and 240 multi-family units on 220 acres.

As a developer, Crescent prepares home sites for construction and sells them to builders. Homebuilding companies active in the subdivision include Goodall Homes, Regent Homes and Celebration Homes.

Crescent also has 161 building sites in another new development, the Echleon subdivision. Like Lockwood Glen, it is located near the new extension of Caruthers Parkway.

The company recently completed The Venue, a 428-apartment community in Cool Springs and plans to build a 280-apartment luxury development off Division Street in Nashville.

The Nashville region’s population is expected to grow by nearly 1 million people over the next couple of decades, according to a study by the Metropolitan Planning Organization, and Crescent wants to be part of that.

“The growth is coming. They’re going to have to have someplace to live,” Glenn explains.

Miami-based Lennar is active in Sumner and Williamson counties.

The company has 200 home sites in Gallatin’s Carellton subdivision, which it expects to appeal to commuters with jobs in downtown Nashville.

“It’s great for people who work in Davidson County. It’s a straight shot down I-65,” says Andy Pfeifer, president of Lennar’s Nashville division.

In Williamson County, the company has plans for 700 homes in Tollgate Village and Bridgemore Village. Both subdivisions are in Thompson’s Station, near Spring Hill.

Thompson’s Station is growing as home buyers travel farther south along I-65 in search of more affordable prices, says Pfeifer.

“Williamson County is always a sought-after address. Brentwood and Franklin are more expensive,” Pfeifer adds.

“Very few people can afford that stratosphere, so people are gravitating south.

Fort Worth-based D.R. Horton, the country’s largest home builder, has plans for 150 homes in Spring Hill’s Williams Park subdivision.

“Affordability, quality schools, and proximity to Nashville make Spring Hill an excellent place to purchase a home,” says Andy Oxley, D.R. Horton’s manager in Nashville.

The company also is active in Nolensville, the fast-growing Williamson County community located 16 miles south of downtown Nashville between interstates highways 24 and 65.

D.R. Horton is also building homes in the Woodmont subdivision in Smyrna and Liberty Valley subdivision in Murfreesboro.

“Building in Rutherford County provides D.R. Horton an opportunity to offer tremendous home values to customers who want to live, work and find entertainment and shopping all in close proximity.

Rutherford’s strong job growth and expanding commercial business districts appeal to a broad range of today’s homebuyers,” Oxley says.