Barry White really got it together on this rebuild

Friday, October 30, 2020, Vol. 44, No. 44

When scrolling through the various residential real estate sales that occur each week in Nashville, it is interesting to take look at the tax records and view the names of the various owners who have inhabited the properties over the years.

Nashville is home to numerous celebrities, so it’s not unusual to spot a luminary from time to time, although many of those hide behind trusts when they acquire the property. Some choose cuteness over rationale and come up with a name that is a dead giveaway as to who the owner is.

Others are more careful and have the trust named for the closing attorney.

Last week, the home located at 601 Brook Hollow Road sold for $3,149,000, an unusually large number for Brook Hollow and all of West Meade, for that matter. A review of the chain of ownership reads like a legacy from a home in Los Angeles or New York.

The current owner is Barry White – no not that Barry White, who died in 2003 – and he had bought the home from Steven – with a v – King. The author spells his name Stephen. So, Barry White bought Steven King’s house.

This Barry White is actually the phenomenally successful designer/developer Branan White, who is a celebrity in his own right. Named for his father, the renowned banker, Barry White of First Farmers and Merchants Bank, Branan White has graced the Nashville real estate landscape for the past several years, first in interior design, later in real estate development.

His projects always sell for more than those of his competition, with each house a history lesson.

For example, in the Brook Hollow house that served as home to White for the past five years, there is an 18th century ceiling panel in the dining room and an antique stained-glass window from New Orleans in the gallery.

Framed between the stained-glass and a gothic door, there is a bubble gum dispenser with two rounded, clear glass containers filled with the colorful gum.

Even outside, White brandishes his dynamic touch in the courtyard, where antique ironwork adorns a gate from a Parisian estate. Additionally, there is a fire pit, a covered veranda and an al fresco dining spot.

In the interior, the floating staircase symbolizes White’s floating mind as it makes its way into more wonderment throughout the house. Continuing on the floating theme, the owner’s retreat features custom floating vanities and a nickel-plated soaking tub.

The kitchen boasts cerused oak cabinets with brass inlays along with quartzite leathered waterfall island. Listing agent Mary Beth Thomas says “the unreal full backsplash is a showstopper.”

Thomas also notes there is hand-screened wallpaper and vintage fixtures throughout the house.

There is a detached studio, pool and spa, as well as two “billiard rooms,” not to mention the grand salon with its 30-foot ceilings.

The 601 Brook Hollow Road property has not always known such opulence. There once stood a modest 1,576-square-foot house with three bedrooms, one full bath and one half-bathroom, and that house served as home for at least seven other families over the past 66 years, all of whom were proud of their property.

On a sad note, the first owner listed on the tax records, one Joseph Steven (Steve) Renner, died in February of this year. Renner, a financial planner and life insurance agent, and had purchased the home in 1971 and sold the house it in 1976 for $49,000. Renner was known as “Shug” to his grandchildren, a combination of sugar and hugs.

G. Lynn Davis is a Nashville business consultant known for helping “troubled businesses turn their economic life around” states the website of his company, Paladin Business Consulting. Davis also is a brilliant writer and the author of one of the best-written unpublished works of the 1990s.

Davis also began his career in the financial services industry, as did Renner. Davis bought the house for $80,000 in 1982 and sold it for $122,500 in 1990.

His buyer sold it eight years later for $150,000 to King, who lived there 16 years before selling the property to the Branam White for $325,000 in 2014. Even in the midst of all the teardowns, it is strange to see a property purchased for $325,000 sell for $3,1149,000.

Richard Courtney is a licensed real estate broker with Fridrich and Clark Realty, LLC and can be reached at richard@richardcourtney.com.