ULI Spring Meeting, Nashville (April 2019)

WDC Nashville TN

Music City didn’t disappoint as our two packed days of events took us through multiple neighborhoods, each capturing the attention of an enterprising woman developer. We kicked off at Old Glory, a hideaway bar run by two inspiring sisters located in what used to be an old boiler room of one of Nashville’s largest steam cleaning facilities that has been transformed into an urban oasis of local retailers.  We then walked through the Edgehill neighborhood to Music Row where we saw many of Nashville’s most famous sound studios and heard about the design and development process of the new SESAC building from its local architect, Mary Roskilly. SESAC represents the world's top songwriters, composers and music publishers, and shares its new building with the Country Music Association. Our tour continued through The Gulch, and emerging neighborhood that features the famous Kelsey Montague’s WhatLiftsYou Wings Mural – an Instagram and Taylor Swift favorite.

With that as inspiration, we gathered for dinner and tapas at Chauhan Ale & Masala House where an informative and lively interactive discussion ensued with transformative women developers Tara Hernandez, JCH Properties and Molly McCabe, Lotus Campaign, moderated by Tifinie Capehart, SilverPointe Properties.

On Monday April 15, our WDC Nashville program kickstarted with the best coffee in Nashville at the Red Bicycle Coffee & Crepes in Germantown. We toured the ground-breaking (literally and figuratively) Germantown Commons, where we learned firsthand about what makes this co-housing development so special from its founder Diana Sullivan. We then headed to North Nashville where we witnessed the emerging development of the Buchanan Street Arts District which is being led by development pioneer, Kelly Bonadies, Bonadies Urban Development. Kelly and Kim Hawkins, Hawkins Partners, are working closely with the community to develop a plan to achieve neighborhood goals and support local businesses.  We heard from Elizabeth Gatlin, Southern Athena, about the process of developing the popular neighborhood speakeasy, Minerva, and visited several local artisans and entrepreneurs who are making and selling sustainable products that many of us took home with us!  We enjoyed lunch at the new neighborhood mainstay, Slim & Husky’s, run by Nashville’s beloved Betty Marshall.

Our time together concluded in Downtown Nashville at woman-owned Jackalope Brewing Company , Nashville’s first craft brewery to can its own beer, with an insightful leadership workshop led by Carol Murray, Lifework Institute and Allison Lynch, Watt Properties.

We want to express our deepest thanks again to our Nashville WDC program leaders, Gina Emmanuel of Centric Architecture and Kelsey Oesmann of Urban Housing Solutions, for coordinating our inspiring WDC program in Nashville.