Creating Places: A Citizen Observer's Look at Nashville's Built Environment

Writer's Note: William Williams' interest in the manmade environment dates to 1970, at which point the then-young Williams started a collection of postcards of city skylines. The collection now numbers 1,000-plus cards. Among the writer's specific interests are exterior building design, city district planning, demographics, signage, mixed-use development, mass transit and green/sustainable construction and living. Williams began his Creating Places column with The City Paper in February 2005. The column in its original form was discontinued in September 2008 and reinvented via this blog in November 2008. Creating Places can be found on the home page of the website of The City Paper, at which Williams has worked in various capacities since October 2000.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Creating Places: Polar Ice Storage Building

The Nashville Business Journal reported today that Tony Giarratana has sold his Polar Ice Storage Building at 11th and Charlotte avenues (in the North Gulch) to Eleven North LLC for $4.5 million.

Reportedly, EN LLC wants to develop a 302-unit apartment building on the site.

One of the Eleven North partners is TriBridge LLC, a Georgia-based entity with a website that highlights countless generic suburban-style "garden apartment" complexes. I hate to stereotype, but this suggests the company knows no more about cutting-edge urban architecture than I know about the history of Brazilian fashion.

On a local note, TriBridge owns (or manages, or both — I can't determine and really don't care given the ho-hum design styles of the company's vanilla-looking properties) Wyndchase Aspen Grove in nearby Franklin. The name — likely pretentiously created by some bland marketing outfit and combining an alt-spelling of "wind" while referencing Colorado evergreens (please, no more of this absurdity) — is pitiful enough.

Perhaps TriBridge has somebody on the team that "gets it" regarding urban design and development. If not, I have major concerns. The North Gulch needs cutting-edge infill, and a Lakes of Bellevue-like "apartment community" would be no more welcomed for the district than my having a 4-inch fire-hot needle plunged into the hemorrhoids I suffer upon fretting about such matters.


  1. The suburban developers sure love their pine trees. Unfortunately they can only usually be found at the entrance of the complex/subdivision because they have clearcut the rest of the trees.

  2. Those same bland marketing outfits are doing "urban" property names that are cliche, trite, expected, and pretentious (ICON and TERRAZO). And what would an up and coming urban city be without properties that are named for their address (1700 Midtown, 5th and Main).

  3. This property is subject to certain urban design guidelines, and I don't see any reason to believe it would be a suburban-style or bland development. It'll be no more suburban than Velocity and will likely be similar in scale. This project will need to compete with the aesthetics of Velocity, ICON, etc and I'm sure the developers are aware of what's expected in the Gulch. It may not be cutting-edge, but I wouldn't assume anything based on the developers' previous work. They are professionals. Aesthetics are relative based on the site's location and context.

  4. More yuppie bullshit from William Williams.

  5. A-Mous,

    Actually, that should read "more pathetic and predictable bullshit from that hack of writer and pretentious 'faux cosmopolitan' jerk William Williams."