Don Hayes is looking forward to walking out the front door of his new East Nashville townhome and stepping aboard a train that takes him downtown without having to fight Gallatin Pike’s notorious traffic congestion.

“I have used a mass transit system a few times when I lived in the Northeast and I feel it is a great way to get to downtown and not worry about traffic or parking. … I also feel a little more connected to a city when riding the train,” said Hayes.

He recently moved into Chester, a development of 17 townhomes at the intersection of Chester Avenue and Gallatin Pike along the first route of Nashville’s proposed light rail system.

The $6 billion transit plan includes bus rapid transit, bus-on-shoulder, commuter rail service between cities and, for the first time, light rail in Nashville. The plan would be implemented over 25 years if voters approve funding.

Since its announcement, the transit plan has become “a major selling point” for owners of Chester townhomes, said Realtor Newell Anderson.

“Proximity to the stops will be huge. Look at Manhattan. Proximity adds value to real estate,” said Anderson, a Realtor with Village Real Estate Service. A related company, Core Development Services, is the developer of Chester and Bailey, which comprises 16 modern townhomes and condo flats along Gallatin Road and West Eastland Avenue.

Chester is priced in the mid to high $300,000s. Bailey is priced in the mid $300,000s to the $400,000s.

Core is also developing Alloy off Nolensville Pike, another corridor where new transit service would be expected. At Alloy, a development of 81 condos, 10 residences were recently available for less than $200,000 and 15 were priced below $250,000.

Nashville Next, the plan intended to guide the city’s growth, identified major transportation corridors as the most desirable location for higher-density mixed-use developments such as apartments, condos and cottages.

“Density will be centered at transit stops with services for residents and transit users. This transit-oriented development creates opportunities for walkability and affordable housing,” said Mark Deutschmann, founder of Village Real Estate Services and Core Development Services. He is chair of ULI Nashville and board president of Greenways for Nashville.

Read More