NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — Space to build downtown is going fast and prices are going up. Developers are increasingly turning to smaller plots of land. One great example is the recently opened Alcove building on Church Street. News 2 took a look at the challenges architects face building high on a tiny plot of land.
At 900 Church Street, a tower of glass seems to effortlessly soar into the heavens. However, building on this plot of land wasn’t for the faint of heart.
“At first view, it looked like a big challenge,” said Vladimir Andrejevic, principal with Goettsch Partners.
Andrejevic explained building a skyscraper on a tiny parcel requires a big amount of creativity. The Alcove building is where the old YMCA building once stood. Tucked between YMCA Way, 9th Avenue North and Church Street, the parcel is small, about 65 feet wide, which barely fits two apartment units side-by-side. On one side, 9th Avenue North curves around.
“In theory, you couldn’t put the typical floor plate on this parcel, so we had to be creative in terms of how we shape the building and how it fits on sight,” the architect said. “But we looked closely and we said, ‘yeah, we think we can do it.'”
And they did.
Architects with Goettsch Partners divided the tower into eight stacked, shifted cubes that to a passerby look like stacked boxes — an homage of sorts to the Amazon tower in Nashville Yards just across the street.
By playing with those boxes in several different schemes, they were able to design a 34-story skyscraper on a small plot of land.
“We started pulling these apart and started shifting them. And in the middle of certain sections of the building, we actually pulled out one unit, so that created a notch in the building that we now call it Alcove,” said Andrejevic.
The alcoves, with soaring ceilings and bright, natural light, inspired the building’s name, and Music City inspired its design. A touch of Nashville, down to the city’s street grid on the mural inside the lobby, is weaved throughout the residential tower — a main goal for the developers at Giarratana.
“We’re developing within the community. We’re not trying to create new neighborhoods; we’re trying to build into the fabric of neighborhoods…and it’s really important for us to feature local art,” said Morgan Stengel, VP of development with Giarratana. “The art in the building really complements each other.”
Alcove features 356 apartment units with stunning views, two rooftop pools, a fitness room, workspaces, and lounges, showing Nashville that world-class amenities can still fit on a tiny plot of land.
“In terms of quality of the building, we think that this building brings another level,” said Andrejevic.
According to Andrejevic, he is absolutely proud of the building now that it’s done.
Work on Alcove started in 2019 but the apartment building is certainly not the first for Tony Giarratana’s development team. Over decades, they’ve made a name for themselves creating buildings that allow people to live, work, and play in downtown Nashville.