When I first moved to Nashville in August, I had to rent a room for a week until my apartment was free. I was put in touch with a girl named Brinn who rents a room in her place in Germantown to my friend for Country Music Fest every year. Brinn and her friends were very cool and my first real interaction with Nashvillians outside of work. What was even more impressive than their hospitality and easy-going attitudes was the house itself and the surrounding area.
Germantown is a neighborhood in North Nashville that is known as the most up-and-coming area in the whole city. I was reading a magazine the other day, Nashville Scene, and saw a stat that said real estate investors received a 93% ROI in the last 3 years on properties in Germantown. And its obvious why.
When I first saw the area, I was confused at variety of houses on the street. The way her street went, there were low-income housing units in-between very modern townhouses straight out of HGTV. At the corner of one street was the most shady convenient store I have ever seen, with “DISCOUNT TOBACCO” painted in uneven yellow letters on the side of a deteriorating navy blue wall.
On the other side of the same street was a row of these brick townhouses that were the coolest things I have ever seen. Its hard to appropriately describe architecture that I have never seen before. I lack the necessary vocabulary to do a justice to the designers. But I took a few pictures above.
The best way I can describe them are Brownstones with a Southern twist. They were tall, narrow but very well designed for an urban environment. Across the street was a big open park and some other less appealing units. Further up the street were more units that had the same dimensions but this time with a more homey, suburban design; the house version.
I came to learn that Germantown was once a very bad area that was known for industrial space and projects. Some forward-thinking real estate investors saw potential in the area based on proximity to downtown, and began to buy land. Fast forward five years and you have some of the finest restraints, coolest buildings and future home of the new Nashville Sounds minor league baseball stadium.
It will be interesting to see how the neighborhood develops in the next five years. I hope it is able to maintain some balance between the original residents and their homes and the yuppies moving in. (See what I did there? Yuppies? Boston in Nashville.)