Envision Edgehill Apartments Master Plan
Situated between two of Nashville’s most bustling commercial and residential areas on 12th Avenue lies Edgehill Apartments. Though surrounding areas have seen significant development, this public housing site remained unchanged. Envision Edgehill Apartments (EEA) master plan is focused on the revitalization of this 32-acre section of the 12th Avenue corridor. Developed through a community-supported process, it incorporates both new workforce and market-rate rental apartments, green space, amenities, and commercial and retail services.
The planning process began with input from residents, neighbors, MDHA leadership, community partners, public and private institutions, philanthropic organizations, and local and state offices. An extensive engagement program encouraged residents of all ages to share opinions and shape the final design. Design team members toured the community with residents, establishing themselves with the community and listening to stories of Edgehill’s culture. Work groups gave community members opportunities to be deeply involved. Resident-only meetings provided a safe place to learn about the process, provide feedback, and participate in activities to develop the plan. Community Advisory Group meetings included partner agencies, non-profits, religious organizations, and neighborhood organizations, and Town Hall Meetings were open to the public. Visioning workshops invited participants to vote on preferences regarding aesthetics, amenities, and mobility solutions
Completed in late 2019, the Master Plan supports up to 160,000-SF of retail and commercial space and strategically locates key nonresidential uses in areas with high visibility, benefitting the viability and attractiveness of retail locations and creating a sense of place. Up to 1,500 residential units are included, including apartments in mixed-use and stacked-flats buildings. Buildings throughout are envisioned with traditional styling, preferred by residents over stark modern styles in surrounding areas. The Neighborhood Center will have mixed-use ground floors, providing retail, community uses, and amenities below residential units. Primarily residential, the Neighborhood Core offers a mixture of housing types, neighborhood services, and support resources. The Neighborhood Edge will be comprised of lower-density townhouse style units to transition to the density and scale of surrounding neighborhoods. Feedback revealed residents prioritize access to fresh air and private outdoor space, meaning porches, stoops, balconies will be included in as many units as possible.
Residents desired tree-lined streets with safe and convenient mobility options. Thus, the street network is designed in a context sensitive “Complete Streets” approach, incorporating a robust pedestrian realm with wide sidewalks, planting strips, streetscape furnishings, bike facilities, and other design features to slow vehicular traffic. Fostering additional connectivity, the site plan incorporates a new block on the eastern side of the development where 10th Avenue once was – which was a sidewalk sequestered by chain link fences at the time of forming the plan. The Master Plan transforms 10th Avenue into a street with a bike lane and sidewalk, knitting the community’s block structure back together with connections at Summit Avenue and Horton Avenue, which will be redesigned to include bike lanes and wider sidewalks.
Residents requested ample open spaces equitably distributed across the site with significant allocations on both the western and eastern sides of the plan area, so that neither side must cross 12th Avenue for access. Residents also expressed the existing green spaces were underutilized and perceived as unsafe. Prompted by this feedback, the new open spaces are intended to include purposeful activities and programs, inviting the community to activate the spaces freely and safely, and are placed in front of residences’ front doors, windows, and businesses, providing high visibility.
Revitalization of the Edgehill Apartments through EEA is critical to renewing a sense of place within this rapidly developing city corridor. The phased 20-year Master Plan leads the way toward a sustainably livable, walkable, and accessible community, honoring area’s history while providing infrastructure to support continued investment.