A joint venture between Tavern Hospitality Group, Southern Land Company of Nashville and GTIS Partners, a New York-based real estate investment firm, will redevelop the 1.5-acre site on East 17th Avenue that currently houses the Tavern Uptown. The plan calls for an eight-story mixed-use building that will include 315 apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail space for the existing Tavern Uptown, including the addition of a rooftop patio. Southern Land will control the residential area, while THG will oversee the retail space, complete with a new home for Tavern Uptown.
"Over the years, we've been approached by various developers who wanted to purchase our property," says THG CEO Frank Schultz. "We've always declined because we have a history in Uptown and could never imagine leaving the neighborhood. Tavern Uptown was our first location...the birthplace of Tavern, so it's pretty sentimental to us. We feel we're part of the fabric of the community and have grown with the neighborhood. Our regular guests have been coming for years and are family to us."
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And according to Shultz, they'll be able to keep coming to the original space until at least the next Super Bowl, at which point it will be closed while the new building — complete with a Tavern Uptown in the same corner — is constructed over the next fourteen to eighteen months. "Southern Land Company recognized our steadfast stance of keeping Tavern Uptown in our same location," explains Schultz. "They proposed a plan, which includes Tavern Uptown in the redesign of their new multi-use building. Because we retain ownership of the retail space and the retail parking lot, we have full control over the restaurant design. This is a really exciting opportunity for us to keep Tavern Uptown in the community, yet create a unique, updated version."
That design includes a very high-speed elevator that will take Tavern customers from the ground-floor space up to a deck on the top of the eight-story building, with stunning views of downtown; Schultz thinks it's a fair trade for losing the current courtyard. And there will also be fifty underground parking spaces for those same customers.
While the Tavern Uptown is under construction, Schultz says that THG will place "team members in other stores." And by then, those stores will include Tavern Platt Park, the location at 1475 South Pearl Street that's now slated for completion in September.
This isn't Southern Land Company's first purchase in the area. The company bought the former Mile High United Way site in LoHi in 2013; another mixed use building is under construction there...just two blocks from the Tavern's headquarters, and the spot where some day the Tavern LoHi might emerge. But that project is still years away.