Bird's Eye View Of Nashville's Lofts, Condo Craze

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Nashville is experiencing a residential boom, particularly in loft and condominium construction.

The new buildings are changing Music City's skyline and the look of many neighborhoods.

Downtown dwellers such as Amy and Paul Walters feel investing in small living spaces is worth the high cost.

The Walters are among thousands of people who are moving to downtown Nashville.

One of the most-sought after addresses is 415 Church Street where the Viridian Tower stands. The building features floor-to-ceiling windows with panoramic views of the city from one-bedroom, two-bedroom and penthouse units, according to the Viridian Nashville Web site.

Prices for most units ranged from $150,000 to $250,000. There are a few $1 million-plus penthouses.

Developer Tony Giarratana said the state-of-the art, 31-story building is "the hip and cool residence of choice" in Nashville.

Before he built Viridian, he said there were only 10 traditional condominium units downtown.

"We added 305 condominium units, so this was a ground breaking, very bold move," he said.

And Giarratana plans to break even more ground and reach higher into the sky.

The 70-story Signature Tower, once completed in downtown Nashville, would be the nation's third largest building outside of New York and Chicago.

"Many people ask about the upgrades and we really don't have upgrades to offer," said Kimberlay Baker of Giarratana Realty. "You're starting at the upgrade."

"I would say the bulk of our people are mature professionals, their kids are leaving home," she said.

It cost about $428,000 for about 950 feet of space at the Signature Tower. 

"I have people who have bought and it's going to be their primary home, and they've never seen anything but the Web site," Baker said.

Sales have been going well. Units range in size from 950 feet to multi-story penthouses that cost millions.

From downtown to the Gulch area to West End, urban living is reaching new heights in Nashville.

Those high-rise projects will put thousands of new units on the market, but at the Lofts at Werthan Mills in Nashville's Germantown community, new residences are constructed from older structures.

John McClanahan sells lofts in a converted textile factory on Eighth Avenue.

"For the most part, where ever possible, it is left as original as you can," he said.

The fourth phase of construction is underway. Each loft is designed with wide-open floor plans, restored original maple and oak hardwood floors, exposed brick interior walls and 13-15-foot ceiling heights among other features, according to the Lofts at Werthan Mills Web site.

There will be 300 units total when the project is done.

"We just like being able to go everywhere on a whim," said Amy Walters about living in downtown Nashville.

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