Tuesday, September 09, 2008

New Concept G Renderings Not So Different Than Old



Now that ground is broken at 6th & Garfield and foundations are going in, the architects of Concept G have come out with a different design. By different they seem to mean that the color on the buildings--which is darker than it was--is different. Otherwise the form of the elevation, which some have described as bordering on Green Hills office parkish and even dorm-like, looks exactly the same as it was.

Yesterday, the City Paper published a rather favorable article on it and the writer, William Williams, mentioned that the original design generated some "very critical opinions" at the Nashville Charrette (the NC debate originated from a link to my first Concept G post shared by one of the kind folks over there). I thought the Williams' estimate was an understatement of the grilling that the concept actually received over time at the NC. And the newer darker concept is likewise panned since CP publication.

I have the same concerns about Concept G that I had in March. I believe that it is marketing to a subset of empty-nesters who are more interesting in buying lifestyle rather than home in an economically, generationally, and ethnically diverse Salemtown neighborhood. I'm worried that Concept G is a further entrenchment of multi-"family" (as long as they are a family of two) and small duplex dwellings that will eventually drive families with children out looking for other neighborhoods with a critical mass of playmates and good schools.

It is located in the heart of Salemtown, but provides no mixed-use functions that could serve as a neighborhood center. It is just more of what we've been seeing of lifestyle infill here, and the design reviews I've been reading by people who seem to know what they are writing about are not very encouraging to me. The 600Garfield developers and sellers have made no effort that I know of to connect with or consult the neighborhood association, which is certainly their prerogative, but it isn't very reassuring to me. Outside of the comfort of seeing the building of more townhouses driving up the value of my single-family home, I am not jazzed by Concept G.

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