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Printers Alley - Photo by Gary Layda
Printers Alley - Photo by Gary Layda

Ryman Lofts

Nashville architectural firm Smith Gee to design Ryman Lofts at Rolling Mill Hill

Mayor Karl Dean and the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency today announced plans to develop Nashville’s first artists’ residence downtown at Rolling Mill Hill.

Ryman Lofts is presently being designed by Nashville-based Smith Gee Studio. Construction is set to begin in July 2011, with occupancy planned for Summer 2012. The idea for an artists' residence was first discussed in early meetings of the Nashville Music Council.

"Nashville is known around the world as Music City and is, in fact, becoming home to a growing number of artists in all media," said Mayor Karl Dean. "An artists' residence is one way we can support the arts that are so important to our community, both culturally and economically."

The 60 rental apartments will be located on Hermitage Avenue near the one-time home of Captain Thomas Ryman, who oversaw the 1890s construction of the downtown auditorium that today bears his name. The one- and three-bedroom apartments at Ryman Lofts will be affordable and easily accessible to downtown and the new greenway currently under construction on the bluff overlooking the Cumberland River. The property would include unconventional floorplans that are conducive to artistic endeavors, large windows, on-site parking and ample common space, among other amenities.

“This affordable housing colony for artists will encourage next-generation Nashvillians to help us see and hear the world in a fresh and evocative way," said BMI Vice President, Writer/Publisher Relations Jody Williams, who chairs the creative committee of the Nashville Music Council.  “Anything that bolsters the larger Nashville arts community creates synergies that benefit our music scene.”

Although new to Nashville and Tennessee, the concept of an artists' residence has been implemented in a number of cities from the west coast to the east coast in recent years. Leasing information on Ryman Lofts will be available as construction nears completion in early 2012.

"The Ryman Lofts will be close to downtown's live music scene, as well as a large number of art galleries," said MDHA Executive Director Phil Ryan. "They will fit right in with the creative community that Rolling Mill Hill is becoming, with the renovated trolley barns and the dynamic mix of companies that will set up shop there."

Source: Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency
Originally released: December 9, 2010