Former LifeWay Campus in Nashville Lands Hyatt

The 540-key Hyatt Regency is the first project to be announced for Southwest Value Partners’ mixed-use development.

By Gail Kalinoski

Former Lifeway Campus, Nashville
Former LifeWay Campus, Nashville, Tenn.

Nashville, Tenn.—A Hyatt Regency hotel will be the first asset to be built in Nashville as part of Southwest Value Partners’ new mixed-use development on the former LifeWay campus.

Hyatt Hotels announced this week that a Hyatt affiliate had entered into a franchise agreement with SWVP, a private San Diego-based real estate investment firm that acquired the 15-acre site nearly a year ago for $125 million from LifeWay Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Southern Baptist Convention.

Expected to open in 2019, the premium, full-service hotel will be located on the northwest corner of Broadway and 10th Avenue, considered a gateway to Nashville’s central business district. The hotel will have 540 guest rooms; 60,000 square feet of flexible meeting and event space; a Hyatt StayFit gym and outdoor pool. In addition to several dining options, the hotel will feature technology-enabled multi-functional lobby areas and a variety of places for guests to gather.

“We are pleased to be working with SWVP to bring the Hyatt Regency brand to Nashville,” Mark Chase, vice president of real estate and development for Hyatt, said in a prepared statement. “Nashville is an incredibly dynamic market and a very important one to our organization. We see a bright future for the city and believe that the globally recognized Hyatt Regency brand will resonate with the growing base of business and leisure travelers visiting Nashville.”

The hotel will be within walking distance of the Music City Center, Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, Bridgestone Arena, Frist Center for the Visual Arts and the Johnny Cash Museum. For business travelers, the site is in the CBD and will also have convenient access to major corporations in the area like Bridgestone, Hospital Corporation of America, Dollar General, Nissan North America, Baretta USA and UnderArmour. The city is also home to several colleges including Vanderbilt, Tennessee State and Belmont universities.

“Hyatt Regency Nashville will be the first in a series of excellent hospitality, creative office, residential and retail offerings we are working to bring to the former LifeWay site in Nashville,” SWVP Managing Partners Mark Schlossberg and Cary Mack said in a joint statement. “In addition to a vibrant live/work/play environment, we expect this project to have a significant positive impact on jobs and Nashville’s employment base, alongside increased direct local spending and city/state tax receipts. We couldn’t be more pleased to kick off this project with Hyatt.”

There are more than 168 Hyatt Regency urban and resort locations in over 30 countries. It is one of 12 brands within the Hyatt Hotels Corp., which now has 667 properties in 54 countries.

The city is in the midst of a hospitality boom with 4,475 hotel rooms proposed or under construction, according to the Nashville Business Journal. Even with those properties planned, the newspaper reports there is not enough supply to meet the demand.

A recent Tennessee Metro Multifamily market report by Yardi Matrix noted that the Nashville/Knoxville metro is “becoming one of the nation’s most attractive secondary markets for developers and investors.” The report said the investments are being “driven by a diversified economy led by its iconic entertainment industry and a first-rate healthcare sector.” Corporate expansions and relocations are also on the increase attracted by Nashville’s “population growth, healthy employment sector and cost-friendly business climate.”

The purchase of the LifeWay campus last November was the sixth-largest real estate deal of the decade in Nashville, according to the Nashville Business Journal. While this is SWVP’s first development in Nashville, the firm has been active in the South and owns several assets including the DoubleTree Raleigh-Durham in North Carolina, Westin Hilton Head Island Resort & Spa in South Carolina and Intercontinental New Orleans.

Meanwhile, LifeWay is planning construction of a new $70 million corporate headquarters at 11th Avenue N. and Jo Johnston Avenue. Skanska was selected in May to manage the development of the nine-story, 269,000-square-foot office building and 820-spot parking garage. LifeWay plans to move 1,100 employees to the new site in late 2017 or early 2018.

Image courtesy of Southwest Value Partners

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