July 8, 2008

Monroe Harding 20 acre tract is on the market

20-acre Green Hills site up for sale for development
Some neighbors concerned about future of land owned by nonprofit Monroe Harding
The Tennessean • July 2, 2008
Green Hills-based Monroe Harding, Inc., a local non-profit serving at-risk youth, has placed about 20 undeveloped acres of its 30-acre campus up for sale in an effort to further its mission.
"Our goals, decisions and actions are all guided by the desire to provide the best services and programs possible to the communities we service, especially the youth," said Patty Harman, president and CEO of Monroe Harding Inc.
The land, located at the corner of Glendale Lane and Scenic Drive, was placed on the real estate market last month by CB Richard Ellis Group, Inc. (CBRE).
"This is a scary time for us and those who live near us who are all accustomed to the large open green space," Harman said. "We all need to continue to pray for the guidance to work through this transition."
Harman said Monroe Harding would insist that the development of the land fit in with the current community, but the pending sale has some neighbors worried.
Ronna Rubin has lived near Monroe Harding for more than 20 years.
"To say that this is a neighborhood nightmare doesn't even come close," Rubin said. "This is the largest piece of untouched green space remaining in Green Hills. For CEO Patty Hartman to say . . . that 'the development must be compatible to the neighborhood' is a laugh. So they plan on constructing 60-year-old single-story ranch and Cape Cod homes? Right."
Monroe Harding wants to know plans, too
Rubin also cites existing traffic issues along Glendale Lane during rush hours as a potential future problem with development as well as the location of the land.
"I'm thinking that folks in the market for a brand new $1 million home might not be too keen on having . . . at-risk youth in their back yard," she said.
The community surrounding the site features diverse residential units, varying from multi-family to large-lot and estate suburban development. The land is currently zoned for residential development, suitable for low-medium density residential, requiring a minimum 20,000-square-foot lot and is intended for single- and two-family dwellings. About 7.5 of the 20 acres are in a flood plain and cannot be developed, which means the land will yield about 25 lots.
"We are not doing anything to change the zoning," Harman said. "As the biggest neighbor to this property, we do not want retail placed there. It is one of our biggest criteria for the sale. We want to know exactly what the buyer plans to do with the property."
So far, Harman said she hasn't seen any proposals for the property. She said, depending on the interest, the property size could remain at about 20 acres or be lowered to about 16 acres.
Land should be high in demand
The land is close to Lipscomb University and within short traveling distance to the recently completed Hill Center at Green Hills and The Mall at Green Hills, two high-end shopping destinations.
"This is a very rare opportunity to purchase acreage of this size in the Green Hills community," said Douglass Johnson, senior vice president, who, along with Morgan Hillenmeyer, an associate with the Nashville Private Client Group of CBRE, will handle the sale for Monroe Harding.
"There are very few undeveloped sites remaining in this extremely desirable area of Nashville."
Hillenmeyer added, "We anticipate that this highly desirable property will attract local and national interest."
Monroe Harding was founded in 1893 and has been located at its present Green Hills location, 1120 Glendale Lane, since 1934. It was established to provide a home for orphaned children. Throughout the years, Monroe Harding has served more than 13,000 youths. The current programs not only provide a home for youth as well as growth in education, vocation, life skills and relationship building.

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