Though a beloved architectural gem, the Belle Meade Theater was long an underperforming commercial property in Nashville’s affluent Belle Meade neighborhood. Increasing residential development in the area suggested there was an opportunity for a mixed-use concept that would add positively to the area’s increasing higher-end multifamily options while simultaneously providing needed amenities in a walkable urban framework.
Gresham Smith provided design services for the 150,000-square-foot mixed-use development that includes a shopping center, apartments and shared parking, and new street frontage. Our designers converted the marble-covered Art Deco theater and strip center into a 59,759-square-foot urban grocery store. By preserving the iconic façade and marquee, the new development continues to be associated with an already recognizable landmark.
The rear of the site—previously devoted to an empty, flat lot—now contains a 52-unit apartment building, nearly 12,000 square feet of ground-level retail space, and a 9,761-square-foot community bank. A below-grade, three-level parking structure is accessible to commercial and residential users of the site. A portion of the site was donated and now serves as a new public street connecting the main commercial street with a parallel residential road. The new connector provides a fully developed streetscape with pedestrian amenities and parallel parking.