Bulldozers continue to clear trees and move dirt, while blasts bust up limestone rock on about 19 acres of vacant land where a large mixed use, multifamily development is under construction at 600 Stewarts Ferry Pike between McCrory Creek Road and Interstate 40 in Donelson.

Tentatively named the Percy, a 317-unit apartment complex and 8,000 square feet of commercial space is under construction.

The Percy project broke ground last month and barring any delays, it is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022, company officials said.

“These things sometimes take longer than we intend them to, but in general, the first units should be available in 12 months. We expect to finish the entire project 18 months from now,” said Atlanta-based developer Varden Capital Properties CEO Trace McCreary.

Meantime, local residents should expect crews to continue busting up limestone with periodic blasts for about 45 more days, he said.

“We are sorry for anybody we have disturbed with blasting, but when the project is completed, it’s going to serve the community very well,” said McCreary. “That area of Donelson can use a newer development and these are going to be top-of-the-line apartments,” said McCreary.

Varden Capital Properties would not disclose the cost of the project, but according to Metro public records, the undeveloped 18.66-acre property was bought in June 2020 for $5.5 million by several Tennessee limited liability companies. VCP Donelson, VCP Nashville, VCP Nashville II and VCP Nashville III acquired the parcel of land from Commerce Center TN Land, a Delaware limited partnership.

Founded by McCreary in 2011, Varden Capital owns 34 properties with more than 7,600 units throughout the South, including Alabama, Georgia, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee and Texas. A list on the company’s website indicated Varden Capital does not own any properties in the mid-state.

The Percy is in the footprint of Commerce Center East, an adjacent parcel that houses the Argosy University campus along the I-40 corridor.

The Percy apartments would be the first multifamily, mixed-use development built near the namesake Percy Priest Lake.

Slated for commercial use are 1.45-acres that sit nearest to the corner of Stewarts Ferry Pike and McCrory Creek Road. The plans call for a one- to two-story maximum commercial building with roughly 50 parking spaces provided. The type of business and particular tenant remains undecided.

“Our hope is to have a restaurant and coffee shop in that space, that’s our first choice, but discussions are ongoing now,” said McCreary. “It could be used for a restaurant, a market, or retail,” he said.

When completed, the Percy will include five elevator buildings standing three to four stories tall. The community will consist of 148 one-bedroom and 169 two-bedroom units. About 450 surface and garaged parking spaces will be provided for the tenants.

A specific plan rezoning was requested by the developer early last year and sponsored by District 14 Metro Councilman Kevin Rhoten, who represents the part of Donelson. Varden won the council’s approval on the rezoning request Feb. 19, 2020.

The site plan calls for the development to include some improvements for traffic flow. A right turn lane into the property will be added, while only a right turn will be allowed when exiting onto Stewarts Ferry Pike. The Percy will have an access entrance from McCrory Creek Road, said McCreary.

Monthly rent for the Percy will be comparable to apartments near Donelson station, said McCreary. Those rent prices average from $1,300 to $1,700 per month.

Some of the planned amenities include a professional-quality fitness center, a 6,000-square-foot clubhouse and game room and a resort-style swimming pool with waterfall, he said. The units will feature granite countertops, soft-close cabinets and drawers and wood-style flooring.

The Percy is going to be “luxury units with A-class amenities,” said McCreary.

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