Possible skyscraper poised to encircle SoBro’s roundabout

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) — South of Broadway —also known as “SoBro”— is a neighborhood with condos, bars and restaurants. Soon, it could also have a new skyscraper.

“The minute you come over the river in SoBro and you get on Korean Veterans Boulevard, you’re looking right at our property,” explained Tony Giarranta, the owner and developer of the land sitting at 800 Lea Street.

“It’s one of the most prime parcels in SoBro,” said Giarratana. Right now, it’s where a parking lot once sat.

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Giarratana bought it several years ago with plans to create a skyscraper that would sit right on the roundabout. “We designed a 45-story building, a magnificent building, a really beautiful building,” said Giarratana. “And I told everybody and we got it approved. We got site plan approval for it, LEED Platinum, all those kinds of good things.”

The dramatic structure will be 610 feet tall with large units, some for sale and some for rent. “This is a magnificent piece of property. No other property has as much frontage on that roundabout as we do,” said Giarratana.

800 Lea Avenue
(Courtesy: Giarratana Development)

The plans were poised to advance, but Giarratana was waiting on another project to take the first step. “I told everybody, we’re not going to move forward with this project until the Ritz goes. Because I’m 67 years old, I didn’t want to pioneer yet another area, so I’ll let the Ritz go and and then next to them.”

The Ritz Carlton was also all set to go until the first week of April, when the property where the Ritz was planned went into foreclosure. With the Ritz on hold, Giarratana said 800 Lea is following suit, for now. “I’m glad you’re asking about it, because it’ll cause me to reach out to my neighbors and ask them if they would like to start talking about doing something together,” he said.

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The ripple effect is an unfortunate part of development, but not one Giarratana is worried about.

“There is like a domino effect and the first domino needs to fall. And each domino thereafter needs to fall in order for a project to move forward. The Ritz is a perfect example of an interruption in that in those dominos,” he said.

800 Lea Avenue
(Courtesy: Giarratana Development)

For Giarratana, his dominos are still in place and ready to fall, when the timing is right.
“It’s a beautiful building,” he said. “The footprint of the building really maximizes the site.

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The land is 17,561 square feet or .40 acres, but that could change with nearby spots catching Giarratana’s eye. “There are two adjoining parcels that are grossly underutilized. So the property could be expanded in size,” he said. “But we’re patient.”

800 Lea is the working name for the project.

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