\NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — What if developers had to promise housing to some of the people who lived on the property when they bought it? That's what could happen with the RiverChase Apartments property off Dickerson Pike.
Cypress Real Estate Advisors, an Austin-based investment firm, is redeveloping the RiverChase property.
An apartment complex with at least 1,100 units is proposed. It will include 220 units of affordable and workforce housing.
"CREA has made a commitment to those residents in good standing from RiverChase to be among those that are welcomed back into the new neighborhood," said Major Ethan Frizzell, Nashville Area Commander at the Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army neighbors the low-income apartment complex.
“We are enthusiastically supportive of the mission to create more affordable and workforce housing in Nashville and to do everything possible to help residents who want to remain in the urban core to keep a home in their neighborhood,” said Victor Young, senior principal at CREA.
While the majority of the current residents have moved out of the complex, roughly 50 units are still occupied. The owners have boarded up vacant units, but some residents have tried to move back in.
"The property manager has worked hard to make sure the apartments that are empty are boarded up, but we also know that there are a couple of families that moved into other families' apartments when they were weighing things out," Frizzell said.
Stand Up Nashville is another group looking out for the current residents.
Yesterday our team went door-to-door at RiverChase Apartments, where we are negotiating a #CommunityBenefitsAgreement.— STAND UP Nashville ☀️ (@StandUpNash) March 22, 2022
The feelings we heard: confusion. Frustration. Resignation.
These residents are being pushed from their homes, and many feel unheard.🧵 pic.twitter.com/aLIKK1Jr73
Stand Up Nashville is talking to the developers about signing a community benefits agreement that would in part promise affordable housing on the future property, as well as a path for current residents to return.
The Salvation Army would like to see more developers having the same conversation.
"And just like we have funds for roads, and schools and those responsibilities, I believe that there is an opportunity for developers like CREA to stand up early, and say we'll take responsibility of those lives that we're changing because we know it affects the community as a whole," Frizzell said.
Most residents have until the end of May to move out.
There will be a rally for RiverChase residents at the next Metro Council meeting on April 5. Council is expected to hear a proposal from the developers at that meeting. If approved, construction will begin in the fall with scheduled completion in early 2025.