Dowdle Construction Group Completes Former Tobacco Warehouse Turned Condo Development
All units in the 1865 Condos have been sold
Dowdle Construction Group has completed construction of the 1865 Condos, a much-anticipated condo development in North Nashville located at 610 21st Avenue North. Cottage Partners oversaw the development, which was designed by Quirk Designs.
The adaptive reuse project involved renovating a four-story, 28,800-square-foot Civil-War-era tobacco warehouse – originally built in 1865 – along the CSX tracks on 21st Avenue into 34 condominiums. A second, complementary building was added, which accommodates another 12 residences, as well as a parking lot. The development offers one-, two- and three-bedroom condos. All 46 have been sold.
The former warehouse was actively used for at least 90 years. Sanborn maps from 1914 identify the building as the Weyman-Bruton Tobacco warehouse. It remained a tobacco warehouse for US Tobacco until at least 1944, according to Metro Historical Commission research. By 1957, the Sanborn maps indicate that it was a warehouse for Cullom & Ghertner Co. printers and lithographers. It then sat abandoned for 20-30 years before Cottage Partners purchased the property for $2.2 million from Kimbro Equities (part of the Kimbro Oil family) in 2016. At that time it was the oldest non-repurposed commercial structure in Nashville.
“This development fills a gap in the market for condominiums for sale in a one-of-a-kind way,” said Richard Bacon, founder of Cottage Partners. “We loved the look and feel of the old building as well as the chance to improve the fabric of the evolving neighborhood. We were excited by the challenge and the opportunity to preserve such a unique property with so much history. It tells a story, and it creatively blends Nashville’s history with its present.”
“I’ve heard from several commercial real estate agents that, over the past 10 years, every developer in Nashville has looked at this building and wanted to do a deal but could not figure out how to make the numbers work,” said Glynn Dowdle, president and principal of Dowdle Construction Group. “Cottage Partners came along and put together a team to make the project a reality. And they were able to save a building that, while not on the historic register, is steeped in local north Nashville history.”
Dowdle is no stranger to renovating historic buildings. The contractor’s list of adaptive reuse projects include L&L Market, Hi-Fi Clyde’s, Martin’s BBQ in SoBro and, currently underway, Silo Studios.
“Historical renovations come with their own set of challenges, and this project was no different,” said Dowdle. “In the 1800s, things just weren’t built the same way they are now. In this case, the exterior brick walls were three wythes, or units, thick with interlocking brick for structural strength but there was no steel reinforcement in the walls. So, we framed the interior walls to create the individual condominium spaces around the large timber columns and beams.”