Ryman Lofts of Nashville

R&C attorneys represented the Metropolitan Development and Housing Agency and its instrumentality acting as the developer of the first affordable housing development in Nashville devoted to artists called Ryman Lofts in Nashville, TN. The development was constructed in a redevelopment area known as Rolling Mill Hill, which is the former home of Metro General Hospital and Metro's government vehicle fleet center, and has been transformed from “brown to green” through MDHA’s efforts. The 53,000-square-foot building includes 60-studio, 1-bedroom and 3-bedroom apartments. All of the units are occupied. Ground was broken on Ryman Lofts in October, 2011, and the building was substantially completed in January, 2013.  Financing for the project was made available through the federal LIHTC program, as well as financing from Fifth Third Bank and First Tennessee Bank.  In addition to handling the real estate and tax aspects of the transaction, R&C attorneys worked with MDHA to design a resident selection process that met LIHTC requirements, and one R&C attorney advised the resident selection committee created to evaluate applications.  In order to qualify for residency at Ryman Lofts, applicants undergo a credit and criminal background check and submit examples of their work along with three letters of reference for a panel of arts experts to review.  While it wasn’t required that the applicants make their living solely from their work, the panel looked for evidence the applicant was pursuing a career in the arts on a “regular and persistent basis.” Of course, applicants must also earn 60% or less of the area median income.  While the majority of residents at Ryman Lofts are musical artists, people in the visual and performance arts also call the building home, including painters, sculptors, actors and photographers among the tenants.  Units are available to working and aspiring artists who “practice in the unique creation and public display or performance of visual arts, craft, sound and performance art, film and television, theater, dance, music or literary arts.”