For the past 35 years, a Donelson family has entrenched themselves in the community, revitalizing, rejuvenating and simply preserving the integrity and future of this historic community.

The buzz is HJL Management, under the helm of Maria Mauthe and her family. They live and love Donelson and under their care have reconstituted a whole block from Fairway Drive to McGavock Pike, along Lebanon Pike.  

District 15 Councilman Jeff Syracuse is all about the vibe in his district.

“As many have asked and everyone has no doubt seen, the former Philips 66 gas station at the corner of Fairway Drive and Lebanon Pike has been demoed,” he said. “In its place will rise a very nice branch of Chase Bank. Join me in thanking HJL Management and Maria Mauthe for their tireless efforts in investing in this whole block from Fairway Drive to McGavock Pike along Lebanon Pike.”

Mauthe is humble and said she’s overwhelmed with the attention on her family. 

They are a force in this community. 

The corner they are focused on right now is nearly complete. Mauthe said while they have a non-disclosure agreement with Chase, they are currently working on preparing the site for them and they will break ground early 2020. 

Mauthe said HJL is a moniker for her grandparents and mother’s name: Hoyte, Jane and Laurie.

HJL was founded in 1981 and serves Nashville, but specializes in Donelson, Old Hickory and Hermitage. 

Mauthe said her grandparents, Hoyte and Jane Eakes, started SDI Markets in the 1950s. It grew to be the largest family-owned chain of neighborhood markets and convenience stores – before the big grocery stores – in Tennessee. They sold SDI in 1981, becoming landlords overnight, having owned most of their locations across the state. 

HJL Management was born and they continued to invest in residential and commercial properties. Mauthe’s grandfather passed away in 2012 and her grandmother is retired now. As Nashville has grown and changed, HJL has had to as well. 

“We continue to invest in residential and commercial real estate today,” she said. “However, we have focused in recent years on adaptive reuse. We have enjoyed the challenge of taking something old and making it into something new, yet, trying to maintain the character of Donelson. 

Their first big project was Nectar Urban Cantina. They are located in HJL's old office building. 

“We then did a big update-remodel to the Donelson Corner Shopping Center, which brought new businesses like Donelson Hot Yoga and AT&T,” said Mauthe. 

These projects led to other remodels that recently brought Sunflower Bakehouse in the old Donelson Muffler Shop and the soon to open TennFold Restaurant and Brewery, which will be in the old TN Car and Van Rental building. 

“We have several other projects we are working on that we hope to announce soon as well,” said Mauthe. “As a family that lives and works in Donelson, we are committed to invest in the community we love and consider the best place in the world to live.”

Next to Chase will be Tenn Fold, a new brewery and pizzeria. Soon will be Spots Pet Supply, and of course, Sunflower Backhouse is a huge success, and Donelson Hot Yugo is on its way.

Syracuse said the Fairway Drive sidewalk project is nearly complete. 

“Investment and improvement,” he said.

He said it’s been 10 years in the vision, and he’s been laser focused.

Soon, the new Donelson Library will showcase the revamped Donelson Plaza. 

“We are growing like crazy,” said Syracuse. “There’s been a plan in place. We are about growth, and preservation.”

He noted the Belair Mansion is preserved with changes and protection.

“It’s a melding,” he said.

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