Surging through a rough 2020 and looking toward summer 2021, the Donelson Plaza major redevelopment remains in the works.

The beloved town center will bring a buzzy, eclectic new vibe with mixed use to shop, eat and live.

Allen Arender, a partner at Holladay Properties, said the 12-acre site, formerly known as Donelson Plaza, is moving forward.

It was a mainstay in the community for years with such businesses as Chester’s and Castner Knott. Donelson Plaza opened in 1961, and Castner Knott was its anchor tenant.

With the fresh refurbish and mammoth redevelopment, the area will be a new urban town center. The relocation of the Metro Nashville Branch Library will take center stage in the development in the future, but the existing space will have new facades, green space, eateries, retail, office and apartments.

“Believe it or not, our tenants have managed well so far,” said Arender. “We’ve signed on a few new leases. [Last year] was a different year for sure.”

He said Homegrown Taproom is doing well.

“We bought the property about three years ago,” Arender said.

It cost about $8 million.

“We felt it was a big site in the heart of Donelson,” he said. “There’s great retail space, and we wanted to reimagine the space and are aiming to create a town center to go from all retail that it was to a mixed used with office, retail and residential apartments.

The current spaces, not part of the new construction but existing, are in the midst of a major redo and refresh, said Arender.

“We are currently working on three prime spots totaling 8,000 square feet,” he said.

One of the spaces will be on the lower level, and the other two spaces will be upstairs.

Along with building new offices and remodeling the inside and outside of current space, there’s a push for whole new landscaping, parking areas and more.

“It will be a whole new look,” said Arender. “It’s happening as we speak. And, it’s so exciting.”

All of the Holladay offices were relocated from Elm Hill Pike and are on site.

Tree islands have already been built in the parking lots and soon plants will appear in those. A green space is planned in front of the library there. A courtyard is planned between the offices and the library.

“It will be a great place to go with seating areas and lighting,” he said. “Just a great place to go for visitors to the plaza or a place to read the book you just checked out from the library.”

They are targeting a 5,000-square-foot restaurant, yet to be announced. 

“It will be street level,” said Arender.

What’s brand new is the Game Cave inside the newly renovated Donelson Plaza. It’s up the breezeway.

“Yes, we are open,” said owner and manager Travis Hall. “We are everything gaming.”

Its tag is Magic the Gathering, board games, Warmachine, Ultra Pro, Infinity, Dice Masters, HeroClix, Flames of War, Vanguard, Guild Ball, X-Wing and more.

Arender said Donelson Air, a tenant, will be gone, and that space will be torn down.

Apartments are on the agenda.

“We hope to add apartments over time,” he said. “Some will be to the left of where Donelson Air is now.”

There are 120 units planned, one and two bedrooms, up to three stories. Early fall 2023 is the target date. Arender said there are about 35 tenants already.

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