Photography by Patrick Sheehan

If Nashville is “It City,” than East Nashville is at the epicenter of all that buzz. But with houses at a premium, people are turning to apartments to get them into the desirable neighborhood.

Residents started moving into Eastside Heights at 120 S. 5th St. in September 2017, recognizable for the massive “EAST” mural that covers more than 4,500 square feet of the exterior. Developed by Southeast Venture, they are currently 35 percent leased.

“People want to be close to downtown amenities. A lot of times housing is just too expensive to own and still be in close proximity to those amenities,” says Tarek El Gammal, principal at Southeast Venture.

Eastside Heights is a bit of a departure from what a typical apartment project might have looked like ten years ago. The building features 249 state-of-the-art apartments and 8,000 square feet of ground floor retail space, a resort-style swimming pool with in-pool sun deck and two landscaped courtyards.

“It’s an apartment project that looks nothing like what’s getting built today,” says El Gammal. “We’re trying to provide a lot of amenities to the young profile of renter who is now has come to sort of expect that in the type of product they live in. So the units have gotten smaller, more well-appointed in terms of finishes, and the amenities outside of the unit have gotten much nicer.”

Those amenities also include a pet spa and dog walk, fitness and yoga facilities, a cyber café, a multi-level parking garage and a two-level sky lounge with an outdoor patio, fire pit and stunning view of downtown Nashville.

“The Nissan stadium is at the foreground, and the skyline in the background, so it’s pretty spectacular,” he says.