New Midtown apartments among most expensive in Nashville

NASHVILLE, TN (WSMV) - 09 SEP 16

Just as Metro's new affordable housing laws go into effect, one of Nashville's newest and most expensive apartment complexes is putting on the finishing touches.

With some lofts starting at $2,725 dollars a month, many wonder who can afford it.

The Cadence in Midtown will begin opening up in phases in mid-September.

Urban development experts say to live there comfortably, residents would have to make upwards of $90,000 per year.

Bradley Crossfield moved to Nashville from Dallas three months ago. He wanted to live in Midtown because of the close proximity to bars and restaurants.

But Crossfield said he was a bit shocked when he saw rent prices.

“I was like, ‘say what?’ It did surprise me because Dallas is a big large metroplex and I didn't really expect the cost of living to be as high in Nashville as it actually is,” he said.

Metro officials know it’s a problem.

“Whether it's teachers, whether it's ambulance workers, whether it's health care professionals, whether it's baristas who serve your coffee -- there is a whole plethora of professionals who are gainfully employed who don't make enough money to afford the rent in Nashville,” Dr. Paulette Coleman said.

Coleman, the affordable housing chair for Nashville Organized for Action and Hope (NOAH), said some recent steps taken by Metro Council should help.

“Are they perfect? No. Will they solve the affordable housing challenges in our city? No. But they are good first steps in the right direction,” Coleman said.

Two affordable housing bills just passed this week give incentives for developers who sell a percentage of new units at affordable housing rates, rather than at market price.

Affordable housing doesn't mean low income. It just means renters pay no more than 30 percent of their income on rent.

“We’ve got to come together to solve this problem so that our city can reach its fullest potential and can be enjoyed by all income points,” Coleman said.

“I think that’s a great idea, especially with the rate that Nashville is growing. Not everyone can afford $2,400 a month,” Crossfield said.

While it might seem these pricy apartments are filling up fast, that's not always the case.

The Element on Music Row, close to The Cadence, opened late last year. It has more than 400 apartments with prices starting at $1,600 per month. A few of them are $10,000 a month. The occupancy is only at 26 percent.