JW Marriott to Make Sweet Music in Nashville

The $220 million high-rise hotel will bring 533 luxury guestrooms to the city’s downtown area.

Nashville, Tenn.—The City of Nashville will soon get its first JW Marriott-branded hotel, and Turnberry Associates is making it happen. The real estate developer recently released additional details about its plans for the development of JW Marriott Nashville, which will bring 533 luxury guestrooms to the city’s downtown area. The project carries a development price tag of nearly $220 million, according to research from Dodge Data & Analytics.

JW Marriott Nashville
JW Marriott Nashville

Turnberry has high expectations for the JW Marriott project. In a prepared statement, Jeffrey Soffer, CEO of Turnberry Associates, said the hotel will help bolster the city’s bid to “position Nashville as a luxury destination for both leisure and business travelers.”

JW Marriott will alter the Nashville skyline, rising an arresting 386 feet from 201 8th Ave. S., a 3.6-acre site Turnberry snapped up in 2015 for approximately $28.4 million, per Davidson County records. Sited near the Nashville Convention Center and the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, the 33-story tower will be a head-turner. Architectural firms Arquitectonica and Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart are credited with the hotel design, having taken cues from the city’s revered Cumberland River, which flows nearby. The result is a striking building with the appearance of a narrow blue-glass oval that’s been sprinkled with three-dimensional dust, leaving a gleaming, liquid elliptical structure in its place.

Skanska is aboard the project, having landed a $153 million contract in 2016 to manage construction of the hotel. When all is said and done, JW Marriott will feature 50,000 square feet of meeting space, two restaurants and a host of high-end amenities, including a top-floor spa with a lap pool, a rooftop bar and a salon.

It’s a good time for the lodging sector in Nashville. “Market demand levels have improved steadily and significantly during the last 10 years, attributed to a variety of factors, including the opening of the Music City Center, in addition to several new downtown attractions, such as the Johnny Cash Museum and Ascend Amphitheater,” Jai B. Patel, vice president with hospitality consulting firm HVS, told Commercial Property Executive. Further contributing to the market’s upswing, he continued, are a bevy of corporate expansions and relocations in the area, including Nissan North America and UBS; new special events, such as the SEC Men’s Basketball Tournament; and the blossoming of Nashville as a top-notch tourism magnet.

The numbers tell the story. According to HVS research, lodging fundamentals improved significantly from 2011 through 2016, with RevPAR increasing by nation-leading, double-digit percentage growth from 2013 through 2015. But it’s not all wine and roses for Music City.

“The secret is out! Nashville now faces a significant amount of new supply, comprising approximately 100 new hotels in MSA, representing a roughly 50 percent increase in room inventory,” Patel said. However, all is not lost, he added. “Although market-wide occupancy and average rates are expected to be negatively affected by the incoming new supply in the near term, the additions of large new convention center hotels, such as the recently opened Westin and proposed JW Marriott, should mitigate those losses.”

With development activity already underway, JW Marriott is on schedule to welcome its first guests in 2018.