NHC plans 15-story Building

Tom Spigolon, The Daily News Journal, February 8, 1987

1987 rendering of the NHC Tower

Murfreesboro-based National Health Care Corp. could begin construction within six months on a 15-story office building to house its new headquarters near the Public Square.

Please visit “A View from the Top” article from 2012 for a view from the top of Murfreesboro’s tallest building.

The 100,000-square-foot building would include retail, restaurant and office space at the corner of South Church Street and East Vine Street, said NHC president W. Andrew ‘Andy’ Adams.

“We decided it would give us a little more visibility,” Adams said.

“The community has been good to us. Maybe it (building) will bring other multi-state companies’ offices to Murfreesboro,” Adams said.

Murfreesboro Board of Zoning Appeals approval of a height variance is needed before construction could begin, Adams said.

He said the building would be set back from the sidewalk about twenty feet. A 100-space, heavily landscaped parking lot would adjoin the building on the remainder of the block bounded by Sevier, Vine, Church and Spring Streets, Adams said.

The proposed new company headquarters will be the culmination of five years of planning by NHC, whose operations are spread over three separate buildings within a mile, Adams said.

The building will bring together NHC’s 120 administrative workers and offices, including its risk management, administrative, development, investor relations, accounting and data processing divisions, he said.

The nursing home management company began operations in 1971 in the rear of a quonset hut building on the proposed building’s site. The quonset hut and building that includes The Music Shop will be leveled, Adams said.

The company operates nursing homes and retirement units in ten states. It expanded its operations in the last two years to the former Morning Press building on South Church and its original building.

Adams said company officials opted not to add onto their present administrative office building on South Church because they wanted their own design.

Consideration was given to building near either of Murfreesboro’s exits off Interstate 24, he said.

“If we went downtown, it would give us more identity and help downtown Murfreesboro,” Adams said.

He said the building design is intended of historic structures with a more modern look.

The first three floors would include about 12,000 square feet each and include arched windows and other features of historic structures on the Public Square.

The remaining portion would arc into a more modern tower shape with floors totaling about 8,000 square feet each.

“We didn’t want a block look. It would certainly be cheaper to do a box building, but we didn’t want to do that,” he said.

Adams said an investor has already proposed construction of a lavish ‘city club’ on the top floor. The company has also had interest shown on leasing nine other floors for office space.

A brick plaza featuring trees in planters and benches would ring the ground floor, building plans show.

The parking lot would also be heavily landscaped. That could later be replaced with a parking garage, he said.

NHC is asking the city Board of Zoning Appeals for a 125-foot variance of the 75-foot height limit – making the building about 200 feet high.

“With their approval, we’ll be able to commit more resources. We would like to be 70 percent occupied when we open,” Adams said.

Tim Durham, a member of the Board of Zoning Appeals, said he would ask about building design and parking during the meeting.

He said he had seen a site plan and was ready to hear more about the project.

“I’m just interested to hear what they (NHC) have got to say,’ Durham Said.

Blake Tidwell, chairman of the Main Street Project board, said the building is “a great idea” but city requirements for parking should be enforced.

“That’s a pretty good-sized building. We want to make sure there’s ample parking,” Tidwell said.

“That’s the kind of thing we need in our downtown. We’re trying to make it a beautiful, attractive area. I think it will help,” Tidwell said.

Adams said NHC’s board members are mostly Murfreesboro natives. That played a major part in the decision to build new NHC offices here instead of such cities as Nashville, Adams said.

“As long as Murfreesboro grows and prospers, we see our future here. Why leave a good thing as long as it continues to be good?” Adams said.

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