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NASHVILLE-The US Army Corps of Engineers signed off on a $150-million waterfront condominium and marina project here recently, clearing the way for the developer to move from planning to sales. The 16-building project includes the creation of a 13.5-acre harbor, 180 residential units, 40,000-sf of commercial space and 225 covered boat slips.Jim Varallo, partner and project manager for Cumberland Yacht Harbor LLC, tells GlobeSt.com his group of local investors acquired 42 acres for the project three-and-a-half years ago and have been working to obtain the necessary entitlements ever since. Metro Council approved a necessary rezone in July 2003. The permit from the US Army Corps of Engineers means that the project has met all the criteria of Section 404 of the federal Clean Water Act. With the permit now in hand, Varallo says project is tentatively slated to break ground next spring and be complete in 2007. “This is a very difficult permit to obtain,” says Amy Robinson, an environmental engineer and project manager with the Corps of Engineers. “The group has had … to abide by numerous tests from such groups as the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation, US Fish & Wildlife, the US Coast Guard, FEMA’s flood plain regulations, Metro Nashville Davidson County government, and the Tennessee Historical Commission.”The first phase of the project will be the creation of the harbor, which will be done by widening the mouth of Mill Creek where it meets Cumberland River. The boat slips and residential units will follow, with the commercial space coming out of the ground last. The smallest residential units in the project will be over 2,000 sf and finished units will sell for about $250 per sf, says Varallo. “Units will start at $500,000 and go up from there,” he says. The commercial space will include room for a themed restaurant. In addition, Varallo says some of the people who have expressed interest in purchasing one of the residential units have also expressed interest in leasing commercial space.As for pre-sales, Varallo says he fully expects to pre-sell 75% of the residential units before the project breaks ground. Moreover, he expects all the units to be sold before the project is complete. As for financing, Varallo says he is reviewing offers from several financial institutions.

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