Safe Neighborhoods in Nashville?
May 20, 2011 12:40 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for an apartment in Nashville, and need help figuring out which areas are safe.

I will be attending Vanderbilt as a grad student, and am having some trouble figuring out what areas are safe and which aren't. I want to be close to campus, preferably on the east side (that's where my classes will be). I'm looking at a place near 16th and Wedgewood, but it seems like Edgehill might be a less safe area (I think this place is right on the border of Edgehill). Other apartments I'm interested are in the West End. I would prefer Hillsboro Village, but it doesn't seem like there are a ton of apartments there.

Just a little background about me to explain my comfort level with city living...I am fairly paranoid about personal safety. I live in DC now, but I have mostly lived in extremely safe neighborhoods. The one time I didn't, I felt pretty uncomfortable a lot of the time, to the point where I had trouble sleeping. I like to run outside alone and will be keeping odd hours.

Is the place on the edge of Edgehill an ok location, or should I really be focusing my search on one of the other sides of campus? Are there other areas close to campus that I might be neglecting?
posted by LizzyBee to Home & Garden (9 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
For you, I'd say the place near Edgehill would not work. West End would be better but without knowing the addresses, it's hard to say since each area has it's kind of sketchy places. Feel free to memail me - I've lived here about 8 years. And welcome to Nashville!
posted by dawkins_7 at 1:48 PM on May 20, 2011

It's been a few years since I've lived in Nashville, but unless things have changed drastically 16th and Wedgewood should be fine. Things get (got?) a little sketchier as you move a bit east, and then better again east of Granny White. That said, if you're especially looking for an "extremely safe" neighborhood it might not be for you. West End probably fits the bill a little better for that, but it'll be a bit of a hike to get to campus (Peabody?).

Don't give up on Hillsboro village, though. That was one of the best places I've ever lived -- walking distance to campus as well as a bunch of restaurants, bars, shops, theatres, etc. A few years ago I rented a (dilapidated but very cool) 3 bedroom bungalow there for $700/month. The key is to find Vandy's off-campus housing listings -- there are lots of landlords who only want to rent to busy/quiet grad students, and are willing to lower the rent a bit to attract them. They don't generally advertise anywhere else. You might need a VUnet ID to get access to those listings, but your department's grad coordinator should be able to get you one and/or print out some relevant listings for you.

Good luck with housing, and enjoy your time in Nashville. It's a surprisingly pleasant oasis the South. Feel free to me-mail me if you have other questions.
posted by nixxon at 3:00 PM on May 20, 2011 [1 favorite]

I've been in Nashville for six years and have lived several places: downtown, in the 12 South neighborhood, West End, and the White Bridge area. I agree with dawkins -- the convenience of the Edgehill area isn't worth it because I don't think you would feel safe.

I recommend the West End area. There are lots of students but also families, and there are plenty of sidewalks and I see people out walking and jogging all the time. I always feel safe here (I live in the Sylvan Heights neighborhood, which is West End's poorer-but-still-nice neighbor). Luckily as a Vandy student, you can ride the bus for free, so you can take the West End bus down to the end of campus and catch a shuttle to your classes.

The Hillsboro area would be perfect if you could somehow beat the odds and get an apartment there, but the buildings that have high turnover have bad reputations among tenants. Bugs and incompetent managers and stuff like that.

There are also buildings closer to downtown and to your side of campus that are popular with students, but to be honest, the areas can be a little sketchy. Like, when I lived there, people would always approach me when I was walking home alone at night (so not cool, even if they meant no harm).

I hope this helps! Nashville's a wonderful place.
posted by Toothless Willy at 3:01 PM on May 20, 2011

I've lived in Nashville for the past ten years. I'm in the 12 South area now, and I've had apartments near Belmont and also in East Nashville. I feel very safe in 12 South; there are lots of houses and families (and apartments and condos). If you plan on walking to campus, it might be a bit of a hike--maybe two or three miles. I do see people walking to Vandy in the mornings, though. Biking or driving makes this less of an issue.

I always felt safe when I lived by Belmont, too. Lots of people are always walking, running, and biking in the area. It's a fantastic neighborhood. The recommendation to check out Hillsboro Village is also good. I have friends who work at Vanderbilt and live there, and they love the convenience of living so close. Most of them walk to work or school and have not had any issues with safety. Honestly, most of the areas around Vanderbilt are not very sketchy. I think the Edgehill area is probably the least safe, out of all the areas mentioned in this thread, but even it is not too bad.

Welcome to Nashville! It's a great city, and I hope you have fun here. Memail me if you have any questions.
posted by zoetrope at 4:19 PM on May 20, 2011

Hillsboro Village, definitely. Specifically the area bordered by Blakemore and Blair, 21st and 24th. There should be plenty of apartments along Acklen and Fairfax, or consider the Bell Hillsboro Village for a larger complex (used to be Gardens at Hillsboro?). Finding a place might be more difficult if you are not in the area yet, I don't think all the buildings advertise vacancies. Such a lovely area, and really ideal for Vanderbilt graduate students.

16th and Wedgewood is probably okay. That whole area between Peabody and Wedgewood is nice, though I never knew anyone that lived there. Village at Vanderbilt?

You'll have a car? Some people live further out in bigger complexes - think Green Hills, out on Charlotte, or even Bellevue. More space, but just too far. Several places up on West End near 440, but I don't think the area is as convenient. I would also avoid deeper in the Edgehill area, and anywhere further downtown.
posted by casaubon at 5:33 PM on May 20, 2011

Hey! I live right near Edgehill RIGHT NOW! I would say 16th and Wedgewood is just fine, it's just around the corner from me. This neighborhood varies a lot in a short distance. In general I would say that anything south of Edgehill and west of 15th (including 15th) is just fine. I lived at 15th and Edgehill for over a year and the housing projects at Edgehill and 12th were literally right behind my house and we had 0 trouble. My tiny girlfriend walks home in the dark every night (even cuts through the alley!) and doesn't have any trouble or get creeped out.

I mean, there are $500k houses on my street, it's really a pretty gentrified neighborhood.
posted by ghharr at 5:50 PM on May 20, 2011

Also, while there are not a lot of apartment buildings in the Hillsboro village area, there are a lot of houses subdivided into apartments, and the whole neighborhood is really nice.
posted by ghharr at 5:54 PM on May 20, 2011

Thank you all SO much! I feel much more confident now about where to look. Conducting a long-distance apartment search is so stressful, but this really helps to set my mind at ease. While it sounds like 16th and Wedgewood would probably be just fine, I think I'm going to play it safe and concentrate my search on Hillsboro Village, with the West End as a good 2nd choice.
posted by LizzyBee at 5:13 AM on May 21, 2011

I didn't realize there were so many MeFites in Nashville!

I work at Vanderbilt and think you got good advice from folks here. The Music Row/Belmont/Vanderbilt/West End area is all really pretty safe, and often charming (some of the bars can be a bit obnoxious when the undergrads are out in force, but that's the case anywhere, I suppose). I used to live on Belmont until I got married and boring and moved out to the sticks.

Nashville in general is a safe town--you will not be comfortable in East Nashville or North Nashville, but Green Hills and Brentwood will suit you as well, if you want to live further out.

Feel free to MeMail me, too.
posted by thinkingwoman at 3:35 PM on May 22, 2011

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