"The new car' smell, a garage. It wasn't a hard sell," Chris Brickell said of the couple's newly built house on Maxon Avenue in the Croleywood-Charlotte Park area.

The quiet neighborhood has been discovered by builders and eager homebuyers attracted by its combination of affordability and a location along Interstate 40 about five minutes west of downtown.

Home builder Michael Kenner sees Charlotte Park as the next step in the line of neighborhoods that have redeveloped along I-40 and Charlotte Pike, including Sylvan Heights, Sylvan Park and the Nations. Those neighborhoods are filling up and becoming more expensive, so developers have made the leap to the area on the west side of Briley Parkway.

"It's the transition to the next neighborhood. It's starting to pop," said Kenner.

His company, MikeN Development (mikendevelopment.com), and partner HR Properties are preparing to build 102 condos and townhomes on James Avenue on the former site of an auto parts business.

People moving to Nashville want to live close to downtown and are happy to consider neighborhoods that have been previously overlooked, said Kelli Reeves, a Realtor for Exit Realty who sold the Brickells' house and the new home next door.

"People I talk to from New York and California are used to urban living and are not as shy as someone from Nashville," she said.

She expects Charlotte Park to be more affordable than the Nations next door. The Brickells' house listed for $259,900 and features an open floor plan, stainless appliances, granite counter tops, custom tile, a covered back porch and a garage.

"Croleywood and Charlotte Park are getting ready for the big boost because the Nations has reached a plateau," said Reeves.

Benchmark Realtor Graham Howell, who represented the Brickells, agreed.

Their house is similar to those being built in the Nations, but it's "$100,000 less and four minutes farther down the road," he said.

Charlotte Park is comfortably close to the bars and restaurants in the Nations and Sylvan Park, including Hattie B's Hot Chicken and M.L. Rose Craft Beer & Burgers on Charlotte Pike and the Stone Fox on 51st Avenue North, said Howell.

"Everything's starting to move west now," beyond Briley Parkway, he said. "It's like the last frontier, with proximity to downtown but somewhat affordable."

Longtime Croleywood-Charlotte Park area resident Ricky Miller said it's increasingly common for developers to tear down older homes and build two residences on the lot, which is allowed by the zoning. Under certain conditions, they can build four homes on a lot.

The neighborhood response has been mixed. Residents hope developers will build homes that add value to the area without pricing out people who have lived there for years.

"People don't want to be the Nations," said Miller.

"Change is coming. We know the density is coming," said Miller, president of a new neighborhood group. "We want to work with the developers."

Chris and Jamie Brickell expect to close on their new home this month. They are moving from a rented condo in the Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood near Eighth Avenue South. They moved from Atlanta two years ago and are first-time homebuyers.

"We want to live in what we hope will become the next East Nashville," said Chris Brickell.

They have high expectations for the Charlotte Park area.

"Right now it's not the sexiest part of town," he said, "but most likely it's a matter of time."