DeLisa Guerrier

Brentwood resident and managing partner of Nashville-based Guerrier Development, DeLisa Guerrier, graced the cover of the fall 2021 edition of Enterprising Women Magazine.

The week before Thanksgiving saw Guerrier inducted into the publication’s hall of fame, and alongside global fashion design influencer Kay Unger, she was honored during its 19th annual Women of the Year Awards conference in Clearwater, Fla. Guerrier Development, which she co-owns with her husband Elde, has been active for 10 years and currently has about 1,290 units in some stage of development in Middle Tennessee.

The door to this opportunity opened when she was added to the advisory board of The Table — a Nashville-based, grass-roots organization started by K8 Co President Kate Herman Wood and Frank Stanton Developers principal Lee Molette to bring entrepreneurs together to strategize diversity initiatives that can improve prosperities for ethnic minorities. The relationships she made there led to introductions to organizations that included Enterprrising Women. The publication opts to feature people for what it considers a lifetime of service, and Guerrier’s philanthropic efforts captured their attention.

The honor comes, however, as Guerrier works toward the development of Storyville Gardens Theme Park, where she is CEO. She has recently partnered with Compass Partners, who will serve as the construction management team for the vast project. Compass — recognized by the Small Business Administration as a small, woman-owned business co-owned by Bridget Parkes — previously operated in the same capacity for the development of the Tennessee State Museum, which opened in late 2018, and before that the Nashville’s Schermerhorn Symphony Center.

“We are actively planning our groundbreaking right now,” Guerrier told Home Page when speaking about plans for a timely opening of the park in Spring 2025 with construction starting in 2022. “We are confirming and going through the process to choose our contractor and our civil engineer at this point, and we’ve sent out some [requests for quotation] and things like that.”

Guerrier did not disclose the location of the future park and its 26 rides — one less than Opryland in its prime — but admitted that the target property came under their control and was identified within the last few months. A planned subsidiary of Storyville Gardens slated for Davidson County development is a national literacy center, which buttresses the motif of the park: attractions based on popular folklore and public-domain fiction.

“The goal was for it to mimic a park that I grew up going to in Oakland, California, and just making it whimsical and built off of stories and books from all over,” Guerrier added. “The entire park was designed from books and stories from all over the world, and it was designed to sort of mimic the four corners of the world: Africa, Asia, Europe and America. And we placed the stories in the areas where they originated. […] Our tag line is: ‘words create worlds.’”

Examples Guerrier gave for these stories were One Thousand and One Nights, which is apparently a dark ride; Grimms’ Fairy Tales, which includes “Rapunzel” and “The Frog Prince”; and the maze of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The groundbreaking is expected to also be marked by a fairly significant, promotional event that provides a preview or “VIP experience” of the imminent park’s attractions, and after construction makes considerable progress, they plan to sell advanced tickets for the opening week.