Is a Collaborative Workspace Right for Your Company?

One of the most popular interior design trends we’re seeing in commercial real estate is a collaborative workspace. Many of our clients come to us requesting this type of layout for their office. Despite its popularity, it’s not always the best design solution for a business.

To determine if a collaborative workspace is right for your company, let’s look at some of the primary design features.

Open Spaces

A collaborative workspace is designed to be open, spacious and inviting. It’s built on the idea of drawing people together to share new ideas and work with each other. Collaborative workspaces have common areas—sometimes more than one—that are easy to access and welcome both casual and business-focused conversations. These areas are often the center of the design, with small, individual offices on the perimeter, which often have glass walls and doors. These offices give employees quiet space when they need to work alone, while also allowing them to see the common areas and not miss out on what’s happening outside their offices.

Rustici / Watershed

From small nooks to large conference rooms, the Rustici Software / Watershed offices have multiple spaces for employees to choose from.

The layout of a space can either hinder or encourage collaboration, so it’s important to design spaces that are conducive to this activity based on your company’s needs. If your work requires you to gather around a computer screen with others, consider having an area with high-top tables and a large screen that everyone can easily see. Or if you need to draw concepts out, include dry erase boards in different areas throughout the office.

Options to Move Around

One of the main advantages of a collaborative workspace is flexibility—having the option to work in different locations throughout the office, both individually and with groups of people. Thanks to the move from stationary PC’s to laptops and tablets, it’s easy for employees to work in many different places, including in their offices, a conference room or a Bistro Cafe. This especially appeals to millennials because this generation prefers a collaborative work culture. Having options to move around helps their creativity and energizes them more than working in a single space all day long.


The breakroom at MediCopy offers a variety of seating options and plenty of sunlight.

Another effective aspect of a collaborative workspace design is having more than one path of travel through the office. Collaboration can happen unintentionally when someone passes by a fellow team member and starts a conversation. Designing multiple routes through the office increases the chances of this happening.

But is a collaborative workspace right for YOUR company?

Because collaboration has become a bit of a buzzword, some companies are quick to assume that this type of office design is what their business needs. But, that’s not always the case. It is vitally important to consider the day-to-day reality of your company and whether or not collaboration is needed or even beneficial.

Some professionals, such as accountants or attorneys, need quiet space to focus on their work. Introducing a collaborative design would likely disrupt their working habits and make it more difficult to focus on tasks.


Fortunately, there are alternatives to a collaborative workspace for companies that are looking for a new office design.

Many companies are deciding to lower their cubicle panels and bring workstations around the perimeter to allow for more daylight. They’re also making individual offices a smaller, standard size—rather than determining the size based on job title—and incorporating more glass walls and doors to encourage transparency and employee engagement.

With low panels, the cubicles at Concept Technology Inc. make the room feel open while giving employees a designated space to work.

When a company asks us to design a collaborative workspace for their employees, we first take time to learn about the daily routines in the office to determine how their space can better accommodate their needs. Companies recognize that rent isn’t cheap, so we strive to help them maximize space in the best ways possible. A well-designed space is proven to improve productivity, organizational performance and employee satisfaction. Determining how to achieve this through design is what we do best.

Southeast Venture: A Legacy 35 Years in the Making


Starting back row (l-r): Axson West, Greg Coleman, John Cavin, Kerry Osborne, Michael Finucane; Todd Alexander, Jon Petty, Iain Shriver, Morgan Brown, Aaron White; Roscoe High, Treanor Granberry, Cam Sorenson, Curt Schriner, Beau Brady, Nathan Narwold, Wood Caldwell, Gaius Overton, Paul Plummer; JC Darby, Jimmy Pickel, Coleman Boyd, Celeste Mize, Megan Johnson, Sims Polk, Brett Downey, Samantha O’Leary; Randy Parham, Laura Ristvedt, Kim Ingram, Adam Upton, Kelly Sullivan, Michael Wrigley, Kaylen Harrison; Lee White, Tarek El Gammal, Ginny Caldwell, Monnika Whittenberg, Katie Gray, Kevin Liegibel; Not Pictured: Willie Moody, Jeremy Coward

Today we look back at how the city has changed since we opened our doors 35 years ago.

In 1981, Nashville was a fraction of the city it is today. Richard Fulton was mayor and Kim Carnes’ Bette Davis Eyes was the most popular song on the radio. Only two minor league pro sports teams resided here: the Nashville Sounds baseball team and the South Stars hockey team. That same year, singer/songwriter Vernon Dalhart and Grand Ole Opry announcer Grant Turner were inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A mere 448,003 people called Nashville home – compared to the 659,042 estimated  in 2016. And that is just in Davidson County – the Metropolitan Statistic Area rose from 1.59 million to 1.75 million during the same period.


Design Group: Paul Plummer, Iain Shriver, Kerry Osborne; Curt Schriner, Beau Brady, Nathan Narwold, Morgan Brown, Gaius Overton; Celeste Mize, Sims Polk, Brett Downey, Samantha O’Leary; Monnika Whittenberg, Katie Gray, Ginny Caldwell, Kevin Liegibel

Music City’s growth has brought significant changes to the Nashville skyline. In 1981, there were only nine buildings downtown higher than 10 stories – that is, the skyline consisted of a few tall buildings rising above the 4- to 6-story buildings that predominated. Today, the skyline is dominated by high-rises of 15-30 stories–24 and counting! In 1981, the William R. Snodgrass Tennessee Tower (then known as the American General Building) held the title of tallest building at 452 feet. Today, that structure is overshadowed by the 617 foot tall AT&T Building, more commonly known as the Batman Building. And the rents of commercial office space have also risen, from $17 per square foot in 1981 to more than $40 per square foot today.


Brokerage: John Cavin, Greg Coleman, Michael Finucane, Axson West; Roscoe High, Jimmy Pickel, Coleman Boyd, Todd Alexander, Jon Petty, Kaylen Harrison; Treanor Granberry, Tarek El Gammal, Randy Parham, Lee White, Kelly Sullivan, Wood Caldwell, JC Darby; Not Pictured: Jeremy Coward

Other than the physical changes downtown, the most significant change is the influx of downtown residents.  The number has skyrocketed from virtually none to more than 14,000 people. This much higher concentration of downtown residents has led to a resurgence of downtown retail; something Nashville has not enjoyed since the 1960s.

Downtown Nashville also sees much more foot traffic than it did 35 years ago. Back in the day, people rarely ventured downtown. Lower Broadway was mostly shuttered storefronts and strip clubs. Today, more than 13.5 million tourists visit Nashville each year—making it one of the top 50 places in the world to visit, according to Travel + Leisure. Thanks to the growing tourism industry, hotel availability has more than doubled in the last 35 years.  In 1981, just 12,200 rooms were available. Today, more than 27,100 are available, with nearly 2,000 under construction.


Accounting & Property Management: Randy Parham, Laura Ristvedt, Aaron White, Megan Johnson, Adam Upton, Michael Wrigley, Kim Ingram, not pictured: Willie Moody

We, Southeast Venture, have made a tremendous impact on Nashville over the years by staying true to our mission: Building Value by Valuing Relationships. This is more than just a mission statement, it’s a mindset that has shaped the direction of our company from day one. With it we have fostered partnerships with many great companies throughout Middle Tennessee, resulting in some of our city’s most prominent architecture. From our first construction project on the Perimeter Park Executive Center to our newest multi-use apartment and retail development Eastside Heights, Southeast Venture will continue to shape Nashville real estate for years to come.


Principals (l-r): Randy Parham, Michael Finucane, Wood Caldwell, Paul Plummer, Cam Sorenson, Axson West, Todd Alexander, Tarek El Gammal

Hotel Developer Purchases 9.12-Acre Property Near Nashville International Airport

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This press release was originally released on Jan. 13, 2017. 

Hotel Developer Purchases 9.12-Acre Property Near Nashville International Airport

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Jan. 13, 2017 — North Dakota-based hotel developer Dakota Legacy Group has purchased 9.12-acres at 16 Century City Blvd – near the Nashville International Airport – for $1.995 million. The property is one of the last remaining parcels of raw land in the Century City complex.

The buyer, Dakota Legacy Group, was self-represented in the deal. Southeast Venture Brokers James Roscoe High, CCIM and J.C. Darby represented the seller, 16 Century City Blvd., an entity of Nashville-based boutique real estate company Anchor Investments.

“We are excited to close out another successful project for our investors and look forward to seeing Dakota bring their project to life,“ said Micah Lacher, president of Anchor Investments. “We appreciate all that Roscoe and JC have done to help us complete another great project for our team.”

Dakota Legacy Group plans to develop a hotel on the property.

“Nashville International Airport recently reported record-breaking numbers in terms of passenger traffic for the fourth year in a row, and they welcomed several new airlines, routes and services,” said High. “That said, there’s high demand in this area for more affordable hotels, and we are pleased to partner with Dakota Legacy Group to provide that.”

High and Darby represented Anchor Investments in 2015 in the purchase of the property from Duke Realty for $1.25 million. The company had interest from several hotel developers prior to selling the property to Dakota Legacy Group.

About Anchor Investments

Anchor Investments is a private, Nashville-based real estate investment company that was formed to acquire, own, develop and manage income-producing commercial properties in the Southeast. Anchor is an active operator and investor that targets value-added commercial properties. The partners’ philosophy is to use their years of combined asset management, development and leasing expertise to maximize the performance of each investment.

About Southeast Venture

Founded in 1981, Southeast Venture is a diversified commercial real estate and design services company guided by a mission of “Building Value by Valuing Relationships.” The firm provides and coordinates the delivery of brokerage, development, architectural and interior design and property management. This unique, comprehensive approach to commercial real estate offers a cost effective and efficient way of meeting its clients’ commercial real estate needs. For more information, visit, or find Southeast Venture on Twitter @SEVentureCRE.


Photo credit: Derrick Brutel

Southeast Venture welcomes Harrison as marketing coordinator

This article originally appeared in the Nashville Post on Dec. 13, 2016.

kaylen-harrisonNashville-based commercial real estate and design firm Southeast Venture has added Kaylen Harrison as its first ever full-time marketing coordinator.

Harrison (pictured) will work with Southeast Venture’s brokerage, design, development and property management team to expand the company’s presence in Nashville community, according to a release.

A University of Kentucky graduate, Harrison has held previous roles as a digital media specialist, marketing administrator and independent website manager. She has experience in lead generation, social media campaigns and the design and development of marketing tools and campaigns.

“We are lucky to have found someone with the wealth of knowledge and experience that Kaylen has demonstrated,” Todd Alexander, principal at Southeast Venture, said in the release. “Our company has grown to a place where we need in-house marketing support, and we are confident that Kaylen is the right person to handle this feat.”


New Mixed-Used Development in the Nations Neighborhood Takes Its Name from Landmark on Site

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This press release was originally released on Oct. 20, 2016.

New Mixed-Used Development in the Nations Neighborhood Takes Its Name from Landmark on Site

New Name and Logo Introduced to Community During Light the Nations 615 Festival This Weekend
 Will Break Ground for First Building in Early 2017

NASHVILLE, Tenn., Oct. 20, 2016 – Southeast Venture, developers of a 37.7-acre mixed use real estate development on Centennial Boulevard in The Nation’s neighborhood, announced today the name of the project: Silo Bend.

“The first thing everyone notices about this property is the 200-foot-tall abandoned concrete grain silo in the middle of the site, which was used years ago by the Gillette Grain Company. It’s quite impressive. In fact, it is featured in a video series by artist Brian Siskind called ‘The Nations Life,’” said Southeast Venture Principal Wood Caldwell.

(To see the video series, search for ‘the nations life’ on YouTube or set your browser to Video credit: Brian Siskind/Those Drones, LLC)

“The silo can be see from miles away – including from the upper floors of downtown buildings – and it is by far the tallest structure in The Nation’s neighborhood. The owner had planned to incorporate it into this development from the beginning, so it is natural that this landmark would be integral to the brand. In addition to using the word ‘silo’ in the name, the logomark is a line drawing of the silo,” Caldwell added. “The second word in the name refers to the fact that this development is across from a bend of the Cumberland River.”

The new name will be officially unveiled this Saturday at Light The Nations 615 festival, of which Silo Bend is a title sponsor. Running from 4 to 10 p.m., the event will take place on 51st Avenue between Georgia and Illinois avenues. It will feature local businesses, art, vendors, food trucks and live entertainment, including musical acts Kree Harrison, Moon and Forty-Two and Tommy Hans. To learn more, go to

Centered at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and New York Avenue, Silo Bend extends from Centennial to the southern bank of the Cumberland River. When complete, Silo Bend will include single-family homes, apartments and retail stores. The property is owned by R. Manuel Cenntennial.

Caldwell said he expects ground to be broken for the first building – a 193-unit apartment building – by the first quarter of 2017. Southeast Venture is architect for Silo Bend, Barge Cauthen & Associates is the civil engineer, Hodson Douglas is the landscape architect and RPM Transportation is providing the traffic analysis and transportation plan.

About Southeast Venture:

Founded in 1981, Southeast Venture is a diversified commercial real estate and design services company guided by a mission of “Building Value by Valuing Relationships.” The firm provides and coordinates the delivery of brokerage, development, architectural and interior design and property management. This unique, comprehensive approach to commercial real estate offers a cost effective and efficient way of meeting its clients’ commercial real estate needs. For more information, visit, or find Southeast Venture on Twitter @SEVentureCRE.


New High Density Office Space in Mallory Park Alleviates Growing Employer Occupancy Costs

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This press release was originally released on Oct. 10, 2016.

New High Density Office Space in Mallory Park Alleviates Growing Employer Occupancy Costs

Higher parking ratio featured in completed Phase I project


NASHVILLE, Tenn. Oct. 10, 2016 – Southeast Venture has announced the completion of the first phase of a high-density office complex in Brentwood’s Mallory Park. The 87,100-square-foot project at 1573 Mallory Lane is now home to Quorum Healthcare Corporation.  The building type is similar to the Healthspring/Cigna Health campus that Southeast Venture developed in Metro Center in 2010.

The Healthspring/Cigna Health complex ­– a 175,000-square-foot build-to-suit project – filled a need that more and more Middle Tennessee employers are facing today.  Finding office space that can accommodate higher parking densities.

 The solution, said Southeast Venture Principal Michael Finucane, is simple. “Put more people in less office space; however, to do that, buildings need to have more parking spaces.  To maximize the efficiency of our project we simply built more parking spaces.”

 This increase in office density has become increasingly prevalent since the recession, as business owners look for ways to lower occupancy costs per employee. Beginning with the Healthspring/Cigna Health project in Metro Center and now in Mallory Park, Southeast Venture is providing options to resolve this issue, he added.

 “We had tremendous success with our building in Metro Center so we wanted to take that same product to the Brentwood/Cool Springs market. We saw a real need for higher density office space that, quite frankly, did not exist in this market,” Finucane said.

 “Suburban office space typically has a parking ratio that is four parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space,” he added. “The ratio for our Mallory Park project is six parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of office space. A tenant with 100 employees can rent 16,667 square feet in our project, versus 20,000 square feet in a building with four spaces per 1,000 square feet. Based on current office rents, that’s a $100,000 or more savings in occupancy costs per year. In addition, because these buildings have no shared common lobbies, exit corridors or elevators, each tenant only leases the space they occupy, which makes our buildings even more efficient.”

 Phase II of Southeast Venture’s Mallory Park project broke ground this spring and will include 68,000 square feet of one-story office space designed for multiple points of entry and parking around the perimeter of the building. The shell of Phase II will be delivered in the fourth quarter of 2016 and could be ready for tenants as early as the first quarter of 2017.

 About Southeast Venture:

Founded in 1981, Southeast Venture is a diversified commercial real estate and design services company guided by a mission of “Building Value by Valuing Relationships.” The firm provides and coordinates the delivery of brokerage, development, architectural and interior design and property management. This unique, comprehensive approach to commercial real estate offers a cost effective and efficient way of meeting its clients’ commercial real estate needs. For more information, visit, or find Southeast Venture on Twitter @SEVentureCRE.

Community Input Sought About Development of Spring Hill Property

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This press release was originally released on Sept. 8, 2016. 

Community Input Sought About Development of Spring Hill Property

Dates and Location for Community Meetings Announced

SPRING HILL, Tennessee, September 8, 2016 –Spring Hill residents are invited to attend upcoming meetings where their input will be sought about development of a 780-acre tract of land in the northeast corner of the city.

Designated a “Gateway District” in the City of Spring Hill’s long-range land use plan, the acreage considered for development is bounded on the east by I-65, on the west by Buckner Lane, on the north by Thompson Station Road and on the south by Twin Lakes Drive and Summit High School. It is owned by Buckner Lane Partners, LP.

Two meetings are scheduled, both in the multipurpose room at the Catholic Church of the Nativity, 2793 Bucker Lane, Spring Hill, 37179 – which is near the future development site. The meetings will be from 6 – 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 13, and Tuesday, September 27. The multipurpose room entry is at the rear of the Church.

“Community input is vital to the successful development of this outstanding property, and we are looking forward to a good turnout,” said Randy Parham, a principal with Southeast Venture, the Nashville commercial real estate firm overseeing development of the site.

Southeast Venture Principal Wood Caldwell said community members will have an opportunity to learn about potential plans for the property and to provide their feedback during the upcoming meetings.

“We’ll do a PowerPoint presentation that gives an overview the site. We’ll then move to a more informal setting where we’ll have tables set up manned by members of our team where residents can give their comments directly to us, without having to speak in a public setting. In our experience, this combination of group and individual feedback is very effective in generating response from as many people as possible, which is our goal,” Caldwell said.

Spring Hill area residents wanting more information on should contact either Randy Parham ( or Wood Caldwell ( at Southeast Venture. Further information about Southeast Venture can be found at the Southeast Venture website at