Tag Archives: commercial real estate

Partner Profile: Tarek El Gammal, Principal at Southeast Venture

This is the first in a new blog series, in which we’re highlighting our influential partners at Southeast Venture, including information about their backgrounds, work and perspectives on real estate trends and all things Nashville. These are a few of the leaders that inspire innovation and drive our company forward, so take a few moments to get to know them.

tarek el gammalTarek El Gammal is a principal with Southeast Venture focused on brokerage and development services. Since joining Southeast Venture seven years ago, Mr. El Gammal has represented clients in a brokerage capacity of over $150 million in transaction value and has overseen the activities on approximately $70 million of development.

What changes have you seen within the company in the time you’ve been here?

In my time with the company, I’ve seen that the timing of Southeast Venture’s  growth was well-positioned with Nashville’s growth. We have become a more diverse real estate company touching more product types than before. When you look at the company’s history you can see this has been a persistent theme but one that stands out to me during my tenure.

What trends are you seeing in commercial real estate?

There is definitely a big trend toward urban growth. In the past five years, the multifamily sector went from a shortage to more supply than demand with owners who are offering healthy incentives for prospective renters. Submarkets like Germantown, that didn’t exist only a few years ago, are thriving. We are also seeing a trend in the most desirable suburbs where multifamily developments are being developed as part of larger mixed use projects, rather than standalone buildings.

And deal sizes continue to grow – not just because of inflationary effects, but also because of the scale of projects being undertaken. We’re seeing a city change before our eyes with density difficult for anyone to have imagined 10 years ago.

What was your favorite project/development from 2017?

Eastside Heights, in East Nashville, has been a special experience for me. Theunique architectural design coupled with wonderful public art (see: the “EAST” mural) has made it a landmark asset in some respects. I’ve enjoyed watching the first residents occupy the building and take advantage of the amenities we all worked so hard to program correctly. More broadly, I’ve enjoyed watching Germantown build out its residential housing. 2017 was a pivotal year for the neighborhood where a tremendous amount of supply was delivered and has helped to create a truly unique part of Nashville.

Eastside Heights

What project/development are you most looking forward to in 2018?

I’ve really enjoyed seeing the work our firm is doing on the Silo Bend project. It will have such a huge impact on that area of town [The Nations] and help in its ongoing transition from a heavy industrial corridor into a walkable neighborhood with office, retail and residential areas. The Nashville Yards project will be one that I am excited to see start in earnest, as it will have one of the greatest impacts on our city’s downtown once fully built out. It’s going to be amazing to see.

What’s your favorite thing about Nashville?

Everything (it’s hard to pick), but I would point to the music industry, which is something that creates a unique angle for the city.

Where do you think commercial real estate is headed in the next 5+ years?

Hopefully up. From my perspective, I think that the current conditions of oversupply in multifamily housing will be short-lived and our market will return to a healthier supply/demand balance in the next 12 months or so. From there, it is likely that the development activity will return to a more sustainable level.

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Dimension at Mallory Park Phase II Finds First Tenant in Verus Healthcare

This press release was originally released on March 21, 2017.

Verus Healthcare Anchors Project

NASHVILLE, Tenn. March 21, 2017 – Southeast Venture announced today that Franklin-based Verus Healthcare has signed a lease to occupy 34,561 square feet of office space in the second phase of the project. The healthcare supply company is the first to lease space in the 63,236 square-foot project and plans to move into the space in August.

Mallory Park

“We are thrilled to have found a larger office space with a higher parking ratio that keeps us well-positioned within Brentwood/Cool Springs’ flourishing healthcare center. Our company’s growth necessitated that we move from our current space in Cool Springs in order to continue providing the same high level of care to our patients around the country,” said Rich Roberts, CEO of Verus Healthcare.

Mallory Par

Mallory Park

Dimension at Mallory Park was specifically designed to accommodate companies like Verus Healthcare who are looking for higher density office space.

“Verus Healthcare is a perfect fit for the office space in Mallory Park,” said Michael Finucane, principal at Southeast Venture. “The higher parking ratios present a different opportunity than what’s traditionally been available in the Brentwood/Cool Springs office market. For a company experiencing growth like Verus, this space easily allows them to put more people into less space.”

Mallory Park

Dimension at Mallory Park Phase I was leased in full to Quorum Healthcare Corporation and completed last fall.

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 SoutheastVenture.com, or find Southeast Venture on Twitter @SEVentureCRE.

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Southeast Venture Breaks Ground on The Flats @ Silo Bend

This press release was originally released on March 23, 2017.

Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts, Art Consultant Brian Greif and Other Dignitaries Participate in Groundbreaking Ceremony

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 23, 2017 – Today, local and community officials joined together with Southeast Venture and their honored guests to officially break ground on The Flats @ Silo Bend, a mixed-use development within The Nations.

The Flats @ Silo Bend is the development’s flagship structure, a 193-unit apartment building. Also planned for the development’s 37.7-acre site are single-family homes, office space, retail buildings and other apartments.

Pictured from left to right: Eric McKinney, Bill DeCamp, Mary Carolyn Roberts, Tarek El Gammal, Ginny Caldwell, Iain Shriver

“This is an exciting milestone for The Nations community,” said Mary Carolyn Roberts, councilwoman for District 20. “After many months of preparation, we are excited to officially break ground on this development. We know the mixed-use space will be beneficial both for our neighborhood and the surrounding areas.”

Pictured from left to right: Art Consultant Brian Greif, Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts, Southeast Venture Principal Cam Sorenson

Silo Bend is located at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and New York Avenue and touches the southern bank of the Cumberland River. The development is named for the 200-foot-tall abandoned concrete grain silo that sits on the property and its location across from a bend of the Cumberland River.

“We’re looking forward to seeing this area transformed into a vibrant, appealing place to live, dine and shop,” said Wood Caldwell, principal at Southeast Venture. “With a prime location in West Nashville, we’re hoping to attract both Nashville natives and newcomers to the development’s variety of spaces.”

Rendering of The Flats @ Silo Bend

Also unveiled at the groundbreaking were plans to paint a large-scale, site-specific mural on the property’s 200-foot-tall abandoned silo. Art Consultant Brian Greif announced Australian artist Guido van Helten was selected for the project. Van Helten plans to visit Nashville in May to meet with residents, learn about The Nations and develop the concept for the mural.

Video footage shot with drones by Brian Siskind was featured before the ceremony and gave attendees an aerial view of the property. When it is completed, Silo Bend will offer 3,500 square feet of ground floor retail space and surface-level parking.

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 SoutheastVenture.com, or find Southeast Venture on Twitter @SEVentureCRE.

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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.

MediCopy

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.

Alternatives

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.

Everyone Loses In The Controlled Economy Advocated By Affordable Housing Movement

By Wood Caldwell, Managing Principal at Southeast Venture

In order to keep up with the 80+ new people moving to Middle Tennessee every day (that’s over 30,000 a year, with a large portion of this influx coming to Davidson County), construction of apartment, condominium and mixed-use developments has hit record-breaking levels, and this boom must continue to in order catch up with demand. Indeed, the relatively high rental rates for apartments in some parts of Nashville are a function of this imbalance between supply and demand. When supply meets demand, rates will moderate. This kind of adjustment to reality is the beauty of a free market economy.

Unfortunately, there is a movement to control rents by exchanging development incentives for “affordable housing.” Let me say, everybody loses in a controlled economy. As stated before in other articles, it would be a “self-inflicted recession.” This is Nashville’s future if such a plan prevails.

Should everyone who puts in a good day’s work be able to afford to live in our city? Certainly, and there is plenty of moderately priced housing in Nashville already. Is it in the hip neighborhoods like downtown, East Nashville, Sylvan Heights, Germantown or 12 South? No, yet this is what this movement demands.

But why? Is this really a noble cause? Isn’t it rather like demanding that all Nashvillians who drive a late model Chevrolet be upgraded to a Cadillac at public expense? Is this something we should raise property taxes to pay for? It is worth harming our city’s economy?

The latest salvo in the affordable housing “crisis” is a proposed ordinance from the Metro Planning staff, mandated by Metro Council, which seeks to enforce affordable housing quotas by taking away certain key incentives from developers unless a certain number of units in their residential projects are rented or sold at below-market rates. Currently, developers are allowed to build taller buildings by adding floors when their projects include characteristics like public parking, eco-friendly design or mixed-use ground floor elements such as retail and restaurants.

Therefore, height bonus equals needed downtown public parking, “green” designed buildings and mixed use projects: key elements essential for creating a vibrant downtown. It’s a win-win. The irony of this proposal is that it was the Metro Planning Commission and Metro Council that voted to incorporate these bonuses years ago to stimulate development and bring people back downtown.

This ordinance now goes to Metro Council for consideration. Hopefully, they will vote it down, just as the Planning Commission voted unanimously not to recommend it to the Council. This ordinance’s heavy-handed approach to forcing the development of below-market housing will have the unintended consequence of severely slowing development of residential real estate throughout Nashville. Everyone loses.

It’s also worth noting that nowhere in the ordinance is there anything about paying for this plan – even though the planning staff’s report estimated it would cost $10 million a year to compensate property owners for the money lost due to “affordable housing” quotas. Where is this $10 million coming from? This obviously means a tax increase. Either that, or cutting funding to other city services like education and public safety.

Again I ask, is this a sacrifice we want to make so that people can move from affordable housing in Antioch or Madison into a place they can’t afford in downtown or East Nashville? Is it really that important for our city to subsidize a hip lifestyle for everyone? Surely we have more pressing issues.

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12South Flats, A Nashville Favorite

In light of the commercial construction frenzy that began in 2010, standing out in CRE development in Nashville is harder than it was four years ago. Consequently, at Southeast Venture, we never take it for granted when our peers recognize one of our developments as a favorite building in Nashville.

The “Deftly Designed” article in Nashville Post magazine’s latest “Boom” issue is an ode to structures built during the building boom that represent the city’s trend towards urban design. 12South Flats, which we developed in a 50|50 partnership with H.G. Hill Realty Co. in 2013, was among the favorite buildings chosen by local architects and developers.

The article included a great quote by Adam Leibowitz, a managing partner of Double A Development. Leibowitz stated, “As 12South thrives as a great walkable neighborhood, 12South Flats blends in perfectly to continue that trend. The overall building is deceptively large yet the scale and design of the front elevation keeps it from looking overwhelming for the neighborhood. I find that the storefront level specifically has a high-end, classic look that draws your attention. 12South Flats is a strong bookend for the commercial stretch of 12South and is a great example of timeless culture.”

Post Boom 1:2 Boom 2:2

The Southeast Venture Difference

In the video below, Southeast Venture’s seven principals describe why they’re proud to be a part of Southeast Venture.