Tag Archives: development

Partner Profile: Todd Alexander, Principal and Director of Brokerage Services

This is part of our 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.

Todd AlexanderTodd Alexander is a principal with Southeast Venture who oversees the Brokerage Division. He began his career with Southeast Venture as a real estate broker in 1999 and has since been involved in all aspects of the brokerage and commercial real estate business, including tenant representation and landlord representation, as well as acquisition and disposition services. He is currently responsible for leasing and sales of over one million square feet of office product and over 70 acres of commercial property in the Greater Nashville region.

What changes have you seen within the company during your tenure?

A lot. We went from around 25 employees to now over 50. Our Brokerage Division had three brokers when I started (including me). We now have 14. We added an Interior Design Division.  We went from 5 partners to now 9. Also, our development work ramped up significantly, completing projects valued over $200,000,000. I have seen our company not only physically grow, but more importantly, we have grown a team of great people that care deeply about what they do and how they do it. Relationships are always put first. This has helped establish a great culture of like-minded people that are really fun to work with.

What trends are you seeing in commercial real estate?

Specifically with the design of space, I am seeing companies responding to a younger workforce desiring more amenities within their space and in the buildings they occupy. Space is continuing to become more open and collaborative with opportunities to use rooms in various ways. In development, I think we will start to see parking ratios in general offices start coming down over the next 5 years. There will always be some tenants that will be more dense, but how the work force gets to and from work is changing very quickly, and I believe this will have an impact on how projects will be developed.

What is your favorite Nashville project/development from the past year?

On the smaller side, I really like what Oakpoint did in the Nations with Stocking 51. We obviously have a vested interest in that area, and I think they did a great job setting the tone for more exciting developments in the area which will include Silo Studios. I also really like the new JW Marriott’s look. We need the hotel rooms, and I think the design is a great addition to Nashville’s skyline. Another one that comes to mind is Bridgestone building. Having a company like Bridgestone move to the Central Business District (CBD) is going to be nothing but a positive for downtown Nashville.

Silo stuidos

Silo Studios

What project/development are you most looking forward to in the coming year?

I am really looking forward to see how the Nashville Yards project comes together over the next several years. While this project is a multi-year, multi-phased project, it has already kicked off with the Hyatt along Broadway. The sheer scale and location of this project has the opportunity to really be transformative. Having a mixed-use project on the periphery of the CBD, anchored by a strong entertainment venue and opportunities for new retail, is really going to be a unique gateway to our downtown.

What’s your favorite thing about Nashville?

Well, I’ve called it home all my life. I think my favorite thing is the people. I have heard all my life from people that visit Nashville, that “everyone is so friendly.” I couldn’t agree more. It is a great place to live and raise a family.

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

I think Nashville will continue to attract more people moving in from around the country. I also believe the quality of the workforce is improving, and this will only improve opportunities for growth in commercial and residential development. We may see a general slowdown in the next 18 months, but I think Nashville will continue to be a great growth story in the coming years.  

What do you like to do in your free time?

Spend time with my wife and help raise our five kids. That is my real job….commercial real estate is just what I do in my free time.

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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.

A Look at Cool Springs After its 30th Anniversary

Cool Springs was the brainchild of Southeast Venture founders George Volkert and Dick Sorenson. It’s almost unbelievable to think that it’s been 30 years since ground was broken for the Cool Springs interchange in 1987. The official anniversary was on November 12, 2017, which was serendipitously Dick Sorenson’s birthday.

The Cool Springs area has come a long way in 30 years, from thousands of undeveloped acres of open fields to 7.5 million square feet of office space – a close second to downtown Nashville.

Once the interchange was approved by the Department of Transportation, the partnership sold property to CBL & Associates from Chattanooga to develop the Cool Springs Galleria. That put us on the map as the company responsible for the original master plan and beginning execution of Cool Springs.

A Nashville Post article, published in conjunction with the November anniversary, revealed that the development once was known as Park65, but the name Cool Springs was chosen instead for a nearby landmark, the Cool Springs Farm, which included a historic home, now relocated to Crockett Park.

Former Southeast Venture President George Volkert promised at the groundbreaking that the 1,150-acre Cool Springs project would create 16,000 jobs and more than $200 million in city and county tax revenues over 20 years, and that promise has surely been met.

Breaking ground on the interchange set the stage for a major regional hub outside of Davidson County. Developments have now expanded to both sides of Interstate 65 in Cool Springs, including several luxury hotels, shopping centers (in addition to the mall), business parks, office buildings, big box retailers, low-rise apartments, condominiums, restaurants and car dealerships.

It has become a regional center, drawing people from across Middle Tennessee, southern Kentucky and northern Alabama.

One of our first large-scale projects, we never could have imagined the explosive growth that has taken place in Cool Springs. We look back at this development fondly and are excited to see how the area continues to expand for years to come.

Silo Bend Development Helps The Nations Neighborhood to Thrive

Last year we broke ground on Silo Bend, a mixed-use development on a 37.7-acre site in the rapidly growing neighborhood of The Nations. Located at the intersection of Centennial Boulevard and New York Avenue, Silo Bend is named for the 200-foot-tall abandoned concrete grain silo that sits on the property, which is located at a bend of the Cumberland River. 

Groundbreaking ceremony at Silo Bend

In October 2016, we officially announced plans for the Silo Bend Project and unveiled the name of the new development at the Light the Night 615 festival in The Nations. The excitement for the development was huge, and it was featured in publications across town, including the Nashville Post, the Tennessean, the Nashville Business Journal and more.

In March 2017, we broke ground on the flagship structure at the site, The Flats @ Silo Bend, a 193-unit apartment building with 3,500 square feet of ground-floor retail space and plenty of surface-level parking. Along with the apartments, Silo Bend will have single-family homes, office space, retail buildings and other apartments.

One feature of Silo Bend you can’t miss is the 200-ft-tall silo, on which we commissioned a mural to be painted. Created by acclaimed Australian artist Guido van Helten and finished in September, the mural features 91-year-old Nations resident Lee Estes. It has garnered significant attention and was even named best mural of the year by the Nashville Scene – and we think it is safe to say that it is the most recognizable landmark in The Nations.

Silo Bend in The Nations

Photo credit: Brian Siskind, Those Drones

The Flats @ Silo Bend the apartments will be available for rent mid-summer 2018 in the booming neighborhood where restaurants, retailers and boutique businesses are setting up shop. We have many other developments underway at Silo Bend as well.

South Carolina-based The Flyway Cos. is converting a lumber mill and a boiler room building into office and restaurant space. The project, Silo Studios, spans 65,000 square feet along Centennial Boulevard. Also part of that project, they are renovating a 40,000-square-foot bow truss building and a 5,700-square-foot structure made up of three coal furnace buildings.

We are also excited about new developments that are to come, including a 103-unit condominium building by Evergreen Real Estate. It’ll be the first Silo Bend building positioned north of the CSX railroad tracks that dissect the 37-acre site. They are planning to break ground in summer 2018.

Silo Bend started as an empty space in early 2016 but has quickly become a thriving neighborhood of its own thanks to our wonderful team of developers and designers. Stay tuned to see what else is in store!

Neighborhood Spotlight: Hillsboro Village

Located between Belmont and Vanderbilt universities, Hillsboro Village is an urban neighborhood that features a variety of bars, restaurants and boutique stores.

The neighborhood began to develop in the early 1900s when streetcar lines were extended out to Belmont, which attracted city residents to move to newly  developed homes away from the overcrowded city. By the 1920s, it had become a booming suburban area that was a short and inexpensive ride away from downtown.

Hillsboro Village is considered one of Nashville’s most walkable neighborhoods, making it a great place for residents and tourists to visit the many Nashville dining staples located there, including Pancake Pantry, Provence Breads & Cafe and Fido. It’s also home to the historic Belcourt Theater, where visitors can see independent films, live music and theater productions.

Belcourt Village Rendering

Because of its proximity to Belmont and Vanderbilt, college students and young adults make up a larger portion of the local population. It’s also a family-friendly area with a larger selection of single-family homes than many surrounding neighborhoods, as well as being home to Fannie Mae Dees Park, which features a playground, walking paths, picnic areas and, of course, the famous Dragon sculpture.

Real estate is on the rise as young adults, families and businesses look to move to the bustling neighborhood. Southeast Venture is currently working with Elmington Capital Group to develop a mixed-use space – to be called Belcourt Village – on Belcourt Avenue across from the historic theater. It’s slated to have ground-floor retail, nearly 24,000 square feet of office space and two residential floors with approximately 25-30 apartments.

The development will be next door to Elmington Capital’s other recently acquired real estate in Hillsboro Village – the former location of Sam’s Sports Grill and Boscos Restaurant & Brewing Company at 1803 21st Ave. S. A boutique clothing store, Altar’d State, and the Austin-based Hopdoddy Burger Bar opened in these spaces earlier this year.

Southeast Venture is also helping food truck staple Bare Naked Bagels set up a permanent location in Hillsboro Village by the end of this year.

As with many of Nashville’s neighborhoods, Hillsboro Village is a hub for new developments, businesses and residents – and we’re excited to be a part of its continued growth.

Neighborhood Spotlight: East Nashville

Nashville is home to many different neighborhoods, each with its own sense of style and personality. One of the city’s many fast-growing districts is East Nashville—a diverse corner of Music City that, over the past five years, has changed tremendously and continues to develop, welcoming new urban restaurants, eclectic shopping and a blossoming real estate market.

From the dainty Shoppes on Fatherland to the Beer Works scene on Trinity Lane, East Nashville has something for everyone. Its creative vibe sets the area apart from the rest of the city, and its charm has caught the attention of tastemakers around the country, including Vogue Magazine, which calls East Nashville our city’s “coolest neighborhood.”

Development is flourishing, and one of the newest buildings to pop up in the district is Southeast Venture’s Eastside Heights. With nearly 250 units, this apartment complex offers a sky lounge with a view of the city, a 24-hour fitness center, an outdoor movie theater, retail space and more. Just across the bridge from downtown, Eastside Heights is only a five-minute bike ride to some of the city’s most popular attractions.

Most notably, a massive yellow and black mural of the word “EAST” covers over 4,500 square feet of the property’s western-facing exterior wall. Thanks to its prime location next to I-24, the mural welcomes about 100,000 vehicles each day.

East Nashville

Image: Aerial Innovations

Southeast Venture again enlisted the help of the Nashville Walls Project to commission the artwork. Founded by Brian Grief and Eva Boros in 2014, the Nashville Walls Project sought to expand street art beyond major cities, such as San Francisco, Los Angeles and Miami, and introduce building murals to Nashville.

“Nashville is a great arts city,” said Brian Greif. “It’s known mostly for music, but there’s also a strong graffiti scene. The Nashville Walls Project has helped add to the visual dialogue of the city and opened up new opportunities for both local and international artists.”

East Nashville

Image: Aerial Innovations

Southeast Venture collaborated with local artists and design firm Sideshow to develop the concept, which was painted by Jon Buko and Meghan Wood of Nashville’s “I Saw the Sign” artists group.

“The Eastside Heights mural really captures the essence of East Nashville,” Grief added. “We’re thrilled with how it turned out and know that it will stand as a gateway to the community for years to come.”

Southeast Venture Announces Large-Scale Mural at Silo Bend

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

Australian artist to paint lifelike mural on 200-foot tall Silo

NASHVILLE, Tenn., March 23, 2017 – Today Southeast Venture, in conjunction with Councilwoman Mary Carolyn Roberts and Art Consultant Brian Greif, announced plans for a large-scale mural to be painted on the 200-foot-tall abandoned silo at the new mixed-use development, Silo Bend.

Australian artist Guido van Helten has been contracted to paint the mural. Van Helten is known for his large-scale, site-specific murals that feature monochromatic portraits and local elements.

Guido van Helten – Fort Smith, AR

“This mural will be one of Silo Bend’s defining features,” said Mary Carolyn Roberts, councilwoman for District 20. “The enormous painting will be seen from almost a mile away and will be representative of The Nations community. We’re very excited to work with Guido and look forward to seeing his mural unveiled.”

Van Helten’s work can be found across the globe, from Australia to the United Kingdom and from Iceland to Mexico. Before beginning his work, Van Helten invests time and effort in developing the concept for a location by visiting the site and learning about the area’s culture, traditions and people.

Guido van Helten – Brim Silos in Australia

“Van Helten is especially talented at capturing the emotions of his subjects,” said Brian Greif, art consultant and owner of 2:32 AM Projects. “He primarily uses a monochromatic color scheme and features images of local subjects to highlight the culture of the area. We’re thrilled to bring his work to Nashville and to The Nations community.”

Van Helten is scheduled to visit Nashville on May 8 when he will spend four to five days meeting with residents of The Nations, learning about the neighborhood and developing his concept. Once he begins, it will take approximately six days to complete the mural.

Guido van Helten – State of Mexico

To learn more about Van Helten and see his portfolio, visit http://www.widewalls.ch/artist/guido-van-helten/.

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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