Tag Archives: Nashville

Designing a Sleek, Fun Office Space for Two Tech Companies

Happy employees make happy customers…but how do you make employees happy?

Our Design Group recently had the privilege of designing the workspace for two tech companies in Middle Tennessee, Rustici Software and Watershed, which are housed in a former warehouse. The founder of both companies, Mike Rustici, believes in creating workspaces that make employees want to come to work, so we made this our focus from the beginning.

During our planning phase, Mike and his team emphasized how important it is to have multiple common areas that would encourage people to come together and share ideas. They wanted the space to be vibrant and attractive, so we used bright colors, wood elements and open-air design to achieve that.

To balance interaction with privacy, we designed small offices with glass doors and windows that give employees the quiet space they need to work while keeping the open areas visible. Because employees often work in teams, these offices are grouped together based on their area of expertise, giving them ample opportunity to come together and collaborate.

To get a glimpse of this newly designed office space, take a look at these photos:

One of the brightly colored collaboration rooms.

This area is perfect for work or play with large wooden tables, a TV screen and ping-pong table.

The kitchen is large with ample seating, and glass garage doors open up to the patio.

Pictured to the right is just one of the eight conference rooms throughout, and the area to the left is available for one-on-one collaboration.

This covered deck is just the right spot to get a breath of fresh air while overlooking the Bocce Ball court.

With a variety of different workspaces to choose from, the teams at Rustici Software and Watershed are sure to experience no shortage of creativity and flexibility. Mike Rustici said it best, “If cool, well-designed space allows our great people to work more productively and be happier at work, it is definitely worth it.”

Advertisements

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.

###

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.

###

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.

Nashville’s Warner Parks deserve to be treasured

(This article originally appeared in the Tennessean on June 8, 2016)

21494541065_6d5ed96b09_b

In a city that’s quickly becoming more urbanized, Nashville is privileged to have one of the nation’s largest city parks— Percy Warner Park. The combined 3,100 acres of Percy Warner and its smaller and equally beautiful counterpart, Edwin Warner Park, compose America’s 19th largest park within a municipality.

The Warner Parks are one of Nashville’s greatest gems, granting residents access to luscious forests, hiking and cycling trails, picnic areas, scenic overlooks and much more.

In true Nashville style, the Warner Parks have only gotten bigger and better with time. In 2014, H.G. Hill Realty Company generously sold 250 acres of pristine old-growth forest, well below appraisal price, to Friends of Warner Park. The nonprofit turned the property — now called Burch Reserve — over to Metro for free, so that it could be used as an addition to Edwin Warner Park. I commend H.G. Hill for their generosity and efforts to preserve this valuable, unspoiled natural land.

Located north of Highway 100 across from Edwin Warner Park, Burch Reserve will extend Edwin Warner across the highway, and will include an underground pedestrian tunnel beneath the CSX railroad tracks. This new section of the park will be open to the public this fall.

H.G. Hill, along with Friends of Warner Parks, worked diligently to save from development this uninhabited land, which is considered one of the largest old-growth forests in an urban area in our region. Thanks to them, we will now be able to enjoy Burch Reserve’s native Tennessee wildlife and vegetation, such as oak and hickory trees, walnut trees and tulip poplars, for decades to come.

A true asset to Nashville, the Warner Parks provide a wide variety of things to do and see outside our small-big city. Boasting eight miles of bike trails and more than 10 hiking trails of varying lengths and skill levels, the Parks are a perfect place for a scenic afternoon ride or a sunrise run with friends. Percy Warner is also home to two public golf courses — the 18-hole Harpeth Hills Golf Course and the 9-hole Percy Warner Golf Course.

For the history buffs, the Warner Parks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places and are home to several Nashville landmarks. The Cedar Glen Spring House, the Hodge House and the World War I Memorial all tell great stories of Nashville’s past. The Allée/Belle Meade Steps are said to be the “front door” to the parks and make for a memorable and scenic climb.

Each year, Percy Warner Park is home to the iconic Iroquois Steeplechase, the nation’s oldest continuously run steeplechasing event — celebrating its 75th anniversary this year — and America’s second largest steeplechase race by size of purse. The races are run on a course in Percy Warner Park that was constructed by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s.

More than 25,000 Nashvillians and tourists attend the Iroquois Steeplechase each year. And it’s all for a great cause. The event has raised more than $10 million for the Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt since 1981.

At the race or on the trails, the parks provide a place for the Nashville community to gather. Everyone is welcome to make use of this gift to our community — but, unfortunately, money doesn’t grow on trees. It is up to us, the residents of Nashville, to preserve this local treasure.

If you’ve ever enjoyed a hike, horse race, picnic or otherwise at Percy or Edwin Warner, I urge you to consider giving back through one of the parks’ many initiatives. Join beFRIEND Warner Parks, attend a Full Moon Pickin’ Party or volunteer your time at the Nature Center or on ParkWatch — your local parks and the Nashvillians of tomorrow will thank you.

###

Wood Caldwell is managing principal of Southeast Venture, a diversified commercial real estate company. He writes about Middle Tennessee commercial real estate issues once a month for The Tennessean. Reach him at wcaldwell@southeastventure.com

Nashville’s ‘it’ status is 35 years in the making

By Wood Caldwell

(This article originally appeared in the Tennessean on March 21, 2016)

In 1981, Ronald Reagan was president, Music City (and the world) was introduced to MTV and our commercial real estate firm opened its doors. The view through our doors has certainly changed in the past 35 years.

The Nashville skyline has transformed dramatically. The American General Tower (now Tennessee Tower) was the city’s tallest building in 1981, because the AT&T headquarters — aka “The Bat Building” — had not arrived. Other skyline-defining buildings missing in 1981 included 5/3 Center, One Nashville Place, Nashville City Center, Pinnacle at Symphony Place, the Schermerhorn Symphony Center, Bridgestone Arena, Viridian Tower, Encore, the Renaissance Hotel, Downtown Hilton Hotel, Omni Nashville Hotel, the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, and the Music City Center, to name but a few. Today, our skyline is ranked as the 12th most beautiful in the nation by Thrilllist.

Nashville Skyline Crop

The ground-level view of downtown has changed just as significantly for the better. Pockmarked with shuttered storefronts, strip clubs and porn shops, Lower Broad was far from a tourist Mecca. In fact, the Nashville Convention Center was built in the mid-1980s with no windows or doors on the Broadway side of the building because the street was such an eyesore.

The only real foot traffic downtown was on Second Avenue (then known as Market Street), where some enterprising entrepreneurs had purchased the old warehouses there and begun to transform them into retail stores, restaurants and office space. But even this part of town was largely deserted after dark. People just didn’t go downtown, no matter how much you enticed them, which was proven when a beautiful shopping mall was built where the downtown public library sits today. It lasted about two years.

The idea that the industrial area south of Broadway, now known as SoBro, or the grimy and depressed area near the railroad switching yard, aka The Gulch, would someday be home to some of the most valuable real estate in town would have been outlandish, had anyone been crazy enough to suggest this.

Union Station Hotel was still an abandoned train station. The Frist Center for the Visual Arts was still a post office. Cummins Station was an abandoned warehouse. The city’s largest strip club, the Classic Cat, was next door to Hume Fogg High School. The Hall of Fame was in a rather small, barnlike building on Music Row. Where the Roundabout Building is today sat a portion of Hank Williams home, which someone had moved there as a tourist attraction (though I never saw it attract anyone). There was no Music Row Roundabout, no “Musica” statue — just a confusing intersection of five streets.

Looking outside of Downtown Nashville, there was no Cool Springs and The Mall at Green Hills was a modest, one-story affair. In contrast, Hickory Hollow Mall was the highest grossing mall in the state and its cousin north of town, Rivergate, was also minting money.

For a night on the town, Hillsboro Village was the only urban, mixed-use part of town, and it was becoming the trendy restaurant hub of Nashville, thanks to pioneering restaurateur Jody Faison, who launched Faison’s in the early 1980s and essentially founded Nashville’s independent restaurant landscape. Within a few years, Randy Rayburn opened Sunset Grill, and Hillsboro Village’s restaurant run began in earnest.

The striking difference between then and now is the result of enlightened city leaders and local real estate visionaries working together to build a better city. It has been a privilege to have a front-row seat to this incredible transformation.

###

Wood S. Caldwell is managing principal of Southeast Venture, a diversified commercial real estate company. He writes about Middle Tennessee real estate deals once a month for The Tennessean. Reach him at wcaldwell@southeastventure.com.

Past informs future development of Hillsboro Village

By Wood Caldwell

(This article originally appeared in the Tennessean on Feb. 22, 2016)

Once upon a time, Hillsboro Village was all there was.  Before 12 South, the Gulch, Germantown, East Nashville and other urban neighborhoods became hip (or, in the case of The Gulch, even existed as a neighborhood), the only place to experience a truly successful mixed use, urban environment was along 21st Avenue South between Capers and Acklen avenues. As time went on and more trendy areas emerged, however, the Village began to lose its appeal; popular businesses came and went.

hborovillageBut with changes like the sale of the former sites of Bosco’s and Sam’s Sports Grill and development of 2100 Acklen Flats, Hillsboro Village is poised to once again be one of Nashville’s most vibrant urban neighborhoods.

To see where the area is headed, take a look at where it came from. The property where Hillsboro Village sits today was originally owned by Adelicia Hayes Franklin Acklen Cheatham as part of the large Belmont estate. In 1890 it began to be subdivided into neighborhoods and kick-started the boom of streetcar suburban living in Nashville. By the early 1920s, along with the wave of residents moving to the area came a business district with five grocery stores — from mom and pop places like White’s Market to Southern chain stores like Piggly Wiggly and H.G. Hills stores — and bakeries and gas stations. The opening of the historic Belmont Theater in 1925 contributed to the bustling activity of the area.

More retail shops emerged along the strip in the 1950s and 1960s, however, most of these businesses have since gone to retail heaven —  except for Pancake Pantry, which has been a Hillsboro Village staple since it opened in 1961. In the 1980s and 1990s, with restaurateurs Randy Rayburn and Jody Faison at the helm, Sunset Grill, Faison’s and the Iguana and JoeD’s Chicken Club not only made the strip Nashville’s premiere dining spot (and the place to see and be seen), they also created what became known as “The Vodka Triangle.”

Development changes of the late 1990s were led by H.G. Hill Realty, developer of 2100 Acklen Flats. In 1997, H.G. Hill converted the northeast corner of the strip, centered on the famous Pancake Pantry, into mixed-use space for retail, residential and restaurant tenants. To boost the area’s already thriving development, Vanderbilt University met with land and business owners and developers to protect the character of the neighborhood and set boundaries on its own campus expansion.

The buildings along Hillsboro Village today keep the character of 60 years ago — even though some are newer buildings ­— because an Urban Design Overlay (UDO) was put in place in 1999. Stakeholders and the Nashville Metropolitan Planning Commissionestablished the UDO to outline regulations and best practices that must be followed by businesses coming into the area, requiring that an advisory committee review all proposed architectural changes. It encourages storefronts of varying heights and designs, parking lots behind the businesses and the continued presence of street parking and pedestrian access.

The preservation of this urban, pedestrian-friendly center in Nashville is just as important today as it was 17 years ago. Local developers are putting more money and energy into bringing the charm of Hillsboro Village back to relevance. With this growth, the neighborhood is primed to continue to be enjoyed for decades to come.

###

Wood Caldwell is managing principal of Southeast Venture, a diversified commercial real estate company. He writes about Middle Tennessee commercial real estate issues once a month for The Tennessean. Reach him at wcaldwell@southeastventure.com.