Tag Archives: Nashville

Neighborhood Spotlight: Wedgewood-Houston

Once an industrial area filled with warehouses, factories and garages in a rundown part of town rarely visited, Wedgewood-Houston has experienced a redevelopment renaissance over the last few years as artists and creatives have flocked to the area. Two miles south of downtown, Wedgewood-Houston (AKA WeHo) boasts lower rent and housing prices relative to the nearby neighborhoods of the Gulch, 12South and Belmont.

The area’s history dates back to the American Civil War. It’s home to Fort Negley, the largest fortification built by the Union after the fall of Nashville in 1862. The abandoned Greer Stadium, the former home of the Nashville Sounds with its guitar-shaped scoreboard, sits just south of the site.

The most historic building still standing in the neighborhood is the Merritt Mansion on Humphreys Street, purchased a few years ago and converted into a recording studio by Nashville-based rock band Kings of Leon. The home was built in 1840 for Sally Merritt, the youngest daughter of Captain John Rains, and her husband, Gibson. Rains reached Nashville with James Robertson on Christmas Day, 1779, and purchased a 640-acre farm in the neighborhood.

Many of the neighborhood’s most notable restaurants and businesses embrace the area’s industrial history: Award-winning restaurant and bar Bastion is in a former jam factory; Dozen Bakery resides in a former truck repair shop; and David Lusk Gallery is in the building of a former truck mechanic. Other can’t-miss WeHo restaurants include Santa’s Pub, with its year-round Christmas decorations and top-notch karaoke, as well as Gabby’s, Clawson’s Pub & Deli and Smokin’ Thighs.

WeHo is also all about the arts. Popular among residents and visitors is the robust variety of art galleries and creative spaces located within a few blocks of each other. Some credit the David Lusk Gallery on Hagan Street, which opened in 2014, as the spark for the recent influx of redevelopment. In addition to David Lusk are Zeitgeist, Hunter + Gatherer, Sherrick & Paul and Julia Martin Gallery, all of which participate in the free monthly art walk. Named Arts & Music at Wedgewood-Houston, the event is held the first Saturday of each month, coinciding with the Downtown First Saturday Art Crawl. There are also multiple spaces for independent artists and creatives to set up shop, including in Fort Houston and the May Hosiery Co-Op complex, which is currently undergoing a major overhaul. The redeveloped complex, which contains multiple masonry buildings, will eventually include 80,000 square feet of office space, three restaurants, seven retail storefronts, rooftop space and a possible hotel.

Unique to the area is the prevalence of live-work housing, with a retail component on the first floor and a loft or living area on the second floor. New homes are also popping up as developers take advantage of the lower cost of land, and home prices are rapidly on the rise as the neighborhood continues to gain popularity.

We look forward to seeing what is next in store for the up-and-coming Wedgewood-Houston neighborhood.

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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.

2017 Year in Review

In 2017, we celebrated a momentous and busy 35th anniversary while working on many exciting projects. From Silo Bend to Hillsboro Village, we continued our trailblazing efforts across Nashville, to develop the latest and greatest spaces for people to live and work. Here are a few highlights from the year:

Silo Bend

One of our most noteworthy projects in 2017 was a mixed-use development in the booming neighborhood of The Nations. The development, Silo Bend, was named after the 200-foot abandoned silo that towers over the area and the property’s location across from a bend of the Cumberland River. We broke ground on the 37.7-acre site in March and began constructing The Flats @ Silo Bend, a 193-unit apartment building – which will later be joined by single-family homes, office space, retail buildings and additional apartments.

Silo Bend in The Nations

Photo credit: Brian Siskind, Those Drones

We also partnered with the Nashville Walls Project to commission internationally known Australian artist Guido van Helten to paint a large-scale mural on the silo itself. The mural features monochromatic portraits of local residents – capturing the essence of the community – and can be seen from almost a mile away.

Eastside Heights

East Nashville is a growing community just minutes away from downtown. This year, we developed Eastside Heights, a beautiful new mixed-use apartment building located at 5th and Woodland. The building includes 249 state-of-the-art apartments and 8,000 feet of ground-floor retail space.

It also boasts a resort-style swimming pool with an in-pool sun deck, two landscaped courtyards, a pet spa and dog walk, fitness and yoga facilities, a cyber café, a multi-level parking garage and a two-level sky lounge with an outdoor patio and a stunning view of downtown Nashville.

EAST

Photo credit: Aerial Innovations

The Nashville Walls Project helped us to commission a mural here as well. Four local artists contributed to the large “EAST” mural, which covers over 4,500 square feet of the property’s western-facing exterior wall. Since it faces I-24, it is estimated that over 100,000 vehicles see the piece every day.

We worked closely with Hardaway Construction to complete this project, and residents began moving in this fall.

Belcourt Village

We also provided architectural design services for Elmington Capital Group’s Belcourt Village, a 23,900-square-foot, mixed-use development situated across from the historic Belcourt Theatre in Hillsboro Village. It will offer 25-28 apartments and ground-floor retail space that is adjacent to Hopdoddy Burger Bar and Altar’d State.

Belcourt Village Rendering

Located between Belmont and Vanderbilt universities, this modern living and retail space is sure to attract college students and young families, who make up a large portion of the neighborhood’s population. We’re excited to be adding another great stop in one of Nashville’s most walkable neighborhoods.

35 Years in the Making

For the last 35 years, we’ve been dedicated to building strong relationships with people companies across Middle Tennessee. Through those partnerships, we’ve helped develop the city of Nashville into what it is today: a growing and thriving metropolitan area that is home to 1.75 million people and counting.

2017 was a busy year filled with growth, and none of it would have been possible without our clients and hard-working team members. We’re excited for 2018 and look forward to another year of success!

 

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.”

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 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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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.