Fewer condos, more townhomes planned for Germantown's Centerstone site
Developer Mainland Cos. cites stronger sales market, rising construction costs for shifting to fewer, larger units
From The Tennessean | April 18, 2017
Mainland Cos.' redevelopment of nonprofit organization Centerstone's former headquarters property in Germantown will now involve 47 residential units, down nearly 40 percent from the previous plan.
In presenting revised plans Tuesday to the Historic Germantown Neighborhood Association's development committee, the Nashville-based developer's Chief Operating Officer James A. Lennon attributed the change toward fewer, but larger residential units to reevaluating the market. "It's due in part to a stronger sales market in Germantown and in part to rising construction costs," he said.
Within 90 days, Mainland hopes to start grading the new construction portion of the overall 2-acre site on Madison Street between Sixth and Seventh Avenues. The first phase of three townhomes could be completed within a year with the overall project to be built over three years.
Plans now call for 21 townhomes — each with an attached garage — instead of 54 mostly condos previously planned for the new construction site. Like before, roughly 23 condos are planned for the historic former Elliott School building, which will be renovated and preserved.
The overall project is expected to include a 1,000-square-foot retail space at the corner of Sixth and Madison with two condo flats atop that building. That would bring the overall total to 47 residential units versus roughly 77 previously planned.
At Tuesday's meeting, Germantown residents again complimented the residential units being for sale rather than rental apartments, but some also noticed fewer private pocket parks in the new plan.
The Metro Planning Department's staff is reviewing Mainland's request for specific plan zoning related to the new construction portion of the former Centerstone property.
THE MAINLAND COMPANIES COMPLETES PURCHASE OF 4.5 ACRE STEEL HAMMER SITE
The Mainland Companies closed on 4.5 acres in the St Johns neighborhood of North Portland near Cathedral Park on the historic site of the original James John ferry landing. The acquisition includes an option to purchase an additional 10 acres of prime riverfront property adjacent to the site, which Mainland plans to complete within two years. Land development will be managed by Portland-based affiliate, Mainland Northwest.
“St Johns is an important part of Oregon’s and Portland’s history. As a life-long Oregonian and native of Portland, I’m honored to have an opportunity to work on this important development,” said Brian Wilson, Partner, Mainland Northwest. “We envision a wide range of potential uses including commercial office, retail, and housing at every entry point. I look forward to engaging with our neighbors and community leaders for input on the right balance of uses.
The entire 14.5 acre Steel Hammer site was originally settled by homesteaders in the late 1840s but by the 1880s transitioned to mostly industrial uses. It’s key location on the banks of the Willamette River close to the confluence with the Columbia River made it essential to the region’s burgeoning river-dependent economy. Today, its location and relatively small size contributed to the area’s decline into an underutilized brownfield, which is what attracted Mainland to the property: being able to clean up a site and restore it to the active inventory of land available for responsible development without impacting a historic neighborhood or displacing residents.
“Our Mainland Northwest Division approaches projects with a high degree of sensitivity to the historical and cultural elements of a property,” said Ken Larish, CEO of The Mainland Companies which is headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee. “They have a very clear vision for evolving the Steel Hammer neighborhood, and we are very proud that Brian and his team have reached this point in the development process. This is an exciting time for our company.”
Mainland is assembling a strong, Portland-based team to work on entitlements and development concepts. The company expects the land development phase to take up to two years before more specific characteristics take shape. The company considers community input during this early phase an essential part of the planning process, and will announce a community engagement plan in the coming months. Project updates will also be available, periodically, on the Steel Hammer Facebook page:
The Mainland Companies, LLC (Mainland) has formed a new retail development division through a strategic merger with Hart-Redd, LLC, according to Mainland CEO Ken Larish. Both companies are headquartered in Nashville, Tennessee, but have significant out-of-state presences. Hart-Redd will begin operating under the Mainland flag immediately, with its principals overseeing the new retail development division. The terms of the transaction are not being disclosed.
Mainland is a full-service real estate development company with extensive expertise that includes acquisitions, dispositions, development, design, leasing, marketing, finance, capital formation and both project and asset management.
"Our new retail venture with Hart-Redd creates numerous opportunities for Mainland," said Larish. "Hart-Redd’s strength in shopping centers, net lease retail and also healthcare enables us to greatly expand and accelerate our existing strategic efforts in those areas. This transaction furthers our long-term commitment to pursue growth and asset class diversification. Most importantly, the Hart-Redd team is a great addition to the Mainland family."
With more than 25 years of experience and a development portfolio in excess of 3.5 million square feet of retail space, Hart-Redd offers expertise in the development of neighborhood shopping centers, urban retail buildings, and single-tenant build-to-suit projects. In addition to its Nashville HQ, Hart-Redd has offices in Georgia and North Carolina. The company pursues projects throughout the Southeastern United States.
Founded by Marshall Hart and A.M. Redd, Jr. in 1990, Hart-Redd has worked with some of the largest retail brands in the world, including Kroger, McDonald's, Blockbuster, CVS, Memory Care America, Winn Dixie, O'Reilly's Auto Parts, Walmart and Auto Zone.
"We look forward to further evolving Mainland’s retail and healthcare portfolio," said Hart. "The merger is a natural progression for both companies and we are excited by the prospects ahead."
DJC announces Newsmakers honorees for 2017 - Mainland Northwest REcognized
By: DJC Staff in News, Newsmakers January 23, 2017
The Daily Journal of Commerce has announced its list of Newsmakers for 2017. Mainland Northwest has been named as one of the honorees.
The Newsmakers awards event, now in its ninth year, recognizes individuals, private companies, public agencies and organizations that had an impact on, or played a significant role in, the region’s built environment during the past 12 months as well as those expected to have a significant impact during the coming year.
Gulch lands first retail shop exclusive to men’s fashion
Ruckle & Rye to open in The James in March | William Williams | Nashville Post
Nashville-based businesswoman Brittany Culver is targeting an early March opening for what would be, if operational today, the only exclusively men’s fashion boutique in The Gulch.
Culver will operate her Ruckle & Rye from about 1,200 square feet of space in The James, a mixed-use building located at 1000 Division St. and sandwiched by high-rise Icon and the warehouse home to Yazoo Brewing Co.
“Nashville has an excellent retail scene but there are not a lot of retail shops in the city targeting men only,” said Culver, who created Ruckle and Rye LLC to own and operate the business. “I want to offer a shop for guys that is not located in a mall and is a place where they not only shop but have a social experience.”
Culver is leasing the space from ThirdGen Properties LLC. The entity recently took ownership of the first-floor spaces of The James via a property transfer valued at approximately $1.2 million. ThirdGen also has Exit Realty Elite as a tenant.
Culver said interior work to prep the space will start in January. She has enlisted East Nashville-based Powell Architecture + Building Studio for design and build-out work.
Culver is not disclosing the cost to get the business operational or the terms of the lease.
As to the name, Culver said she once lived on Ruckle Street in Indianapolis. The “Rye” is a nod to her offering complimentary rye whiskey (and beer) to her future customers.
To be open seven days a week, Ruckle & Rye will offer primarily shirts and pants, but also feature accessories such as shoes, hats and bags.
“I want it to be a one-stop shop for guys,” Culver said, adding she will also offer grooming products such as beard oil.
Culver has been working with about 15 vendors and is hoping to finalize a couple others. Some brands she will carry include Agolde, Hip and Bone, and Taylor Fitch.
Culver said has worked in the retail industry for about 12 years but this will be the first business she has owned. She Culver will begin operations with part-time employees only and expects to have up to four. Eventually, she said she plans to hire a full-time manager.
Retail component of Gulch building changes ownership
Nashvillepost.com | William Williams | November 10, 2016
Nashville-based ThirdGen Properties LLC took ownership Thursday on the retail component of Gulch-based mixed-used building The James.
The property has been transferred to ThirdGen at a value of approximately $1.2 million.
Owned by local real estate investor Michael Lindseth, ThirdGen had owned the land, with an address of 1000 Division St., via a related entity (NextGen) before partnering with developer The Mainland Companies in 2014. Nashville-based Mainland recently finalized the construction of the building,.
With the transaction, ThirdGen now owns the roughly 7,000-square-foot retail component and holds the licensing to 20 below-grade parking spaces not used by the tenants of The James’ 31 apartments, according to Lindseth.
Three tenants, including Exit Realty Elite (read here), have signed leases for the spaces. Terms of the those leases are not being disclosed.
“After 11 years of planning, my family is excited to be involved in the evolution of Division Street in the Gulch,” Lindseth said. “We look forward to working with our new tenants, who will bring new amenities to The Gulch residents and patrons. Many thanks to my development partner, Mainland Companies, and my legal advisors, Nancy Stabell and Campbell Steele, who were all instrumental getting this to the finish line.”
Mainland preps for major Portland work
Nashvillepost.com | William Williams | October 10, 2016
Mainland Northwest — a division of Nashville-based The Mainland Companies — is preparing to soon start on its multi-building development in Portland, Oregon.
Mainland Northwest officials Brian Wilson and Benjamin Wood are overseeing the effort, which is concentrated on the historic St. Johns neighborhood.
The first building will be Ballast Point (click on the above image to see an image). The project is in for permitting with a groundbreaking for the four-story 101-unit apartment building eyed for the next six to eight weeks.
The other two buildings will be called North Richmond and Clifton House. For the latter, a $21 million 150-unit student housing building to be located near Portland State University, demolition and site work is being finished and construction will start within days.
In addition, the company is planning to undertake Steel Hammer, a multi-acre site that could accommodate various buildings.
"Portland and Nashville are progressive cities that care a great deal about their historic character, but are also looking for opportunities to grow responsibly," said Ken Larish, Mainland’s Nashville-based CEO who received his J.D. degree from Portland's Lewis and Clark Law School.
"Nobody knows the Portland real estate market better than Brian and Ben, and we feel very fortunate that they are leading the charge in the Northwest region on Mainland's behalf.”
In Nashville, Mainland is finishing buildings near 12South and in The Gulch and is eyeing a project in Germantown.
Mixed-use Gulch building lands first retail tenant
Exit Realty Elite preps for December opening in The James
William Williams | NashvillePost | October 6, 2016
Gulch mixed-use building The James has landed its first retail space tenant, with Exit Realty Elite slated to anchor the soon-to-open building’s right ground-level corner.
The James, developed by The Mainland Cos. and also offering 31 apartments, has an address of 1000 Division St. Exit Realty Elite, which has operated from the nearby 1200 Division building since February 2015, will move into the new structure in December.
Kel Williams, co-owner of the franchise with Misty Hargis (who also serves as a broker), said the move had been about 1.5 years in the making. The company and its 31 employees currently operate from about 1,450 square feet and will take approximately 3,200 square feet at the new building.
Financial terms of the lease with the future retail space owner (who will soon buy the retail space and who is asking to go unnamed) are not being disclosed. However, Williams said the company has signed a five-year lease with two five-year options.
“We’re not going anywhere,” he said.
Williams said permitting is almost finalized and the approximately $300,000 build-out of the space should begin within the next few weeks. He said the front third of the office will suggest a combination café/boutique hotel lobby.
The office will feature 22-foot-tall ceilings, stained concrete floors and modernist chandeliers, he added. (Click on View Gallery in the above image to see a rendering of the exterior entrance.)
“We want our space to be open to the community,” he said. “We’ll want Gulch residents and Gulch business owners and customers to feel free to walk in for a complimentary cup of coffee and Google Fiber access.”
Exit Realty Elite is a franchise and the only one of 29 Exit Realty offices in the Midstate (41 statewide) to operate in either downtown or Midtown Nashville. The office handles primarily urban and suburban residential work.
Relatedly, the Exit Realty office will be home to a Smart Title and Escrow LLC outpost. Based in Franklin and co-owned and operated by CEO Keith Solomon and COO Kimberly Hollingshead, the company wants a downtown Nashville presence, Williams said.
Smart Title and Escrow will work primarily with Exit Realty Elite clients, he added.
Exit Realty has operated in the Nashville market since 2005. Parent company Exit Realty Corp. is based in Mississauga, Ontario, Canada.
Nashville developer keeps growing downtown high-rise site
Sep 6, 2016, 12:49pm CDT | Adam Sichko | Nashville Business Journal
Nashville developer Ken Larish continues expanding his downtown site where he could build multiple high-rise towers — and he's not done buying land yet.
All told, Larish's The Mainland Cos. has now spent $9.4 million accumulating 1.3 acres on Korean Veterans Boulevard. The land touches the roundabout where the Music City Center convention center is located, the same roundabout where a 27-story Westin is scheduled to open this month. Both are landmarks in the overhaul of development sweeping through SoBro, reaffirming it as the epicenter of the city's real estate boom (though the frenzy to buy land is winding down).
Buildings on-site can reach as high as 30 stories under the property's current zoning. Notably, Larish has said he envisions office space as part of what he wants to build, at a time when the entire region is experiencing a historic shortage of available space, generating whiplash-inducing record spikes in rent.
Newly filed public records show that The Mainland Cos. paid $187,500 for a small bit of land from TLC Properties Inc., a Louisiana-based entity. With that transaction, The Mainland Cos. now owns all of the land between the roundabout and Seventh Avenue South. The company has also purchased land on the other side of that street spur, going toward the Metro Police precinct.
"That does not mean we are entirely done, but we are not ready to discuss those details at this time," said Jim Cheney, a spokesman for the company. He declined further comment.
Previously, Larish also has said he plans apartments as part of the mixed-use project on the property.
“For a long time, we have considered the KVB corridor one of the prime locations in downtown Nashville for residential and commercial growth,” Larish said in a December 2015 statement.
Elsewhere, The Mainland Cos. continues readying a 77-unit condo project in Germantown, and has begun leasing efforts for a 79-unit apartment building on 12th Avenue South, named The Chelsea, and a 31-unit building in the Gulch at 1000 Division St., named The James.
St. Johns en route to transformation
From DJC Oregon | Chuck Slothhower | September 2016
Take TriMet’s 4 bus from downtown Portland to St. Johns, and the trip serves as a rolling tour of the gradual gentrification of North Portland.
Riders travel along trendy Mississippi Avenue, with its high-end boutiques like Paxton Gate, which sells exotic taxidermy, and then onto Albina Avenue, a historically African-American neighborhood that has seen an influx of new residents and multifamily construction.
The bus line ends at St. Johns. There, in the shadow of the iconic, spearmint-green bridge spanning the Willamette River, a transformation is about to take place.
The North Portland neighborhood, long home to industrial sites and a racially and economically diverse population, is poised to see dense multifamily and commercial development of the type that has already transformed many of Portland’s close-in Eastside neighborhoods.
Two developers are responsible for a batch of new projects: Mainland Northwest, the Portland office of a Nashville, Tennessee-based developer; and Farid Bolouri, a local dentist turned developer. They’re following in the footsteps of PHK Development. Its Marvel 29, which opened in 2015, appears in retrospect to have laid the groundwork for changes to come.
Mainland's "The Chelsea" Merges Architecture and Art in 12 South
Nashville, Tenn. — Nashville-based The Mainland Companies (Mainland) is now pre-leasing its 79-residence apartment building at the intersection of Acklen Avenue and 12th Avenue South. Previously identified by its address, the developer has re-branded the building as The Chelsea. Elmington Property Management has been retained to handle the lease-up.
In an effort to differentiate The Chelsea and to reflect the artistic nature of the evolving "12 South" neighborhood, Mainland commissioned local artist Bryce McCloud to assemble an approximately 100-yard custom mural that is integrated into the building's east wall. McCloud, who leads the Nashville-based design and production firm, Isle of Printing, is widely recognized for his creative efforts on behalf of iconic destinations such as Barista Parlor, Third Man Records, Mas Tacos, and Pinewood Social.
"Including a local artistic component into the Chelsea's design was an important aspect in making this building more than just an apartment project," said Mainland CEO Ken Larish. "Anyone familiar with Bryce McCloud's work will know that his philosophy is re-shaping Nashville's creative landscape and we are fortunate that he is helping drive our vision in 12 South."
Manuel Zeitlin and project designer Nelle Blevins of Manuel Zeitlin Architects played a critical role in identifying the artist and incorporating the mural into his firm's overall design for The Chelsea.
"Our first priority was to have the art serve as an actual part of the building itself," Zeitlin said. "We have blended architecture with artistic design and that definitely makes a statement. In addition, we have purposefully placed the mural in the rear of the building which adds an element of surprise for both tenants and neighbors and it also demonstrates our commitment to a distinct aesthetic from every vantage point surrounding the building."
For the Chelsea, Mr. McCloud created an elegant, four-color mural that takes physical shape through the installation of various lengths of siding boards. The swirling, fluid design covers the majority of the building's rear wall, spanning from ground level to The Chelsea's fourth floor. Mr. McCloud supervised the installation ensuring that each piece of the mural was placed in accordance with the original design. The piece is named Rapprochement which is defined as an establishment of harmonious relations. Following is the artist's statement.
Bryce McCloud / Isle of Printing
Hardie Board and nails
When I was a youngster, my parents impressed upon me the importance of bringing a gift to a welcome party whenever possible. It’s in the same spirit of goodwill that we present this work of public art, Rapprochement. Rapprochement describes the establishment of harmonious relations. I hope that this piece of public art can be just that: part of a bridge between the established neighborhood and its latest edition. Adding a public art component to this development reminds us that it isn’t enough to merely satisfy the basic utilitarian need for shelter. We must strive to satisfy the needs of the soul as well. The value of our public space is measured in much more than dollars and cents. Rapprochement is our small contribution to the cause.
In addition to its four stories of residential, The Chelsea will contain two levels of below-grade-parking with access from Acklen Avenue and the alley behind the building. Amenities include:
· A penthouse clubroom and gourmet kitchen with panoramic views of downtown
· A rooftop sundeck
· Outdoor kitchen and lounge area with multiple gas grills and a fire pit
· Recording/Rehearsal studio
· Bike storage room with repair station
· Fully equipped fitness center
· Dog wash
· Multiple cable and internet providers including Fiber
· Nest thermostats
· Secure indoor parking
· 10' ceilings and Solar Shades
· Skylights in some of the top floor units
The Chelsea is located within minutes of Belmont, Hillsboro Village, the Gulch, Music Row, downtown, mid-town, and Green Hills. It is also located in close proximity to all of Nashville's major business districts. As previously mentioned, Manuel Zeitlin Architects is the project’s designer. Crain Construction is the general contractor. Pinnacle is the construction lender.
"We believe that The Chelsea is a much-needed residential addition to the 12th Avenue South corridor," said Larish. "People are going to be excited by the views that each residence offers, and the location is arguably one of the best in the city. We very much look forward to welcoming our first residents."
In addition to The Chelsea, Mainland is now pre-leasing The James (a residential building located at 1000 Division Street in the Gulch) and is close to breaking ground on an upscale Germantown condominium project located on Madison Street between 6th and 7th Avenues. In addition, Mainland develops infill multifamily projects in Portland, Oregon, and has nationwide net-lease development programs in the retail and healthcare sectors.
Mainland Rebrands 1000 Division Apartment Building to "The James"
William Williams | Nashville Post | July 2016
Nashville-based developer The Mainland Companies has rebranded its 1000 Division apartment project under construction in The Gulch and has enlisted Elmington Property Management for management and leasing duties.
Once identified by its street address of 1000 Division, the building is now called The James. The brand change is representative of the developer's intent to have a building with a distinctive character, according to a news release.
Pre-leasing has begun on the five-story, 31-unit apartment building, which also features about 6,500 square feet of street-level retail.
A 671-square-foot, one-bedroom/one bathroom apartment at The James rents for $1,679, while a 1,325-square-foot, two bedroom/two bathroom unit leases for $3,999.
"Interest in Nashville from outside developers is at an all-time high," Mainland CEO Ken Larish said in the release "In some respects, that's a significant and positive shot in the arm for economic development.
“At the same time, national developers are not committed to any one market for the long-term. Mainland has deep roots in Middle Tennessee,” he added. “We want our projects to be recognized many years from now as more iconic to Nashville in terms of design and overall living experience. We came to the conclusion that a street address felt generic, and we are not generic developers."
Mainland considered making The James a condominium building, but ultimately stayed with the apartment model, Larish said.
"We went back and forth on the condo versus apartment discussion," Larish said. "In the end, based on the nature of the Gulch demographic and the character of our building, we stayed with apartments. However, we anticipate that we will attract tenants who are looking for a more permanent residence than you typically see in the larger, for-lease projects. We have an opportunity to differentiate ourselves by offering renters an intimate boutique condo-caliber building."
D|AAD is the project's architect, Southland Constructors is the general contractor and First Farmers and Merchants Bank is the construction lender.
Late September start eyed for Germantown condos project
The Tennessean | Getahn Ward | June 2016
With final design approval in hand, Mainland Cos. is tentatively eyeing a late September groundbreaking for the roughly 77-unit mostly condo development it plans in Germantown.
Crain Construction Inc. will be the general contractor for the project, said Mike Large, multifamily developer Mainland's vice president of design and construction.
Large made that disclosure shortly after the Metro Development and Housing Agency signed off Tuesday on final design of the development planned for nonprofit organization Centerstone's former home in Germantown. That appearance came after Nashville-based Mainland last week won approval from the Metro Historic Zoning Commission.
Under Mainland's plans for the property, including 1200 Seventh Ave. N., the historic former Elliot School will be renovated into 23 condos. There will be another 54 units of new construction, including a pair of condo buildings planned across the street in the former Centerstone parking lot, plus six townhomes.
All parking would be underground. There will be a small retail space at the corner of Sixth and Madison. Amenities will include a community farm or garden with plots for land for residents to grow crops.
Mike Large (Photo: Submitted)
Among other projects, Crain Construction is also the general contractor for Mainland's Acklen on 12th apartments that's rising in the 12South area. Manuel Zeitlin Architects designed that project and the one planned for the former Centerstone property in Germantown.
Our prices are rising faster than our buildings: Why glass, and crews, could shatter ‘It City”
Nashville Business Journal | Adam Sichko | May 2016
It’s hard to say which is the bigger stop-you-in-your-tracks surprise that Nashville construction veteran Dean Chase has confronted while hustling to build a 27-story Westin hotel in SoBro.
Was it the day that eight carpenters, who were earning $22 an hour, bolted for another local job that would pay them $6 more per hour? Or was it the realization that his company, D.F. Chase Inc., would have to import glass from South America because suppliers he’d used before in Nashville, Chicago, Dallas and Atlanta were all too overwhelmed to fill his order for 40,000 square feet of the stuff? (That’s almost enough to cover the floor of an average Publix).
Both emphatically cement the fact that Nashville’s epic blitz of construction has all but exhausted supplies of the materials and laborers necessary to actually build a building. It’s gotten so hairy that construction costs threaten to stifle Nashville’s boom by dragging out projects or making them impractical to even attempt. The cost of getting a building done is one of the chief culprits to blame for the rising rent for that newly built office space, apartment or retail storefront.
Until now, the soaring price of land has overshadowed the rising construction costs. It’s easy to see why: Countless newcomer investors are forking over record premiums to grab property here. But typically, land prices account for 10 to 15 percent of a project. The price of materials and labor can wreck a project’s budget much faster.
In recent days, developers of a proposed 27-story tower on Broadway and a 38-story tower in the Gulch both indicated construction costs are weighing more heavily on their decisions. Demand for contractors is compelling developers to make vital decisions much earlier than usual, just to raise the odds that they’ll have what they need, when they need it.
“What happens as a developer is you have to commit to contractors much earlier, so you don’t get the benefit of going through a bid process. You basically just pick your horse at the beginning and run with it,” said James Lennon, chief operating officer at Nashville’s The Mainland Cos. The company is working on apartment and condo projects in Germantown, SoBro, the Gulch and 12South.
Somehow, D.F. Chase and a work crew that’s swelled as high as 600 will have the Westin hotel open in September, two months earlier than scheduled. Developers who haven’t started on their projects by now will not be so fortunate. They’re encountering delays and price spikes that will require them to round up more money and squeeze the returns their investors expect.
“There are probably 10 more major construction companies who were not here three or four years ago,” said Chase, chairman and CEO of the company he founded three decades ago.
“They used to come to work for HCA. That was the big draw,” Chase said. “It’s a free-for-all now.”
The Nashville Business Journal’s Crane Watch development map, with 170 projects, underscores the expanse of Nashville’s construction bonanza. Workers literally can walk from one job site to another within minutes.
In Tennessee, the average construction worker is older than 50 — and for every five workers who retire, just one apprentice replaces them. That’s according to Go Build Tennessee, a new workforce development effort backed by trade groups.
There’s heightened regional pressure, too: Atlanta, four hours away, has $2 billion worth of stadiums under construction, sucking up workers and contractors who might otherwise do business in Nashville. Plus, this is an industry that lost roughly 2 million jobs nationwide during the recession. Much of that talent hasn’t come back — or if has, many are on the brink of retirement.
“It is a feeding frenzy for people. The only thing like it is what I saw during the condo boom in South Florida,” said Mike Large, an industry veteran and vice president of design and construction for The Mainland Cos.
Some of the carpenters on the company’s 12South project, a 79-unit apartment building, are from Indianapolis — which means the project’s budget includes paying for hotel rooms for those workers, in a city whose room rates are growing faster than anywhere else in the nation.
“The poaching of carpenters that’s going on is profound,” Large said. “A lot of contractors aren’t taking on any more work, because they want to avoid the kind of layoffs that happened in 2008.”
That hesitation inflates the prices general contractors quote to developers. So do their scars from experiences where subcontractors became overbooked and could not deliver what they promised on-schedule, said Chris Dunn, a construction lawyer with the Nashville firm Waller Lansden Dortch & Davis.
“They’ve all had a bullet go by them, or hit them in a limb,” Dunn said. “So they’re all competing for the same really high-performing [subcontractors], and of course those guys know who they are, and they’re able to raise their rates.”
Among the companies in high demand is Alexander Metals Inc., founded 24 years ago by Alec Estes. Sleek, all-glass buildings are popular these days, and Estes’ 115 employees have created and installed giant glass walls in the Gulch, Midtown, downtown, Cool Springs and Brentwood. Recent projects include the Hill Center Brentwood mixed-use development and the office building at 1201 Demonbreun St.
Estes’ glasswork could have draped the Westin, too. But Estes had booked two overlapping projects already.
“We’re saying ‘no’ more often than we’d like,” Estes said. “It’s an eyeopener for all of us. … We’re quoting work now that we won’t perform until 2017, and in one case, the glass isn’t required until 2018.”
Generally, Estes estimates that the lead-time on larger projects has grown 20 percent longer, just so contractors can be assured they’ll have glass when they need it.
Estes said his company’s annual revenue has been growing by 10 to 15 percent, into the mid-$20 million range. But that’s not straight profit. The day before our interview, a major glass producer raised its prices by up to 10 percent, an increase Estes expects to be passed along to him.
It turns out it’s not just labor that left the business during the recession. The three or four major glass producers in the nation mothballed a lot of factories, and now they’re scrambling to catch up — not just to commercial demand, but also orders from homebuilders and automakers, Estes said.
“Even a year ago, a lot of these glass companies were still reeling from the recession,” Estes said.
Now, it’s contractors who are reeling from workforce shortages and scarce supplies. Chase, the local development veteran, hasn’t seen anything like it.
“I’d say it’s unparalleled, both for this market and the length of time it will last,” Chase said. “It looks like at least the next two years will be really busy. There is so much backlog committed that will get built.”
Enough with apartments: This developer pitches condos at prime Germantown site
From the Nashville Business Journal
For a change, a developer is not proposing to build apartments in Germantown, the area immediately north of downtown where the 1-year-old Nashville Sounds ballpark is located.
The neighborhood feels practically overrun with apartment developers. Our Crane Watch map shows 11 apartment complexes proposed or under construction, by developers from eight cities, totaling 3,200 apartments. In the past two years, apartment rents across the city have surged to record highs — developers could not build units fast enough to keep pace with population growth and job gains. Now, there are signs that the construction boom is fizzling, as the city prepares for a record number of apartments to open this year and again next year, creating competition for renters that the city has never seen before.
Against that backdrop, executives with Nashville-based The Mainland Cos. told a Germantown neighborhood group Monday night that they plan condos and townhomes, not apartments, on two prime acres they own at 1101 Sixth Ave. N. That's across the street from Bicentennial Mall State Park, on land Mainland purchased from health care nonprofit Centerstone. The property includes a former school building.
"Not only are we preserving the Elliott School building, we are going to make it one of the most sought-after residential buildings in downtown Nashville," Mainland founder and CEO Ken Larish said in a statement. That statement declared: "local developer cuts against apartment trend in the interest of neighborhood character and best-use philosophy."
Mainland plans 77 units total, six of which are townhomes. In theory, the condos and townhomes could do more to root their occupants in the neighborhood and make them more invested in its overall growth, as opposed to renters who come and go on one-year leases.
According to new public filings, Mainland plans a pair of three-story buildings on parking lots located behind the former school, in addition to the two dozen condos that will be created within the former school building.
A spokesman for the project declined to discuss the status of financing, or an overall price tag for the proposed project. Last fall, Mainland paid $5.8 million to buy 2.03 acres of land from Centerstone.
To be sure, these are still plans — and on paper, Mainland now has a higher bar to clear than if executives had stuck with their initial inclination to do apartments. For one, construction companies have exhausted their labor supplies, and in general, many contractors avoid condo projects because there's much more legal liability (any number of the unit owners could sue, as opposed to an apartment building, which involves just one owner).
Banks have been reticent to finance condo projects coming out of a Great Recession fueled largely by the near-collapse of the housing market. Nashville's first condo building to open since the recession, the Twelve | Twelve high-rise in the Gulch, began as apartments before developer Ray Hensler persuaded his lenders to switch to condos.
Generally, bankers are requiring more equity from developers and they're wanting to see a higher percentage of condos reserved with nonrefundable deposits. That figure could be 30 percent or more of the total units, before they agree to jump on board and finance construction.
Mainland has active projects at 1000 Division St., in the Gulch, and on 12th Avenue South near Belmont University. For awhile, Mainland weighed whether to turn the 31 units at its Gulch project into condos, but the company is sticking with apartments there, said a spokesman.
For the Germantown work, Mainland has retained Nashville's Manuel Zeitlin Architects. Mainland expects to start construction in August. The company has not yet selected a contractor, or a real estate brokerage firm to market the condos and townhomes.
The units will be between 650 square feet to 2,300 square feet. Mainland is not yet disclosing price tags for those units.
Active Nashville Developer Snags Land in Heart of Sobro Boom
From the Nashville Business Journal
Active Nashville developer The Mainland Cos. has bought more than an acre of land in downtown Nashville's booming SoBro neighborhood, across the street from Music City Center and the Korean Veterans Boulevard Roundabout.
According to a news release release, Mainland will "develop a significant mixed-use project that will include apartments and commercial office space." Mainland bought the property for $7.4 million, according to The Tennessean.
Mainland's interest in the 1.06 acres at 422 Seventh Ave. S., which includes the old Flamingo Lounge, was first reported in March. It had been owned by the Kohl family.
“For a long time, we have considered the KVB corridor one of the prime locations in downtown Nashville for residential and commercial growth,” Mainland CEO said in Thursday's news release. “We are looking forward to bringing our concept forward as well as introducing what we believe will be one of the sharpest design/build teams in the region. It is premature at this time to speak to anything in detail as we are still finalizing a number of the logistics necessary for a project of this scope. We can say that we’re confident that this project will make a strong statement as it relates to future downtown development activity.”
Mainland Pays $5.8 Million for Centerstone/Germantown Site
Nashville-based The Mainland Companies has paid $5.8 million for Germantown property on which it plans a residential property, according to Metro records.
Mainland created Mainland Germantown LLC for the acquisition.
The seller was Centerstone of Tennessee Inc., a mental health and addiction services company.
The company has said in the past it is looking into converting to residential space the historic masonry building that sits on the 1.75-acre property and that has housed the Centerstone offices.
A company spokesman emailed the Post noting Centerstone has 150 days before it needs to vacate.
Previous Metro approvals will allow Mainland to offer 75 residential units. At this time, no retail is planned as part of the adaptive reuse of the building, the company spokesman said.
Mainland is eyeing new construction to join the existing building and has enlisted Nashville-based Manuel Zeitlin Architects for design efforts.
Centerstone officials emailed the following statement: "The administrative and leadership teams for Centerstone’s Tennessee operations will move at the end of this month to our Frank Luton Center facility off Murfreesboro Pike. A plan is being finalized to move clinical staff and care providers to a nearby location; our first priority is making that transition seamless for our clients. Centerstone will be fully moved, including the balance of our administrative teams, by spring 2016."
Mainland is undertaking two area projects: the mixed-use 1000 Division in The Gulch and 79-unit apartment building Acklen on 12th near 12South.
Ground Breaks for 12-South Apartment Building
Nashville-based Mainland Urban Development announced today it anticipates an August 2016 completion date on its now-named Acklen on 12th, simultaneously releasing a new image for the 79-unit apartment building.
According to a release, Mainland has broken ground on the 12South-area building, to front the east side of 12th Avenue South between West Grove and Acklen avenues. The building will sit on 0.84 acres that last accommodated a building home to Special Olympics Tennessee (see the site here courtesy of Google Maps).
Mainland is billing the building, designed by Nashville-based Manuel Zeitlin Architects in a contemporary style and modified from a previous iteration, to provide a “much-needed rental housing alternative” in a district for which the housing stock is mainly single-family homes.
"This is a very exciting project for our company," Mainland CEO Ken Larish said in the release. "We feel that its size and scope are appropriate for the location. And because our team calls Nashville home, we are intent on building something that the community will be proud of for many years."
Acklen on 12th consists of four residential stories placed over two levels of parking, one below grade and the other partially below grade.
Crain Construction is serving as the general contractor, with Pinnacle Bank providing construction financing.
Relatedly, Mainland is currently constructing a mixed-use building on Division Street in The Gulch. To be called 1000 Division, the building will include 31 residential units and approximately 7,000 square feet of retail.
In addition, Mainland is under contract to purchase the Centerstone property in Germantown. The development company wants to adaptively reuse the historic Ella Hayes Center building.
Mainland Urban is a subsidiary of The Mainland Companies and focuses on urban infill projects.
Centerstone Project Receives Conceptual Approval
The Mainland Cos. has received conceptual approval of the site plan for the multifamily residential building the developer plans in Germantown where not-for-profit organization Centerstone's headquarters sits.
The project is expected to include ground-floor commercial space, possibly for a restaurant, plus below-ground parking.
It was among two items on the Metro Development and Housing Agency's design review committee's agenda Tuesday.
Developers behind the Westin Nashville planned for 807 Clark Ave. across from Music City Center also received approval for signage atop that hotel with modification based on how the sign works with the building.
A Mainland executive recently said the Nashville-based developer was eyeing roughly 90 units in three buildings on the 1.75-acre Centerstone property at a corner of Sixth and Jefferson Street.
Mainland plans to preserve the historic Elliot School building on that site, which the company has under contract. Centerstone refers to that 30,521-square-foot building as the Ella Hayes Center.
"We're excited that the process has officially started," Mainland spokesman Jim Cheney said about presenting the concept to the MDHA committee. "Our plan is to work with all of the parties involved to do this properly."
Mainland Proposes Five-Story Contemporary Structure
Nashville-based Mainland Urban Development today released an image and information regarding a multi-unit residential building for which it is targeting a June groundbreaking on a 12South-area site. Mainland, a subsidiary of The Mainland Companies, spoke to neighbors this morning about the concept of the project.
The building, for which there is no name yet, would offer 75 units on five floors and two below-grade levels of parking. To be given a contemporary design, it would be located on the east side of 12th Avenue South spanning West Grove Avenue on the north and Acklen Avenue on the south. The property, the address for which is 1900 12th Ave. S., is located five blocks north of the point at which the 12South commerical district begins. (See the site here courtesy of Google Maps.) Via Mainland Belmont LLC, Mainland acquired the .85-acre property last December from Special Olympics of Tennessee Inc. in a quitclaim transaction.
Special Olympics Tennessee continues to operate from a building on the site and will relocate later this spring. The parcel is currently zoned commercial services and accommodates multifamily use. As such, no rezoning will be needed. Ken Larish, CEO of Mainland, stressed the project is in the early stages of design (the image below is conceptual). "We would first like to thank Special Olympics Tennessee for being such a great partner as we have worked through the acquisition of this property," Larish said. "This transition has been very collaborative, and we will be doing everything within our power to make their move as seamless as possible. Secondly, Mainland is very excited to have an opportunity to play a role in 12 South. Our goal is to be sensitive to the overall community and smart with our design."
Manuel Zeitlin Architects will serve as the project's architect. A general contractor has not been announced. Relatedly, Mainland is currently constructing a mixed-use building on Division Street in The Gulch. To be called 1000 Division, the building will include 31 residential units and approximately 7,000 square feet of retail. In addition, Mainland is under contract to purchase the Centerstone property in Germantown. The development company wants to adaptively reuse the historic Ella Hayes Center building.
Industry Vet to Focus on Architecturally Significant Properties
Nashville-based developer The Mainland Companies has announced that Mike Large has joined the company as vice president of design and construction.
Large (pictured), who has more than 30 years experience in real estate development, will facilitate property reviews for Mainland, with an emphasis on the utilization and reuse of historic and architecturally significant properties. In addition, Large will oversee design and contractor relationships as well as managing the company's design and construction process from inception to completion.
The hiring comes as The Mainland Companies has a Gulch projects underway and multiple projects planned, including what is expected to be an adaptive reuse project involving the Germantown building currently home to Centerstone (read more here).
Large has held executive positions with several Middle Tennessee development entities including Southern Land Co., Hawkins Development Co., Lend Lease, and Alex S. Palmer & Co.
Large began his career in Irvine, California, with Fluor Engineers & Constructors before moving to Peck/Jones Construction Co. in Los Angeles, where he was involved in the construction of the Irvine Hilton and Towers and the South Coast Plaza expansion.
Moving to Nashville in 1988, Large worked for McDevitt Street Bovis as a senior project manager. From 1994 to 1999, he served as the director of design and construction, eldercare division, for Hospital Affiliates Development Corp.
In 1998, Large relocated to Tampa where he was director of development services for Kvaerner Construction, Inc. He returned to Middle Tennessee in 1999 to serve as the manager of commercial projects with Crescent Resources.
Large holds a B.S. degree in Building Construction from the University of Florida College of Architecture.
1000 Division Q & A with NashvillePost
In late October, Nashville-based Mainland Urban Development announced it is targeting a November groundbreaking for its mixed-used project planned for Division Street in The Gulch. Brentwood-based Armistead Arnold Pollard Real Estate Services will serve as the project’s commercial broker as well as a collaborative partner with Mainland.
Mainland COO James Lennon (on left in photo) and Armistead Arnold Pollard’s Steve Armistead (a co-partner at AAP with R. Shannon Pollard) recently met with Post Managing Editor William Williams to discuss the project.
This is Mainland’s first development in urban Nashville, but the various people involved have significant experience both here and in other markets. Thoughts?
James: Mainland is essentially a collaboration between three veteran real estate professionals who have worked on projects in cities throughout the United States. Project types have included very large master-planned communities, small-scale retail stores, as well as high-profile development work in New York City. Collectively, Mainland’s capabilities span the entire scope of the development process from deal creation to final product. Even though we are a new company, Mainland has projects already completed and others underway in other markets.
Our three principals — Ken Larish, Don Caire and I — see Nashville as one of the most viable markets in the country and are actively looking for opportunities to grow Mainland’s portfolio in the region. Moreover, it’s the city each of Mainland’s principals has chosen to call home, and we feel it is important to contribute to the quality of our built environment and enhance the city’s livability.
1000 Division will act as a bridge of sorts — helping transition the epicenter of the Gulch, with its large buildings, via Division Street to a section of the district that offer more human-scale structures on its eastern boundary. What is the significance of this?
Steve: Building on Division Street is an evolution opportunity for the Gulch. The project, upon completion, will immediately add an element of residential relevance to the street that will not only fuel activation on the eastern side of the Gulch, but will also set a precedent that human-scale projects can and should be pursued in downtown locations.
Moreover, our project’s retail — like Prima that is opening up in Terrazzo and Barista Parlor that just opened next door — will help extend pedestrian activity from 12th Avenue to the interesting organic activity that has taken root in the eastern Gulch.
Relatedly, do you consider this site part of the Gulch or what some folks are calling the East Gulch? Regardless, how do you foresee the general area unfolding running along Division Street between 12th on the west and the Myers Flooring building on the east?
James: We feel that trying to brand districts within the Gulch is an unnecessary exercise. We are certainly part of the Gulch community — we’re just the first residential and new construction retail project to sink roots on Division. Splintering the Gulch brand this early in the game just dilutes the destination and honestly confuses people. Are we distinct? Yes. Are we part of a bigger picture? Absolutely. However, it’s the mixing of characters and blending of neighborhoods that make urban areas so interesting, and ultimately desirable. Variety contributes to the experience.
We expect to see future development along Division to extend past Eighth and up to Myers Flooring and we’d be happy to see it follow a similar pattern to 1000 Division. We think our scale is on target and we’d love to see our building influence similar scalability. Regardless, when the bridge is completed that will connect Division Street over the railroad tracks to Ash Street in SoBro, the thoroughfare will become an even more important gateway to the Gulch.
Are you eyeing any other sites to develop in the immediate area slated for 1000 Division?
James: Yes, we’re looking at some additional opportunities in the Gulch, but Mainland is actively and aggressively looking for urban opportunities all over Nashville. We love the infill philosophy and the ability to design and build something that is unique to its location. There are dozens of vibrant corridors and small neighborhoods throughout Nashville; the Gulch is just one of them. When we identify a site that fits our infill criteria, we’ll take a hard look at it.
The immediate area offers multiple nondescript buildings that — in both form and function — are very suburban. Some would contend this hodgepodge of cinder block structures and buildings severed from the street by asphalt is what make this part of the Gulch quirky and, as such, oddly appealing. Others would say these buildings are unattractive, dysfunctional and need to go. Your take?
James: We think it’s somewhere in the middle. Part of the challenge of urban infill is deciding what to keep and what will have no long-term significance. If it’s landmark worthy and people have an appreciation for it, then it’s worth preserving, of course. If it’s unattractive and there’s a better alternative, that deserves consideration as well.
Again, we like variety in the urban environment and feel that it adds to the experience. Older buildings that were designed when cars were more important than pedestrians can be a hindrance to the urban experience. But at the same time, they also play an important role. Their lower cost of occupancy can afford an opportunity for some interesting tenants that would be priced out of new construction.
Related to this location, there are some improvements that can and probably should be made. But as the question states, there’s also a quirky charm that gives Division its character. Now that we’re starting the project, this conversation will get legs quickly.
For the retail component of your building, is your hope to lease to locally owned and operated businesses exclusively?
Steve: Ideally, yes. That mentality among consumers has shifted from a trend to a marketable reality. At the same time, there are national brands that want to be here and believe in weaving in with the local fabric. We’re open to discussion with anyone as long as they buy into the over-arching vision of the neighborhood and our project’s scale
You will use Nashville-based DA|AD for design. How do you anticipate the building’s form (materials, massing, color scheme, etc.)? And will the structure offer the instantly recognizable and attractive DA|AD aesthetic?
James: We chose DA|AD because they really “get it.” They have a fantastic design aesthetic, but they also understand Nashville and have a vested interest in seeing it develop with sincerity and accountability. They are bringing their own style to the table with 1000 Division, and at the same time, they worked very closely with Mainland to ensure the final product worked contextually and fiscally. There are certainly some elements of the building that will make it recognizable as a DA|AD building; but this is the first time that DA|AD and Mainland have worked together, so we hope that it’s also unique.
From a material standpoint, we balanced everything from cost (both upfront capital costs and long-term maintenance costs) to the streetscape appeal. We think we’re in line with what will attract residents and consumers. We’re planning that the building will look distinct from the other buildings in the Gulch, and we hope that it will be pleasing. But we’re not trying to make a loud architectural statement — not every building can be the Taj Mahal — and often, it’s the more subtle designs that wear the best over time.
Your building will not offer a lot of amenities found in other Gulch residential buildings; however, given it will be located outside the epicenter of the Gulch, it could offer some positives (manageable access, less noise, etc.) that the other Gulch rental residential buildings do not. Your thoughts?
James: While our building will not have a pool or a concierge, it will offer amenities. It will have a well-appointed club room (almost as large as the one at Terrazzo), a small fitness room and a good-sized terrace with a grill, lounge areas and sky-line views. Given that there are only 31 units to share these with, the amenity package is pretty nice. And not having to pay for the maintenance of a pool or full-time building staff saves significantly on operational costs.
We’re far enough removed from the core of the Gulch that we feel like we bring an added sense of privacy and we’re close enough to the core to be easily walkable. At the same time, our marketing approach is not Gulch, Gulch, Gulch. Fundamentally, our location is applicable to a broader audience who may or may not have an interest in strolling up to 12th Avenue on Saturday night. It’s going to be extremely easy to access, its parking is designated and essentially you’ll have 30 neighbors in total. So in reality, we’re applicable to a married couple with busy jobs or empty nesters who want to be part of the larger Nashville scene.
It has been a while since a project of this size was constructed in this area, and this is obviously a first on Division. So we’re really a brand new option.
On the design theme, there is some unsightly utility infrastructure at the site. Will you bury the poles and lines?
James: Unfortunately, the power lines will remain above ground. Our project has only 150 feet of frontage. There’s no way we could take on the cost of burying lines for such a short distance.
Your equity partner is T2 Capital Management of Chicago. How did that relationship unfold?
James: Mainland was introduced to T2 through a relationship with Charles Bone of (Nashville-based law firm) Bone McAllester Norton. Mainland and T2 share a strong mutual interest in pursuing urban development projects in Nashville, and 1000 Division provided a great jumping off point.
T2’s involvement has been an integral part of making this project happen and our mutual vision for opportunities in the midstate gives us a great deal of confidence that there will be many more good things to come out of this partnership.
Steve, a question for you specifically. You and your then-business-partner Bill Barkley were pioneers with the early redevelopment of the Gulch. After a hiatus, you are returning to the district with this project. How do you feel about that?
Steve: Since Bill and I first developed the vision and started assembling land for the Gulch in 1999, I have never really left the district. In 2001, we retrofitted the Braid Building. While with Crosland, I helped develop Terrazzo in 2007 and later assembled more than 30 acres in the North Gulch. I am very proud of what the Gulch has become and am very excited about each new opportunity to help seize the potential of the area. Interconnectivity and linkage are critical components of community building. As a logical bridge to the growing food and entertainment enclave in the East Gulch, I am very happy that this project will add to the district’s appeal as a dynamic place to live, work and play.
1000 Division in the Nashville Business Journal
A Nashville developer on Wednesday detailed a five-story building planned for the Gulch, featuring high-end apartments and some noteworthy neighbors.
The Mainland Cos. expects to break ground next month on a building that will include ground-floor retail and 31 apartments. The project is named for its address, 1000 Division St.
To the east is Yazoo Brewing Co., a Nashville craft brewery. To the west is Icon in the Gulch, a combined tower and mid-rise with more than 400 condos.
The building fills in a 0.3-acre piece of the Gulch, which over the past 15 years has transformed from a rail yard into one of Nashville's vibrant areas, teeming with upscale restaurants, trendy retailers and luxury condo high-rises. Today, nearly 500,000 square feet of top-grade Class A office space is under construction, and a pricey boutique hotel is on its way.
"We envision a place that still offers all of the convenience of proximity, entertainment and dining attractions, but also provides a more intimate living space that emphasizes privacy over unit volume," said James Lennon, chief operating officer of The Mainland Cos., said in a press release.
The Mainland Cos. did not disclose the project's total cost, or what price range the apartments would rent for. The building is scheduled to open in early 2016.
The property's previous owner is Michael Lindseth Jr., who is a senior vice president atPinnacle Financial Partners. Lindseth is a member of the LLC for the 1000 Division project, along with The Mainland Cos., and contributed his land to that entity.
The firm T2 Capital Management, of Chicago, is Mainland's primary equity partner for the project — marking T2 Capital's entry into Nashville.
First Farmers and Merchants Bank provided the construction loan.
DA|AD Group, of Nashville, is the lead architect for 1000 Division. The general contractor is SouthLand Constructors, of Brentwood.
The building's ground-floor retail is suited for a small restaurant and multiple small stores, according to Steve Armistead, who is leasing the space as a broker at the firm Armistead Arnold Pollard.