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CRE/Construction News Roundup (February 2020)

March 5, 2020 Bailee Mulder

Here’s the latest commercial real estate and construction news happening in and around Nashville, and across the country:



CRE/Construction News Roundup

Nashville and Middle Tennessee are starting to clean up after a tornado ripped through communities early in the morning on March 3. Nashville’s Fed Chief Laurel Graefe noted that it’s going to take a while to rebuild, but there’s a silver lining. “It leads to construction activity that might not have happened otherwise,” she said, “but the costs to community and human life are not to be understated.”

Nashville is one of the hottest cities for commercial real estate investing in 2020, according to Jeff Levin, a real estate investor in Washington D.C. He attributes it in part to job growth, which includes the 5,000 jobs added by Amazon in its new Operations Center of Excellence and 2,000 new local jobs by 2024 from Smile Direct Club.

Real estate investors spent more than $4 billion on commercial real estate in Davidson County last year. The Nashville Business Journal reports that 2019 yielded the two quarters with the most spending ever (since tracking began in 2006). Deals totaled $1.4 billion in the fourth quarter and $1.2 in the second quarter. 

The Tennessean reported that a building in downtown Nashville sold for $264.1 million in February. It’s the highest price ever paid for a single office building in Nashville. The 25-story office tower is located at 222 2nd Avenue South. 

Mayor John Cooper and the Nashville Soccer Club finally reached an agreement on the soccer stadium deal. Demolition is set to begin immediately in the first step toward building the new 30,000-seat stadium at the Nashville Fairgrounds. 

The final designs for Nashville’s “mini city” have been released. The Fifth and Broadway project, a mixed-use development that will be home to office space, restaurants, retail, residential and the National Museum of African American Music, is slated to open this summer. Take a peek inside


Check out the
latest high-impact construction across the United States, thanks to Construction Dive. Notable projects include a $2.5 billion high rise in Dallas, Texas, a $1.8 billion Denver International Airport expansion project and a $1.4 billion mixed-use city center in Orlando, Florida. Two Nashville projects are also on the list: the $1 billion Nashville Yards and $1.2 billion Nashville International Airport expansion. 

Commercial real estate in the United States is expected to retain pricing power this year, citing moderate economic growth and strong demand from domestic and foreign investors. The hotel sector expects to see a slight increase in capitalization rates. 

Bisnow reported that malls are continuing to lose value, and at a dramatic pace – from January 2019 to January 2020, the decline was 15 percent. More than 1,700 store closures have already been announced this year, many of which are anchor tenants like Sears and Macy’s. 

Officials predict that the coronavirus may negatively impact the construction sector in the United States and internationally, according to the Architect’s Newspaper. Many companies rely on materials made in China, where quarantine measures continue. Other impacts could include labor shortages, price fluctuations, tariffs and project delays. 

The longest elevated pedestrian walkway (780 feet long) over an active taxiway was successfully installed at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, using technology to assist in the challenging project. Clark Construction completed the $978 million project and relied on laser scans, animation and strain gauges to help plan the transport and installation. The structure should open this fall.

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